Baseball’s Official Broadcast Networks in 1991

What follows is a table containing all 26 major-league teams from 1991 and their corresponding broadcast networks — both the over-the-air (OTA) and cable varieties.

Why anyone would compile such a list* is likely a bit mysterious to the reader. In point of fact, it’s mysterious to the author, as well.

*Via the individual 1991 team pages at Wikipedia, it should be mentioned.

The reason I began compiling it — this past Sunday, on my couch, sweating in ways that shouldn’t be swat in — is because I had some intention of finding visual artifacts like the one at the top of this post. What such videos lack in aesthetic virtue, they make up for by reminding us that sideburns of any description were, at one point, illegal in this country.

The reason I continued to compile this list is because, in so doing, I was reminded that the majority of major-league teams, in 1991, were still broadcasting the majority of their games on local, over-the-air networks. Dedicated sporting cable channels certainly existed, but it appears as though a plurality of them both/either (a) required a subscription fee over and above basic cable fees and/or (b) didn’t broadcast as many games as their OTA counterparts.

In any case, as I say: this largely pointless endeavor — unlike many of life’s other pointless endeavors — provided something of substance. “A rousing success,” is what I’m prepared to call it.

Here’s the aforementioned list of baseball’s official broadcast networks from 1991. Feel free to note any inaccuracies (as if it’ll matter!).

Tm OTA Cable
Atlanta Braves WTBS TBS Superstation, SportsSouth
Baltimore Orioles WMAR-TV Home Team Sports
Boston Red Sox WSBK-TV NESN
California Angels KTLA SportsChannel Los Angeles
Chicago Cubs WGN-TV Superstation WGN
Chicago White Sox WGN-TV SportsChannel Chicago
Cincinnati Reds WLWT SportsChannel Ohio
Cleveland Indians WUAB SportsChannel Ohio
Detroit Tigers WDIV-TV PASS
Houston Astros KTXH HSE
Kansas City Royals WDAF-TV N/A
Los Angeles Dodgers KTTV SportsChannel Los Angeles
Milwaukee Brewers WCGV-TV N/A
Minnesota Twins WCCO-TV, KITN Midwest Sports Channel
Montreal Expos CBC, CTV The Sports Network
New York Mets WWOR-TV SportsChannel New York
New York Yankees WPIX MSG
Oakland Athletics KPIX-TV, KICU-TV Sports Channel Bay Area
Philadelphia Phillies WTXF-TV PRISM, SportsChannel Philadelphia
Pittsburgh Pirates KDKA-TV KBL
San Diego Padres KUSI-TV Cox Cable
San Francisco Giants KTVU SportsChannel Bay Area/Pacific
Seattle Mariners KSTW-TV, KIRO-TV N/A
St. Louis Cardinals KPLR-TV N/A
Texas Rangers KTVT HSE
Toronto Blue Jays CFTO-TV The Sports Network

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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As this was the first season of my basebal cognizance, 1991 holds a special place in my baseball consciousness. That said, please allow me to make a few observations on the video above from 1989:

-0:43-0:55: You can tell it’s somewhere between 1988 and 1992 because action images = HYPERCOLOR.
-1:07-1:15: Sponsors–Bud Light and Hewlett-Packard. As we still lived in an era when the Marlboro Man was a byword for the frontier of masculine elegance, even the Bud Light logo looks austere and steely, as if to remind us subliminally of Larry Hagman. The ad “Personal Computers: Hewlett-Packard” is now hilariously anachronistic, but it also seems like a product endorsement noted Internet denizen Jon Bois would make, probably in all lower-case letters.
-Starting at 1:20, Joe Torre appears on screen. This is the most animated any of us have ever seen Torre, as by the time he became manager of the Yankees his face had fixed into an impassive, dead-eyed mask of calculation and bitterness. Here he is animated, bounding up and down, speaking with no little energy in his voice. What changed? In spring training 1996, George Steinbrenner, alarmed at the similarity in energy levels between Torre and late Steinbrenner nemesis/secret lover Billy Martin, had Torre forcibly lobotomized. Torre’s mannerisms and expressions took on the hangdog look we’ve grown accustomed to, and his total diffidence meshed well with an emerging Yankee dynasty. While the operation left his ability to reason intact, a minor complication was that Torre occasionally succumbed to an insatiable urge to pick his nose, often while on national television.
-1:49–Jim Abbott appears. Jim Abbott was awesome. More awesome than he, however, is the graphic featuring what appears to be a fungo bat below his statistical profile. Either that, or 1989 graphics=teh suxxorz lol
-Regarding play-by-play man Bob Starr, please note his glasses. While ostentatious by current standards, one would do well to remember that all adult males over the age of 55 were required to own at least one pair of aviator-style two-tone glasses (Exective Order #19302, signed by President George HW Bush January 20, 1989, rescinded on the same date in 1993 by President William J Clinton).
-3:45–ENTERBobby Valentine, aka Roberto Valentino. Youthful, clever in appearance and word, and on the cusp of his prime trolling years.

Thanks, Carson, for reminding us of what we have lost.