In the 1950’s and 60’s I remember listening to Chicago White Sox games on radio regularly with my grandfather. He had an old tube style radio cabinet in the living room, and also owned a small transistor radio that he would use when sitting in the front yard. Listening to White Sox games isn’t particularly unique except that I was living in Greenville, South Carolina at the time. The games were hosted on a small hometown radio station, WMRB-1490AM, located in downtown Greenville. As I grew older I sometimes wondered why would Chicago games broadcast into the Deep South? 해외스포츠중계
My interest was rekindled in 2006 when an investor purchased and relocated the Shoeless Joe Jackson house located at 119 East Wilburn Street. Unbeknownst to me, Jackson’s house was located just two blocks from where I attended Crestone Elementary School in 1958-60. Moreover, my grandpa and I lived less than one mile from East Wilburn Street. Jackson’s house eventually became the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum now located in downtown Greenville. It was placed adjacent to the stadium that hosts a Single-A Boston Red Sox affiliate, the Greenville Drive. Again, I asked myself as to why were White Sox games broadcast in my hometown. Was Shoeless Joe Jackson’s legacy connected to the broadcasts? Were the broadcasts the result of a fan base that had developed around Shoeless Joe? The idea was both interesting and intriguing.
I begin my search by contacting the new owner of WMRB 1490AM radio. WMRB was purchased by Randy Mathena in 1987 and renamed WPCI. Randy was friendly and responsive to my queries but was unable to substantiate the White Sox broadcasts. I wrote a letter to the widow of the founder of WMRB, Frank Cope, but didn’t receive an answer. I found a research paper on the history of WPCI Radio written by some Furman University students. The paper was helpful in providing a general history of the
station, but it did not mention the Chicago White Sox broadcasts. I also contacted Arlene Marcley, the curator of the new Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum. She allowed me to place a poster in the museum soliciting information but still no leads.
It was in early 2010 that I found a hint on Facebook. I had made a random posting to the Greenville, SC Facebook page and received a comment from a Greenville native. He believed that during the Textile Mill baseball league days, some mills adopted Major League teams. My contact theorized that Brandon Mills, where Shoeless Joe got his start, may have adopted the Chicago White Sox. Were Chicago White Sox broadcasts the result of Shoeless Joe Jackson’s affiliation with the White Sox and his playing time with Brandon Mills of the Textile Baseball League? I was sure that I struck pay dirt.