Jackie Bradley Jr. to Wear Microphone During Red Sox’ Home Opener on Friday

With no fans allowed in ballparks for at least the opening stages of the 2020 season, MLB clubs are going to try to do their part in keeping spectators attuned to what’s transpiring on the field.

The Red Sox, for instance, will be miking up players and coaches during select home games throughout the 2020 season, the club announced via a press release Thursday.

As noted in this tweet from The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. will be receiving the honors for this experience first during Friday night’s season opener against the Orioles at Fenway Park

In what could be his final Opening Day as a member of the Red Sox, it will be interesting to see what Bradley Jr. has to say with a microphone attached to his jersey collar and how often NESN utilizes his sound bites.

Given the fact that Bradley Jr. will be mic’d up in a regular season game, I can’t imagine he will be partaking in any on-field interviews with Dave O’Brien, Jerry Remy, or Dennis Eckersley, but it should still be entertaining considering the level of access the 30-year-old Gold Glover could provide to fans watching the game on television.

Speaking of in-game interviews, Bradley Jr. does have some experience being mic’d up, as he chatted with the ESPN broadcast team during a Grapefruit League game against the Pirates last year.


On This Day in Red Sox History: Bobby Doerr Walks It off in First Televised Game at Fenway Park

On this day in 1948, the Red Sox played their first televised game at Fenway Park.

According to author Ed Walton, WBZ-TV, which was affiliated with NBC at the time, “tried out [experimental] cameras for the first time at Fenway” on that day with “few homes equipped yet with the expensive [television] sets.

There were two cameras used at Fenway, per TSN, and each was worth around $10,000. One camera was pointed towards the infield from behind home plate, while the other was pointed in the same direction from along the first base line.

The Red Sox, entering that Wednesday with a record of 8-11 on the young season, were playing host to the even worse-off White Sox in front of slightly over 8,200 spectators at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. I’m not sure how many were watching from home, but based off what Walton stated above, I’d say not many.

Nine full innings was not enough to decide this particular contest, as both sides headed to extras knotted up at three runs a piece.

That stalemate would not last long though, with Chicago jumping out to a 5-3 advantage on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of Bob Kennedy before Sox right-hander Cot Deal relieved Denny Galehouse and escaped the top half of the 10th without giving anything else up.

Down to their final three outs and at risk of falling to 8-12 on the year, Ted Williams got things started in his side’s half of the 10th by drawing a leadoff walk off White Sox reliever Earl Harrist.

The Splendid Splinter advanced all the way to third on a one-out single courtesy of Wally Moses, and just like that, the winning run came to the plate in the form of franchise legend Bobby Doerr.

Coming into that at-bat, Doerr was a lifetime .250 hitter (1-for-4) against Harrist, with that one hit being a triple.

This time around though, Doerr made sure to touch all the bases, as he took the White Sox right-hander deep to left for a three-run home run, plating Williams, Moses, and himself on his third home run of the season.

The walkoff blast improved the Sox’ record on the year to 9-11, and they would go on to have an exceptional season.

Although it’s not clear how well this game went in terms of television ratings or anything, WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WNAC-TV (Channel 7) did begin regularly broadcasting both Boston Braves and Red Sox games beginning that June.