58 years in broadcasting
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The King And His Court
Were Small Town Main Attractions
Back In The Day
Decades before ESPN and various other satellite TV networks arrived on the scene, sports promoters traveled about the country securing venues and guaranteed gate percentages to promote a particular athlete or team and their sport.
TV sports programming traveled by wire as well as antenna to antenna. It wasn’t cheap to secure a path to bring in such programming. Because of this, promoters flourished. In some cases, it was like the expectations of a circus coming to town.
One particular popular traveling show was the King and His Court, a 4-man fast-pitch touring softball team. The team played over 10,000 softball games in 100 countries from the late 1940s into the the 21st century, achieving widespread fame similar to the Harlem Globetrotters.
Pitcher Eddie Feigner logged 141,517 strikeouts, 930 no-hitters and 238 perfect games. Prior to spring training in 1967, Feigner’s team played in a celebrity softball game for charity. He struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills and Harmon Killebrew, all in a row.
I’m sure you understand why such exhibitions were immensely popular. Touring teams brought out the masses from people who were tired of sitting at home and watching the same old TV show with “rabbit ears”.