Just before spring training was set to start, on Feb. 3, 1934, the Cardinals announce that they've pulled their home games from the airwaves of KWK radio on the FM dial and KMOX on AM.
Ownership hoped the inability of St. Louis residents to hear the games for free would result in increased attendance at Sportsmans Park. The Browns, with whom the Redbirds share the stadium, also announced they would pull their games off the air for the 1934 season.
The Redbirds drew nearly 681,000 fans in their pennant winning 1930 season. But the number of tickets sold dwindled as the Great Depression deepened. By 1933, the Cardinals drew only about 390,000 and ownership became desperate.
The decision had the opposite effect of what was intended, outraging fans and alienating them from the team. So the clubs relented. Franx Laux called the games on KMOX while the broadcast duties on KWK were handled by Bob Thomas and Ray Schmidt. Fortunately, the Cardinals had a banner season, winning their third World Series crown, and attendance started to trend back upward.
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Th Cardinals made their debut on the St. Louis airwaves on KMOX in 1926 when the station's managing director Thomas Convey set up broadcast equipment in the Sportsmans Park press box.
"For two weeks in April, 1926, I sat in the press box and gave the scores, runs hits and errors over the air," Convey was quoted as saying on stlradio.com. "During the third and fourth weeks another employee of KMOX gave the score. This broadcast was discontinued as the officials figured it was costing too much money."
But the Birds returned to the airwaves in time for their first World Series appearance at the end of that season.
According to stlradio.com, KMOX's Garnett Marks was the first full-time local announcer to broadcast the Cardinals. But Marks didn't use his name during the 1927 season, instead calling himself "Rhino Bill" at the reuest of Rhino Tire Stores, the broadcast's sponsor. In the middle of the season the sponsor changed, so Marks revamped his moniker to fit, calling himself Otto Buick.