Somehow I had missed that the St. Louis Cardinals had left KMOX, where they had been broadcast since the dawn of time. The Wall Street Journal examines the growing trend:
Few stations have ever been more closely identified with a team than KMOX was with the Cardinals. For more than half a century, "the mighty MOX" beamed Cardinal baseball throughout the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Bible Belt, creating deep and long-lasting loyalties. Before the major leagues expanded into Texas, Colorado, Georgia and California, the Cardinals were the "home" team in those states -- and it was KMOX that made them so.
But after losing money on a five-year deal that expired in 2005, KMOX offered a lower guarantee in renewal negotiations. KTRS, seeking to boost ratings in a market dominated by KMOX, wowed the Cardinals by offering the team a 50% ownership stake in the station.
The Journal points out that the rise of satellite radio offering out of market games and the MLB.com packages of radio broadcasts are causing teams to rethink their radio deals. It's logical, of course, but sad.
My grandfather was a Cardinals fan growing up in Ohio, and KMOX was why. Those old clear-channel AM stations carrying ballgames seem to be withering away, although we still have the Giants on KNBR out here in San Francisco.