The man who invented instant replay has died


You don’t tend to think of instant replay as being something that was “invented,” as such. It just seems logical and natural for us to expect that something which is shown on television can, almost immediately, be shown once again and, preferably, in slow motion.

But nope, it was invented. By a man named Tony Verna, who worked for CBS:

Verna invented the technique while he was working for CBS in 1963, when he developed a method for cueing tape right up to a play he wanted to immediately re-air. The network first used it during the Army-Navy game on December 7, 1963, causing mass confusion with viewers. Announcer Lindsey Nelson even had to warn viewers that the clip they were about to see “is not live,” and that “Army did not score again.”

Instant replay changed the way people watched sports and, eventually, the way sports were actually played, what with the adoption of replay review in most major sports now. It’s amazing it took as long as it did between Verna’s invention of it in 1963 and when it was finally adopted by leagues.

Verna died at his home on Sunday at the age of 81. He had been suffering from leukemia. His legacy will last, however, even if no one knows it’s his legacy.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.