Back before the first World War, folks couldn't turn on the radio to follow the World Series. There wasn't TV. There wasn't an Internet. So if you weren't able to attend the game, how did you follow it?
If you had the free time, you gathered in a huge public place and watched a proto-GameDay that used telegraphed updates. That link takes you to a recently written history of the Playograph, but if you want the old-timey description, you can get it from this 1912 article.
Now you have this stuff beamed to a phone in your pants, and all you had to give up was your fertility. Worth it, I'd say.