Announcers

Shortened MLB season starts; List of local radio and TV voices; All face awkward sets of circumstances

 

Think for a moment. For years, the best of the best, Vin Scully did the whole thing on his own with some help from Jerry Doggett. John Sterling, 82, tries to do play-by-play of a whole game alone. And then there were the years that Jack Buck and Harry Caray were a duo who got it done all on their own in St. Louis. Later in Chicago, Caray and Dewayne Staats did almost every Cubs broadcast by themselves, radio and TV.

But things are different now. Every game is on some version of TV and most take an eternity, thus requiring a bigger crew.

But look here – as Buck would have said. See the list below. I have 84 National League team announcers. That’s an average of about 5.6 announcers per team. There are 77 in the American League, an average of about 5.1 per team. That’s crazy. Baseball has 159 local baseball announcers in all. There are still other voices who pop in every now and then and are not included in the roster below. Add the pre and post studio hosts and analysts plus sideline reporters and there are enough to pack a 747!

In the day, baseball broadcasters were celebrities in their home towns. Today, fans couldn’t identify most of them without a detailed scorecard.

This year, even before Covid-19, announcers were either hired to do all games, most games or a partial list of them. Then there are voices of the day. So you don’t know who’s coming to dinner and whether or not they’ll be interesting.

At least, the baseball fathers are doing a couple things to make the games progress, instead of remaining terminal.

MLB and its teams don’t make any additional money when extra innings add up endlessly. Locally, most of the additional commercials in extra innings are bonused. So no one is cashing in on extra television and radio. And because concessionaires at the ballpark run out of hot dogs and other wares hours into the event, no one is getting richer on additional frames. The only things that go up are the electrical bills and fees for hourly employees. That’s why starting extra innings with a man on second makes sense to the owners, albeit not the statistical line of the pitchers.

Anyhow, enough carping. Some notes:

  • The Orioles are sidelining telecasters Jim Palmer, 74, Gary Thorne, 72 and Tom Davis, 71 this season, perhaps to be circumspect, taking precautions not to expose older voices. Palmer will be used as an occasional contributor. Jim Hunter is also out this year. He’s done radio and TV for the team in the past. They’ll also be without Joe Angel who retired at the end of the 2018 season. Joe’s still missed. He was underappreciated. 
  • MLB’s senior four are still hacking away to some degree; Bob Uecker, 86, John Sterling, 82, Mike Shannon, 81 and Dave Van Horne, 81 next month.
  • Spotted two brother combinations broadcasting in the Big Leagues. We knew about the Kuipers, Glen in Oakland and Duane in San Francisco. The brother of the Giants’ Dave Flemming, Will Flemming is with the Red Sox radio team.
  • Oakland had no radio station carrying its games in the Bay Area when the season started. Games were available online only. It announced one week into the season, on 7/30, that KNEW-960 AM- will run the team’s games The A’s also have eleven network affiliates including Sacramento. It’s not the first time that there was drama like this. In Montreal, during the Expos final years, the team battled for a flagship and games at times were only available online. By the way, Monte Moore, the longtime A’s voice turned 90 on 7/26.
  • Then there’s Jack Morris who apparently does games for both the Twins and the Tigers. Jack is well aware of the fact that it’s impossible to dance at two weddings at the same time but apparently he figures it out.
  • Let’s welcome some newly assigned voices. Mike Rice joins Jack Corrigan in the Colorado radio booth. Rice replaces Jerry Schemmel who was cut due to retrenchment by iHeart Media. Go figure. Andy Masur who worked in San Diego and did periphery work for the White Sox in recent years takes over for Ed Farmer who passed in the off-season. Then there’s Tommy Thrall who was a sidekick to Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman in Cincinnati. As you know, Marty retired at the end of last season so Thrall moves into the big radio chair.
  • Too bad for Ken Hawk Harrelson. The latest Ford Frick Winner isn’t being honored this summer because the Hall of Fame is putting off all this year’s inductions until 2021. By the way, the next Frick winner, who will be selected toward the end of this calendar year, will honor a network voice. Should be another interesting ballot. Based on the current cycle, the Frick winner selected in late 2021 will be a broadcast pioneer. In other words, the next local voice won’t be picked until the end of 2022 and won’t be honored until 2023.

Here you go—the list.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Baltimore                           

TV                         Scott Garceau, Ben McDonald, Mike Bordick, Melanie Newman, Brett Hollander

TV/Radio             Geoff Arnold, Kevin Brown

 

Boston                                 

TV                         Dave O’Brien,  Jerry Remy, Dennis Eckersley                                                         

Radio                    Joe Castiglione, Sean McDonough, Will Flemming, Lou Merloni                                                             

Chicago Sox                       

TV                         Jason Benetti, Steve Stone

Radio                    Darrin Jackson, Andy Masur                                                     

                                          

Cleveland                                                                    

TV                          Matt Underwood,  Rick Manning                  

Radio                     Tom Hamilton, Jim Rosenhaus   

                                                             

Detroit                                                                         

TV                           Matt Shepard,  Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris                                  

Radio                      Dan Dickerson, Jim Price                                                            

                                                                     

Houston                                             

TV                           Todd Kalas, Geoff Blum                           

Radio                      Robert Ford, Steve Sparks                                            

                                                                    

Kansas City           

TV                           Ryan Lefebvre, Steve Physioc                          

Radio                      Denny Matthews,  Steve Stewart, Steve Physioc                                         

                                       

LA Angels                          

TV                            Victor Rojas. Mark Gubicza

Radio                       Terry Smith,  Mark Langston                                               

                                           

Minnesota                                                                 

 TV                          Dick Bremer,  Bert Blyleven   Justin Morneau,  Roy Smalley,  Jim Kaat, Jack Morris        

 Radio                     Cory Provus,   Dan Gladden     

                                                          

NY Yankees            

TV                           Michael Kay, Dave Cone, Ken Singleton, Paul O’Neill         

Radio                      John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman                                 

                                                                     

Oakland                     

TV                          Glen Kuiper, Dallas Braden

Radio                     Ken Korach, Vince Cotroneo, Ray Fosse                                                                         

                                                                     

Seattle                                 

TV/Radio               Dave Sims, Aaron Goldsmith   

TV                           Mike Blowers

Radio                      Rick Rizzs  

 

Tampa Bay                          

TV                          Dewayne Staats, Brian Anderson

Radio                     Dave Wills, Andy Freed   

 

Texas                                 

TV                          Dave Raymond, Tom Grieve, C.J. Nitkowski

Radio                     Eric Nadel, Matt Hicks     

 

Toronto                              

TV                          Buck Martinez, Dan Shulman, Pat Tabler                                                            

Radio                     Ben Wagner,  Mike Wilner

 

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

ARIZONA                

TV                         Bob Brenly, Steve Berthiaume

Radio                    Greg Schulte, Tom Candiotti

 

ATLANTA               

TV                        Jeff Francoeur, Chip Caray, Tom Glavine

Radio                   Jim Powell, Ben Ingram, Joe Simpson, Don Sutton

 

CHICAGO                

TV                        Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies

Radio                   Pat Hughes, Ron Coomer

 

CINCINNATI         

TV                        Thom Brennaman, Jim Day, Chris Welsh

Radio/ TV            Jeff Brantley

Radio                   Tommy Thrall, Danny Graves

 

COLORADO           

TV                         Drew Goodman, Jeff Hudson

Radio                    Jack Corrigan, Mike Rice

 

LA DODGERS        

TV                         Joe Davis, Orel Hershiser

TV/Radio             Tim Neverett

Radio                   Charley Steiner, Rick Monday

 

MIAMI                      

TV                        Paul Severino, Todd Hollandsworth

Radio                   Dave Van Horne, Glenn Geffner

 

MILWAUKEE        

TV                        Brian Anderson, Matt Lepay, Bill Schroeder

Radio                   Bob Uecker, Jeff Levering, Lane Grindle

 

NY METS                

TV                        Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Steve Gelbs

Radio                   Howie Rose, Wayne Randazzo

 

PHILADELPHIA   

TV                        Tom McCarthy, John Kruk, Ben Davis, Mike Schmidt

Radio                   Scott Franzke, Kevin Frandsen, Larry Anderson

 

PITTSBURGH       

TV/Radio              Joe Block, Greg Brown, Michael McKenry, Bob Walk 

TV/Radio              Kevin Young, Matt Capps, John Wehner

 

ST.LOUIS                

TV                         Dan McLaughlin, Tim McCarver, Jim Edmonds, Brad Thompson

Radio                    Mike Shannon, John Rooney, Mike Claiborne 

TV/Radio              Rick Horton

 

SAN DIEGO            

Radio                    Ted Leitner, Jesse Agler, Tony Gwynn Jr.    

TV                         Don Orsillo, Mark Sweeney, Mark Grant

 

SAN FRANCISCO  

TV                        Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Javier Lopez, Shawn Estes

Radio/TV             Jon  Miller, Dave Flemming

 

WASHINGTON      

TV                         Bob Carpenter, F. P. Santangelo

Radio                    Charlie Slowes, Dave Jageler

 

 

                                                                                         

 

                                                         

                     

 

                                                                    

                                                               

                                            

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                        

                                                                                        

 

                          

                                                                     

                                                 

                                           

                                                                    

                                                               

                                            

 

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David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History.

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Michael Green
2 months ago

I am reminded of when Lon Rosen, the Dodgers executive in charge of broadcasts at the time and again, fired Ross Porter without so much as talking with him, and the Dodgers had to bring in three people to do his job. The length of games and time between pitches is one factor, but then I think of the opposite: in ye olden days, there were fewer commercials and less time between innings, and broadcasters filled that time. When teams started traveling, it was by train, and the announcers and players didn’t exactly have the greatest accommodations. So I’ll say… Read more »