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April 6, 2012 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Who is your favorite MLB television announcer? The catch is, they can't be for your favorite baseball team.

I recently purchased the MLB TV package and, when I'm tired of watching my beloved Pirates lose, I like to check out other teams. Last season I "discovered" Vin Scully's announcing for the Dodgers and while I couldn't care less for the Dodgers, I find myself watching them just to hear Vin. It's like poetry, his announcing.

Does anyone else have a phenomenal baseball announcer they've stumbled upon? Since I'm guessing everyone would choose the announcer for their favorite team, let's try and avoid that if possible.
posted by Fister Roboto to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (31 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
You already found him. Vin scully is the absolute pinnacle.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:40 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seriously. Vin Scully. He's the last of the greats.
posted by JPD at 12:43 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vin Scully is the only answer to this question.

Asking for anyone else is like asking who the best English playwright is, other than Shakespeare. Other guys might be good, but they ain't Shakespeare.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:45 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yesterday he knew that one of the Padres (Chris Denorfia) had gone to Wheaton College and that Wheaton College had been women-only until 1990.

My mind was blown.
posted by Fister Roboto at 12:52 PM on April 6, 2012


It might interest you to know that Fangraphs surveyed their readers and compiled a ranking of every MLB television broadcast crew. Vin Scully was of course #1. The Mets crew was rated as next best after him. Worst was Hawk Harrelson which should surprise no baseball fan.
posted by shadow vector at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Vin Scully is, and will always be, number one. Marty Brennaman, the announcer for the Reds is also fantastic and filled the shoes of the late, great Joe Nuxhall, who will forever be the best announcer of all time.
posted by banannafish at 12:54 PM on April 6, 2012


Definitely Racist Vin Scully.
posted by saladin at 12:55 PM on April 6, 2012


Vin Scully all the way... and my second favorite is my home announcer, Gary Cohen of the Mets.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 1:00 PM on April 6, 2012


You're all wrong. The answer is Bob Costas.
posted by dfriedman at 1:26 PM on April 6, 2012


Besides Scully, I recommend the Giants' Jon Miller (whose terrific voice is familiar from his decades on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball). On the radio side--because the package includes radio broadcasts--you owe it to yourself to check out the Cards' Mike Shannon (colorful turns of phrase, possible on-air drunkenness).
posted by Superfrankenstein at 1:32 PM on April 6, 2012


It's a quasi-homer pick because he *used* to call for the Sox, but Sean McDonough, now of ESPN's Monday Night Baseball, is one of the best as far as national broadcasts go. Even if you don't know him by name, you likely know his voice if you watch any college sports. He's done hockey, basketball, baseball and football at various times in his career. He's also been doing some golf recently, if memory serves.

But it's true: THE best is Scully. Nobody else is even close.

On the flip side, absolutely check out a White Sox home broadcast sometime to hear the horror that is Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone. Set your expectations for the most annoying, amateur-sounding, homerific broadcast you can imagine. You will not be disappointed.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2012


I came in to say Vin Scully, and I say that as a Padre fan. Padre fans have absolutely no love whatsoever for the Dodgers, so that's a totally legit endorsement. I also like Jon Miller, and I've heard a couple playoff broadcasts by Charlie Steiner that I've enjoyed.
posted by LionIndex at 1:43 PM on April 6, 2012


Not to harp, but I found these choice Mike Shannon quotes. Turns out "colorful turns of phrase" doesn't begin to cover it:
“The wind has switched 360 degrees”.

“The Dodgers are ahead by 5 runs or 3 runs or in between there somewhere.”

“It was raining so hard I thought it was going to stop.”

“…this crowd is on their feet for the Canadian Star Spangled Banner.”
posted by Superfrankenstein at 1:48 PM on April 6, 2012


Hate baseball love Vin, but Red Barber is the gold standard. Look around for vintage recordings.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:06 PM on April 6, 2012


I'm just happy that my Tampa Bay Rays announcers were #10. Brian Anderson really was a great addition to the booth. Dewayne Staats = damn fine announcer.
posted by THAT William Mize at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2012


Worst was Hawk Harrelson which should surprise no baseball fan.
Worse than Buck and McCarver? Yikes!
posted by Thorzdad at 2:21 PM on April 6, 2012


It's too bad that two of the top ten are for the Brewers and Cubs, since I'd rather have my thumbs screwed than watch either of those teams unless they're playing the Pirates, in which case I'd listen to the Pirate broadcast.

I have listened to the Giants (probably my 2nd favorite team) and really like Miller and Krukow.

If the Pirates have the right guys in the booth ( Brown and Walk), they have a pretty solid combo.
posted by Fister Roboto at 2:52 PM on April 6, 2012


You better enjoy Vin Scully while you can. The man is 84 years old.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:05 PM on April 6, 2012


Worse than Buck and McCarver? Yikes!

The list is only of regional teams, not national.

But yes. Really.
posted by SpiffyRob at 3:07 PM on April 6, 2012


Bob Costas is great but only does games on MLB network I believe. I liked Miller from his ESPN days.

"My" Angels have a lot of national interest this year, but I'm surprised their duo fared so well in that poll. Gubicza is tolerable and sometimes funny, but Rojas is smug and seems to have a "mean" sense of humor sometimes, and gets worked up over innocuous things like a bunt being scored as a sacrifice. It's almost enough to make me consider MLB radio. Sure don't miss Physioc and Hudler though. Sorry KC.

Good question, though. Something to consider for the next Extra Innings preview.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:19 PM on April 6, 2012


I absolutely love Jon Miller--and that's not necessarily a homer pick from a Giants fan since he did the ESPN Game of the Week for so many years. And if you pick Jon Miller, you get Vin Scully too--he does an amazing impression. We are pretty spoiled here with not only Jon Miller, but Krukow, Kuiper, and Dave Fleming.

Lon Simmons and Bill King, too, were pretty great for the A's when I was a kid.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:50 PM on April 6, 2012


As a Yankee fan, it pains me to say this, but Jerry Remy and Sean McDonough (Don Orsillo is serviceable, but was clearly hired because he sounds vaguely like McDonough) are probably among the best. And I'll second Jon Miller (along with Gary Thorne) as one of the great announcer voices regardless of what sport they're calling.

Here's the sad secret with Vin Scully, and I say this as an almost 10-year Extra Innings/MLB.TV subscriber who's listened to him call countless Dodgers games:

Totally. Overrated.

Look, he's got an excellent voice, and I totally salute him on the length of career metric, but his actual game-calling is just painful. If I hear one more annoyingly off-topic and "homespun" anecdote about so and so who "in the off-season owns a fishing cabin in Montana and once caught a bass as big as blah blah blah" I'm throwing something through the TV. I wish him no ill will at all, but I must conclude people who continue to present him as the epitome of baseball announcing moved away from the LA area decades ago and haven't listened to him since.
posted by jalexei at 4:37 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the flip side, absolutely check out a White Sox home broadcast sometime to hear the horror that is Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone. Set your expectations for the most annoying, amateur-sounding, homerific broadcast you can imagine. You will not be disappointed.

Forgot to endorse this comment - I'd rank Harrelson and Stone as probably the most excruciating broadcast team in all of MLB. The other low point is the Royals guys - don't remember their names, but while they're less terrible per se (i.e. ChiSox), they certainly sound like the drunkest guys on the air, though at one point it occurred to me that if your fate was to call 162 Kansas City games a year, alcohol might be the only thing that gets you through it...
posted by jalexei at 4:45 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find myself watching them just to hear Vin. It's like poetry, his announcing.

Last comment, I promise, but I missed this on first read, and despite my Scully rant meant no ill-will toward you or any other fans of the old fella - eye of the beholder, etc etc. Carry on.
posted by jalexei at 4:54 PM on April 6, 2012


Hate baseball love Vin, but Red Barber is the gold standard.

Red Barber actually recruited and mentored the young Vin Scully.

While running CBS Sports, Barber became the mentor of another redheaded announcer. He recruited the Fordham University graduate Vin Scully for CBS football coverage, and eventually invited him into the Dodgers' broadcast booth to succeed Harwell in 1950 (after the latter's departure for the crosstown New York Giants).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:57 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can tell you Sean McDonough fans aren't non-Syracuse Big East Basketball peeps.
posted by JPD at 6:21 PM on April 6, 2012


hate bud selig, but Bob Uecker interviews Andre the Giant.
posted by lowest east side at 9:41 PM on April 6, 2012


Yanks added Lou Pinella to their YES coverage and he is always good for an outrageous story or comment. Loved how he characterized Soriano's fastball today, "Easy Cheese".
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:46 PM on April 6, 2012


Yanks added Lou Pinella to their YES coverage and he is always good for an outrageous story or comment. Loved how he characterized Soriano's fastball today, "Easy Cheese".

If you want outrageous comments, there was was Dennis Eckersley describing a pitcher as being "a little gay with his cheese." Apparently this was when he was only filling in for the aforementioned Remy, and is normally just a studio analyst.

The other low point is the Royals guys - don't remember their names, but while they're less terrible per se (i.e. ChiSox), they certainly sound like the drunkest guys on the air,

Is this last year or this year? They added the part-time tandem of Physioc and Hudler that I mentioned earlier, and they sort of fit your description. They were pretty polarizing during their tenure in Anaheim. Either you liked Hudler's enthusiasm, or you left games with a drop in IQ.

The Fangraphs poll suggests Royal fans were already unenthusiastic of their arrival.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:30 AM on April 7, 2012


Completely unrelated, but Wheaton College was never women-only (especially as late as 1990!). Back in the late 1800s, it was the only option for college education for women in Illinois. (It has also been confirmed now that it was a stop on the Underground Railroad - the founder was big into racial as well as gender equality.)
(Source: wikipedia and my wife, who attended Wheaton Academy and whose father previously taught at Wheaton College.)
posted by attercoppe at 9:31 AM on April 7, 2012


Different Wheaton College.
posted by JPD at 9:04 AM on April 8, 2012


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