Monday, May 10, 2010

Time is Killing The Radio Star

Is there anything better then sitting out on the patio in the summertime with a nice cold beverage listening to America’s Pastime (even if you are Canadian...don’t be so PC!)? There is something soothing about listening to the theatre of the mind with the context of a sporting event. If done well it is very entertaining and relaxing. That unfortunately is beginning to be more and more difficult. Sure with Satellite radio and laptops equipped with MLB on demand you can get just about any game if you were so inclined to sign up and pay for the service. The Only real problem with that is the quality of broadcast that you will get. Most are done well, professional and informative but it isn’t like the past. Sure what is anymore I guess. With the recent passing of legendary announcer for the Detroit Tigers, Ernie Harwell at age 92. He was part of the crew that called Bobby Thompson’s "shot heard ‘round the world" in the 1951 playoff game that determined the winner of the National League pennant. The number of all time greats are getting smaller and smaller, the Vern Scully’s for the world and the like. These were the guys that came up calling the game some before widely viewed TV and before the boom of not only all sports radio and TV but also the internet. It is that technique that we are beginning to loose. A lot of the announcers are from the new school and call games like they were doing tv, the style lacks the descriptive nature and a kind of storytelling style that made all these older guys great. There are a few out there that I really do like, I am used to hearing Jays games so I grew up on Tom Cheek and Gerry Howarth so because of that they rate decently for me. I don’t get to hear a lot of out of market games to judge them all but based on being a Braves fan I liked and was always impressed with Joe Simpson, Peter Van Wiren, Don Sutton and the Late Skip Caray. Of the newer guys I think the best I have heard is ESPN’s Dan Shulman, his is probably one of the best in the biz. The fact that he can go seamlessly between basketball and baseball is a credit to his versatility but also his ability.

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