I consider myself a really fortunate human being. On the length of the initial fifteen years of my entire life I learned most of my professional baseball knowledge on the radio. Being a Philadelphia Phillies fan, I was lucky to have developed hearing two of the greatest broadcasters in the game in Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn.
I’ve also had the chance to listen to the voices of Harry Caray, Vin Scully, Jack Buck and Bob Uecker. Recently, through the beauty of satellite radio, I’ve had the oppertunity to grab every major league broadcast on my XM radio.
What do the fantastic radio broadcasters do much better than everybody else? Well, there are certainly a few things that separate them from the pack and I’d like to generally share them with you now.
A. Dead Air
“The pitch to Gonzalez is downstairs for a ball.” This kind of statement is manufactured constantly through the length of a nine inning baseball game. It is quite innocent in and of itself, but it’s what comes after these words that produces the difference.
Your great broadcasters will often fill this time around by not saying anything. This can be a important element to their success. 한국야구중계 They realize that they cannot need to talk incessantly about what’s on the stat sheet or their personal opinions. On the contrary, they permit the listener to listen to the crowd, visualize the scene and anticipate the following pitch.
B. When these people do talk, it’s generally to update you on the game
“We’re in underneath of the fifth inning, with one out and the Cubs are leading the Phillies 5-3.” Now if you’re a Phillies or Cubs fan and you’ve just lately turned radio stations on, you’re thankful for a word such as this. It provides you with an opportunity to instantly become up to date with the game.
Many years ago I recall hearing a broadcaster, whose name I don’t recall, state that he used to place an hourglass right beside him in the booth. Why did he try this? Well, he did so because each time the hourglass emptied it reminded him to update his listeners with the inning and the score.
I’ve heard a lot more than my great amount of baseball games where in actuality the announcers spent more hours telling stories than discussing the game. It is extremely frustrating to listen to about family lives, old time stories and birthday celebrations, when all you probably might like to do is listen to a ballgame.
C. They love their teams, without over dramatizing everything
“Longggggggg Drive deep left field, outta here homerun Mike Schmidt”, “Oh Brother”, “Harry, I don’t believe what I just saw.”
As I reflect back on the memories of my childhood, they’re a few of the emotional phrases that can come to mind. Harry and Richie gave them in my experience and I’ll never forget them. But I often wonder how important these phrases could have been in my experience if they’d been part of the everyday broadcasts.
You see, Harry and Richie saved their most dramatic statements for the right moments. They knew the game well enough to understand when something vitally important had happened that needed to be recognized with a mental voice. Unfortunately, not totally all sports announcers have this same sense, just spend a few momemts hearing Brent Musburger on radio or television and you’ll know very well what I mean.
The great announcers love their teams. You are able to hear it inside their voices when things go right and when things go wrong. Yet, their emotion doesn’t ruin the integrity of the broadcast. As a matter of fact, it endears them to the hometown fan who comes to anticipate that dramatic ninth inning base hit/strikeout call that tells them that their squad has emerged victorious.