Baseball Comes to Life
That is really what baseball broadcasters are. Whether they are giving play-by-play of live game action on the radio or providing commentary about team chemistry on television – they are the voices that bring the game to life.
There are broadcasters who root for the home team, ones who talk about statistics and ones who get emotional when they see a great play. These men and women make the game interesting when you can’t be there in person.
I’ve learned a lot about baseball from broadcasters. You learn nuances of the game that may go unnoticed when taking in the game by yourself. Sometimes commentary even provides insight into players that you wouldn’t know otherwise – like how a pitcher has been working on a new delivery or how teammates got into an argument during batting practice before the game.
Sometimes broadcasters are Hall of Fame ballplayers who spent 20 years in the big leagues and sometimes they are just a sports fan who grew up loving the game.
During his acceptance speech for the 2010 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting, Jon Miller told the story of the moment that changed his life as a kid in Candlestick Park.
“I’m looking into that visiting broadcast booth and right in the middle of an inning there’s a batter at the plate and that broadcaster says, ‘There’s a curve ball, low and outside, Ball 2’,” said Miller. “And then he grabbed a big handful of, I thought it was french fries, and he jammed all these french fries into his mouth and he’s chewing on those fries, and while he’s still chewing the next pitch comes in and he says, without missing a beat, “There’s a fast ball outside, Ball 3.” Then he grabbed a cup full of whatever. He took a big pull on that cup. And as a ten year old I sat there and said, ‘That is the life for me’.”
Throughout the month of September, fans will have a chance to celebrate their favorite broadcasters by voting online to determine three of the ten finalists for the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award. Voting will take place on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page, from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.
Seventy-five candidates will appear on the fan ballot – two representing every current big league team and 15 at-large selections. The three highest vote-getters will join seven other candidates as finalists for the Award. Make sure your voice is heard and vote!
Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.