Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dialing up The Fall Classic

 Our national pastime is perfect for radio. Pitch perfect. A perfect announcer can paint word pictures that even HD can't capture.

Back in the Dark Ages, when one could only get "Monday Night Baseball" or maybe a Saturday game of the week, I'd fire up an AM radio not unlike the M&M Boys unit shown at left and could pick up games as far away as Chicago and Detroit.

This was long before cellphones and every other damn thing ruined radio's oldest bandwidth.

Television has its advantages, but baseball and radio go together like peas and carrots.

I was reminded of that fact this weekend. Driving home from my friend Shelton's house last night, I listened to the last couple of innings of the World Series on Sirius/XM, Joe Castiglione on WEEI. Tonight, I caught a couple of innings on KMOX -- Mike Shannon and John Rooney.

The best part? No Tim McCarver.

There is a caveat at work here, though. Baseball is terrible on the radio (or on TV for that matter) if the announcers are atrocious. I was spoiled for years by Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, Ernie Harwell, Marty Brennaman, Joe Nuxhall, and, after satellite surfaced, the peerless Vin Scully. I still have nightmares about Bob Rathbun and Ken "Hawk" Harrelson.

I'm not old enough to have heard the late, great Lindsey Nelson cover the New York Mets on the radio, but I certainly remember some of his later national TV broadcasts. ("Hello everybody, I'm Lindsey Nelson!") When he moved back to Knoxville, you could often spot him downtown sporting his trademark plaid sport coat. I think he lived at the Pembroke. Feel free to correct me on that. I'm going by memory.

Now, I'm kicked back on the couch, the Series playing on TV as I type. I like Joe Buck. I'm glad this is it for McCarver. But I'm biased. For years I had one of his Topps baseball cards taped to my toilet.

 TV announcers aside, this game is tailor-made for radio. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Blogger Michael J Johnson said...

Lindsey lived at the Cherokee Bluff Condomeniums.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thanks, Michael. I knew the Pembroke sounded wrong.

7:57 AM  

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