Jon, Vin and The Call Of The Game
posted Jun 19 2013 9:51PM
If you follow my posts on here at all you've probably picked up on the fact that I'm from Philadelphia and am a major supporter of Philly's sports teams.
That said, I lived in the Baltimore area for nearly 20 years, and if my teams are out of the running, I'm rooting for Baltimore. This was true last football season, when the Ravens went on to win their second championship. I rooted for them loudly and in each of their playoff games.
The same is true for baseball. I listened to Orioles radio broadcasts for many years. When I was out and about on any given summer evening, chances were I was listening to the broadcast of the Orioles game.
The first baseball play-by-play announcer I ever admired was Jon Miller, who called the Orioles games from 1983 (the year my family moved to Maryland) and 1997. He's not a homer. He calls a fair game and if the home team makes a mistake, he talks about it objectively. He doesn't defend the home team when they're wrong. And I really respect that. In 1998, when Orioles owner Peter Angelos declined to renew his contract, Jon Miller became the voice of his hometown team, the San Francisco Giants. Now the only time I get to hear him is when he calls the game of the week on ESPN.
And that's too bad. The O's current broadcast team, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel, are very good, and very much in the same vein as Miller. But in my book, Jon Miller is the best.
What reminded me of all this was a quote I saw on Twitter from Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully, a legend in the world of sportscasting, was the sole voice of the Dodgers for over 50 years. He was among the first "non-homer" play by play announcers, and doesn't give praise lightly. The quote I saw was him praising a player's on field performance, and it got me to thinking about the announcers I've come to admire.
Quite simply, it's guys like Vin Scully and Jon Miller that played a part in my wanting to get into radio as a career. There were many others as well, of course, but the rspect and admiration I had and still have for the guys calling my favorite sports made radio seem like the greatest job in the world, and I can now say definitively, I was right about that.