Previous Poll (Best Broadcasters) Results: Our previous poll, Polls: Best Broadcasters, asked who, from an umpire's perspective, are the best broadcasters in Major League Baseball. Combining your votes on the blog and on our Facebook page, we see a strong trend favoring one specific west coaster. (Total Votes: 374):
- 45% chose Vin Scully (Dodgers) as the best broadcaster in the game. Receiving almost half the vote, Scully wins in runaway and landslide fashion, his story telling and artful fashion clearly having a positive effect on many voters. Scully is also the only broadcaster on the list to routinely work games solo, handling both color commentary and analysis duties. He is also known for routinely offering narratives on umpires, in addition to players and coaches, effectively humanizing the men in blue and reminding the audience that baseball is a sport officiated by people. Scully is in the ASA Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, was named Sportscaster of the Century in 2000, and Top Sportscaster of All-Time in 2009. Scully also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was Scully who called Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965 ("Sandy into his wind-up, here's the pitch... swung on and missed, a perfect game!") Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series walk off home run ("In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened") & Bill Buckner's muffed ground ball in the 1986 World Series ("Behind the bag... it gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"). In our quote matching game, it was Scully who said, "Well, you make the call. Imagine with the high powered equipment that we have and Tom Hallion only has one shot."
- 12% chose Chip Caray and Joe Simpson (Braves). Like Brian Runge in umpiring, Chip Caray is a third generation broadcaster, having learned the trade from his grandfather, Harry Caray (Cubs), and father, "Skip" Caray (Braves). His brother, Josh Caray, also broadcasts for the Gwinett Braves. Joe Simpson recovered from being the 3000th strikeout victim of Gaylord Perry to receive "George Sports Broadcaster of the Year" in 1995. Both men have also worked for TBS, which is based in Atlanta, though we're still not sure Chip Caray can pronounce "Petco Park."
- 12% chose Jon Miller / Duane Kuiper / Mike Krukow (Giants). Miller has been around baseball since the 1970s and is most famous for his work on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball from 1990-2010. He has called historic moments, "Barry Bonds with 756 home runs," and absolute debacles, "that was the worst base running in the history of the game!" Kuiper is half of "Kruk and Kuip," and last played professionally for the Giants in 1985. Like Miller, he is an Emmy Award winner, having received that honor five times. Krukow is also a former Giant (1983-1989) and is one of the more colorful color analysts in the game. Miller, Kuiper, and Krukow can all be heard in baseball video games (Miller in 2k Sports' MLB Games, and Kruk and Kuip in EA's MVP Baseball 2003-2005). In our quote matching game, it was Krukow who said, "Umpires don't get applause and they get dinged like that, I think you need to point out that they're really special at what they do."
- 11% chose Len Kasper and Bob Brenley (Cubs). Not one to hold back on jokes or cheers, Len Kasper joined the Cubs in 2005. A broadcaster by trade, Kasper joined former player and Manager Bob Brenley and the two have been a popular duo ever since. Though Brenley and Kasper are often brutally honest, they tend not to pile on the criticism when it comes to obviously missed calls... or maybe they do...
- 10% ventured north of the border and chose Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler (Blue Jays). Martinez is also a former player/manager, and only recently joined the Blue Jays. Like many other broadcasters on this list, Martinez' style is fact based, as he often withholds judgement through conclusive replays, though he's been known to call 'em like he sees 'em. Tabler also played ball, and has been with Toronto since 1993. Like Martinez, Table is also known as an even keel broadcaster who stays away from "piling it on." Martinez is another broadcaster who lent his voice to the video game market, in EA Sport's Triple Play 99-2001 games.
- 7% chose Michael Kay and Ken Singleton (Yankees). One of the more recognizable voices in the game, Kay began his career at WFUV, as did #1 vote getter Vin Scully. Another voice of a video game (Nintendo 64's All-Star Baseball [1999-2001]), Kay is known for his unique home run call and fast paced speech. Singleton is a former player, though he never played for the Yankees, though he did play across the street at Macombs Dam Park as part of the Bronx Federation League. Kay and Singleton gravitate more to the "homer" side of broadcasting, yet remain popular, especially amongst Yankee fans.
- 6% chose Mario Impemba and Rod Allen (Tigers). Formerly with the Angels, Impemba began his broadcasting career in college and never looked back. He is a Michigan Emmy Award winner and runs the website, baseballbroadcasters.com. Allen, like many analysts, is a former player, last with the Hiroshima Carp in 1991. It was Allen who once charged the mound and somehow ended up in deep Center Field. Like Impemba, he is also a Michigan Emmy Award winner (2006 & 2007) and concentrates more on hitters' swings and stances than on umpiring, maintaining the stance that players need to manage their own shop before criticizing someone else's.
- 4% chose Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling (Mets). The product of an ambitious Facebook write-in campaign, Cohen has been a broadcaster with the Mets organization since 1989. Cohen has also worked postseason games for ESPN and CBS Radio. Hernandez is a former Mets player, having won the "Mustache Madness" contest on newsday.com in 2007. Hernandez is a New York Emmy Award winner, as is Ron Darling. Darling is also a former Mets player. This broadcast crew is known for having fun and, yes, for falling asleep at work.
- 4% chose Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh (Reds). Brennaman, son of broadcaster Marty, is a play-by-play man by trade, and was the voice of Microsoft Baseball 2001 & All-Star Baseball 2002-2005. A multi-sport broadcaster, Brennaman has been active in football, routinely announcing BCS contests as well as NFL telecasts. Welsh is a former player, ending his career with the Reds in 1986. The crafty left-hander pokes fun at all parties, including himself, during broadcasts, which contributes to an "is he serious or not" perception when it comes to tricky plays and blown calls.
Who would be in Your All-Star Umpiring Crew?