Dave Flemming Jon Miller

Travel to NY on Amici’s dime, listen to Kruk, Kuip, Miller and Flemming (Contest Post)

Our gracious sponsors at Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria are giving a lucky Giants’ fan (or a fan of any team, really) two round-trip tickets from San Francisco to New York City. But, that’s not all.

Here’s a full breakdown of what the winner will receive:

  • 2 round-trip tickets from SF – New York City
  • 7 Nights lodging at a top Manhattan Hotel
  • Ground transportation
  • Major League Meal Money ($99 per person per day) = $693 per person for a total of $1,386 cash.

The contest goes from 12:01 a.m. PDT July 15, 2013 t0 11:59 p.m. PDT August 16, 2013. To enter to win, you need only to follow THIS LINK or click on our Amici’s banner. Then, once you’re taken to the official contest page, provide your name, email address, and phone number to officially enter.

The winner, determined by random drawing, will be announced on this website on August 20th (He or she will also be notified via email).

Additional Prizes

In addition to NY Trip, Amici’s is also giving out three 10-person pizza parties, where Amici’s lets you select your choice of several pizzas and salads. All of them will be given away by Steve Berman (the Bay Area Sports Guy) once he returns from Malaysia next week. Steve will select, at random, a one commentor from each of our “Contest Posts,” which will run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The winner of the first pizza party will be selected from one of the commentors of this post.

The Contest

Dave Flemming Jon MillerI’ve been doing a bit of traveling down the 5-south via a Toyota Corolla recently. I hate the drive more than words can express. Suffice it to say, the isolation of those vast stretches of cultivated desert induce extreme amounts of anxiety. But that is a discussion for a different audience, and the point is, when traveling, I’m never more thankful for the familiar voices of Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon Miller and Dave Flemming.

Though they can sometimes diverge into weirdness (Kuiper kept using the phrase “something soft” when describe various pitchers’ approach yesterday), Kruk, Kuip, Miller and Flemming’s thoughtful recreations of games can be almost enchanting. I can’t help but to wonder if we get the benefit of listening to some of the best narrators in baseball. Ever.

This would be no small victory for the Bay Area over a history of announcers that tends to be East Coast heavy. In fact, most of those who’d make a top-5 list of greatest announcers would hail from New York, New York, given the rich radio history of the NY Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Yankees.

After pouring over the various top-10 lists available on line, I have taken liberties to piece together a top-5 list. Notably absent is Harry Caray, but I’m okay with that, if you are.

5. Russ Hodges

If you’re having difficulty placing the name, think: “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!”

Hodges was the voice of the Giants for 22 years, starting with the team in New York in 1949 before following them out west nearly a decade later. Hodges has been induced into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame in 1975, and he became the fourth recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

4. Red Barber

Barber served with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1939–1953 and the New York Yankees from 1954–1966. Barber was known to have coined quite few phrases (known as “Barberisms”) still widely used today, for better or worse. You know that “back-back-back-back” schtick Chris Berman does? Well, that was originally Barber’s.

Barber was induced into the NSSA inducted Barber in 1973 and became one of the first broadcasters to be awarded the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.Barber was  also posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.

3. Mel Allen

Curt Smith wrote in Voices of The Game, “[Red] Barber was white wine, crepes suzette and bluegrass music; Allen was beer, hot dogs and the United States Marine Band.”

Allen called Yankees games from 1939 to 1964, during which time he became known such catchphrases as:”Hello there, everybody!”; “How ’bout that?!”;  “Go-ing, go-ing, gonnne!!”; “Three and two. What’ll he do?”; “How about that!”; and “Ballantine Blast”.

Allen was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1972. He was one of the first two winners of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting. And then, in 1988, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

2. Ernie Harwell

Harwell voice were in such high demand that Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager, Branch Rickey, sent catcher Cliff Dapper to the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in exchange for Harwell.

Though best known for his 42 years of work with the Detroit Tigers, Harwell spent time broadcasting  for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1948-1949 and  the New York Giants (1950–1953). Over his career, he coined such phrases as, “That one is long gone!” after a home run and “Two for the price of one!” after a double play.

Harwell was named Michigan Sportscaster of the Year 19 times by the the NSSA, and was inducted him into NSSA Hall of Fame in 1989. He was also the fifth broadcaster to be given the Ford C. Frick Award. Then in 1998, he was inducted into  the National Radio Hall of Fame.

1. Vin Scully

Not much needs to be said about Vin Scully. He’s been the broadcast voice of the Dodgers since 1950. Think about that. He’s held the same job for 63 years. That’s a lifetime for some people.

Scully is known for his quips, some of which were compiled by the Los Angeles Times:

He fires off one-liners:

“[Roberto] Clemente could field the ball in New York and throw out a guy in Pennsylvania.”

Bob Gibson “pitches as though he’s double-parked.”

“Tom Glavine is like a tailor: a little off here, a little off there and you’re done — take a seat.”

“The Dodgers are such a .500 team that if there was a way to split a three-game series, they’d find it.”

He philosophizes:

“Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day to day. Aren’t we all?”

“It’s a mere moment in a man’s life between the All-Star game and an old timers game.”

But, Scully’s needs not be lauded by me. He’s already received a plethora of accolades. He was given the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Then, in 1995, he was honored with a Life Achievement Emmy Award for sportscasting, as well as an induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. He was also named the National Sportscaster of the Year three times (1965, 1978, 1982) by the NSSA.

The contest question of the day is this:

***Do any of the Giants’ announcers crack this list or even the top-10?***

In the comments section, answer the question and rank one or all of them. That is, make your own top-5 or -10 list.

I’d be interested to see who among the current broadcast team makes it and where they land. Miller, for example, is already on most Top-10 lists and has been inducted into the NSSA in 1998 and was recently awarded the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame. And so, his ranking might be obvious. Duane Kuiper, though five-time Emmy Award winner, has not been recognized by the ASSA or the Hall of Fame. Likewise for Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming — though Flemming’s age and experience would preclude him from winning such awards.

Comment below to be entered to win one of three 10-person pizza parties from Amici’s.

 

Published by

East Bay Sports Guy

A resident of California, East Bay Sports Guy (otherwise known as Scott Preston) often spends his time wearing v-necks -- sometimes deep, sometimes not -- and watching teams that play sports together as a team. You can follow Scott @SportsAnxiety.

21 comments
MarleyBonds
MarleyBonds

I love the wacky Harry Caray types including Bob Uecker almost as much as our current announcers who would rank top 3 or 4 at the worst after Scully, et al, but I may be biased.

paperback writer
paperback writer

NOTE:  Jerry Coleman had a lot of "malaprops," including:

"Hoffman's throwing up in the bullpen."

"The ball is sailing on Mantle, his head is turned all the way around, it lands and is rolling out by the bullpen wall!"

LOL

cjbarresi75
cjbarresi75

Man, I forgot to mention Lon... without Lon there is no Miller as we know it. "Way back, way back, tell it goodbye..." as his voice would fade out to let the crowd noise take over.  Masterful. Plus the Niners! Respect. 

cjbarresi75
cjbarresi75

Besides Vin, and the replays of Hodges calls we hear often, I have much less exposure to Barber, Allen or Harwell.  I mean, if Allen coined "going, going, goone!" that is pretty tremendous.  But Jon Miller is literally the reason I am a baseball fan.

I always rooted for the Giants since I was young.  But I was never that avid of a fan until college...and the last several years of college at that.  I had a seasonal job with State Parks where I lived in a park in rural San Mateo County (Portola Redwoods).  We had a house with a bunch of dudes, 3 of us just 21 years of age....you can imagine the fun games we played involving alcohol.  Anyhow, after work was over at 4, I would go back to my cabin, turn on KNBR and listen to  Giants games.  It was Kruik, Kuip, Miller and Dennis Higgins, then Joe Angel... Anyhow, Miller instantly made me a better fan.  He paints the picture better than anyone.  His voice intones excitement when the opponent makes a nice play, and his knowledge and love of the game shine through.  He is also extremely adept at keeping listeners tuned in during a blowout or even a rain out.  He is funny, sincere, honest ("that is the worst base running you will every see!") and most of all professional.  To me, like those other announcers are to so many others, he is the standard that I measure all others by.  

Dave Flemming might be the next to join that list.  With his natural abilities shown in his rookie season with the Giants combined with the tutelage and influence of Miller and his other peers, his trajectory is beyond the moon right now.  Imagine him telling the stories in 20 years of how the mic went out on "The Call."  He will forever be grateful to Miller for giving him the microphone when the Giants won it in 2010.  He is a legend in the making.  

I gush about this guys like a little fangirl, I know.  But so much of sports enjoyment is the delivery of them, especially when you listen to a ton of games on the radio.  Miller is the best.

covechatter
covechatter

Miller is one of the all-time greats and has been recognized as such. Flemming does a nice job, but I wouldn't put him in the same category of "exciting" as Miller. Kruk and Kuip are the best tv duo in baseball today, and it's not close in my opinion. Where they rank all time, I don't think we can really evaluate that just yet. But I love listening to the, night in and night out. I think that's the most important thing. I wouldn't say one is better than the other.. they feed off each other, and I don't think you could replace that chemistry if one of them left. Honestly, we're very lucky as Giants fans to have such a great group. We could all be listening to the Hawk in Chicago... that might make me want to take up a different sport.

cadadj
cadadj

1.  Vin Scully - He gets the nod on longevity alone.  60 years later, he's still killing it every night.  

 2.  Red Barber - Never heard him on daily basis, but I did hear his commentaries on NPR before he passed.  Knowledgeable about many subjects and a historian of the game.

 3.  Jack Buck - At ease doing multiple sports, had his share of memorable calls.  Comfortable, like an old shoe.  His poem after 9/11 still gives me chills.

 4.  Bill King - Never got the national recognition he deserved.  Made you want to listen to a game. 

 5.  Jon Miller - Great storyteller, a last link to the old type announcers such as Scully.  Plus, a humorous side. 

T
T

not only that,  it would be great if the giants can clinch a playoff spot in NY.

paperback writer
paperback writer

I experience baseball announcers as S - "straight" (play by play) or C "color" men. AND H "hybrid", doing both.

Having grown up in Red Sox country, with access also to late night Yankee broadcasts, I also experienced SoCal and national broadcasts before coming to,the Bay Area. following is my list, in no particular order.

John Miller S (Red Sox, Giants, national ). Yes, heard Jon calling Sox games featuring Fred Lynn Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Denniis Exkersly in addition to our Giants

Curt Gowdy S (Red Sox, national broadcasts)

Duane Kuiper H (Giants)

Mel Allen S (Yankees)

Jerry Coleman H (Yankees, Padres, national)

Vin Scully S (Dodgers, national)

Mike Krukow C (Giants)

Tony Kubek H (national )

Joe Morgan C (national)

Dave Fleming S (Giants)

Lot of others I have not heard, but I'm are I'd like

Great column, contest.

steve
steve

Miller is top 5 has a vast knowledge of the game .

Eric
Eric

1) Vin Scully...I have MLB on the iPad mostly to check in on the hated Dodgers

2) Ernie Harwell

3) Bill King...Eccentric, informative, brilliant

4) Russ Hodges

5) Jon Miller

Bay Area Duck Guy
Bay Area Duck Guy

Miller cracks the top 5 for me without question. Great voice, great fundamentals and is obviously extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the game.

Flemming is easily the most well-rounded broadcaster, but Miller has a certain magic Flem doesn't quite capture yet.

Kruk and Kuip as a pair are a crack-up, but individually Kuip is pretty good and Kruk is okay, for reasons @Ruthless Sports Guy points out.

Tod in Austin
Tod in Austin

Lon Simmons was the voice of the Giants when I was a kid.  Then came Greenwald and as much as I missed Simmons, I loved Greenwald's dead pan humor.  One of his best lines after a bad call at a home game: "The umpires in the stands disagree."  I live in TX, so I don't listen to the radio broadcast.  I wish I could hear Miller and more of Flemming.  Kruk and Kuip are, in my opinion, hands down the best in the business because not only are they entertaining, but more importantly they talk about the nuances of the game and how each pitch is important.  Once you get used to that level of involvement, other announcers are unappealing.

I've never been impressed with Scully.  Probably have a huge bias being a Giants fan, but I have been forced to watch a few Dodger broadcasts when the Giants aren't on DirecTV and he's horrible.  A one man show who never stops talking and full of cliches.  

lbintheoc
lbintheoc

A favorite from my childhood - Hank Greenwald. Man he was good calling some truely awful teams. Regarding Vin - he needed to quit while he was ahead. He is a shadow of what he used to be. He never gets names right anymore and routinely misses on pitch calls (obvious fastballs are called curveballs, completely misses locations). Also, his anecdotes are repeated everyday during a series!

carmenkiew
carmenkiew

I think Jon Miller is one of the best in the business. Flemming is well on his way but needs a few more years under his belt. 

DW
DW

Jon Miller has to be top 10

StefanAD
StefanAD

Speaking of Red Barber, one of the most fascinating aspects to me of the movie "42" was John C. McGinley's portrayal of the great sportscaster.  It was absolutely spot-on.  (McGinley is probably best known as the ascerbic Dr. Perry Cox on "Scrubs.")  I was fortunate enough to have grown up in New Jersey in the '60s, and had opportunity to listen to Red along with Mel Allen, Jerry Coleman, and the always entertaining Phil Rizzuto.  What a great team that was!

VinL29
VinL29

1. Vin Scully. The longevity and history he has been apart of seal the deal right there. 

2. Red Barber, “back-back-back-back” is still widely used and recognized by all generations. 

3. Jon Miller, being a Giants fan he is the voice of many great calls and someone who could entertain during a rain delay. 

4. Ernie Harwell, he is much before my time, but like Scully, his impact on the game was second to none. 

5. Russ Hodges, much like Miller, he had many great calls you still think of when watching big moments.

Ruthless Sports Guy
Ruthless Sports Guy

Miller and Kuip definitely crack the top 10 for me, Miller may be top five. There's too much fluff from Kruk for me to put him in there, and while Flemming is very talented he still has plenty of career left before we put him in this conversation.

coredump
coredump

Jack loses points for spawning Joe.

Eric
Eric

@cadadj Ahhh well played! I forgot about Buck. He was great w the Cardinals. Nice pick!

Tod in Austin
Tod in Austin

@Ruthless Sports Guy I agree about Kruk.  I like him, but he is over the top too often.  I can just see Kuip shaking his head at some of the stuff.  But, Kuip needs an energetic sidekick and he can at least talk about pitching.  Pretty unusual to have 2 ex players in the booth.

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