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best and worst baseball announcers

Here’s my list of best and worst baseball announcers (in ranking order):

BEST
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3. Ron Santo
Yes, I’m putting Santo down as one of the best announcers. I simply get a kick out of listening to his antics. I don’t know what he’s like off the air. But he sure sounds authentic on the air. He’s a die-hard Cubs fan through and through, yet he doesn’t get snotty like Hawk Harrelson (die-hard Sox fan who happens to be their TV play-by-play man).

Ron Santo is the anti-Len Kasper in that he’s completely unpolished and rough around the edges. But that’s what we love about Ron. Every game is as if he simply just showed up in the radio booth to say hi to Pat Hughes and he just so happens to stick around for the whole game.

He grunts and groans and always says “did you see that?” (It’s radio, Ron.) I enjoy it because Ron Santo is a becon of human opitmism. And yes, he knows a thing or two about baseball. He does bring some good insights into the game. My only problem is that he tends to talk too much about specific players of his era that I can’t relate to. I’ve noticed he’s done less of that in recent years.

And his chemistry with Pat Hughes is golden.

Ron is like the buddy next door that you watch games with. He’s funny and a little slow-witted. He knows alot about the intricacies of the game, and he sure wants the Cubbies to win today.
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2. Len Kasper
Len Kasper simply calls a solid game day in and day out. I think he spends alot of time honing his craft. I bet he spends time studying other announcers and picks up on things that are annoying and enjoyable for the listener. He’s able to put himself in the listener’s shoes and gives them what they want out of a televised baseball game. His game is polished, yet still down-to-earth and friendly.
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1. Pat Hughes
Pat Hughes gives a clear, crisp call of the game and paints a vivid picture of the scene in the listener’s mind. Gives good insight into the game without being too dry (like White Sox radio announcers) or too over-the-top (like every announcer on ESPN TV). He is able to bring fun into the game with humorous conversations with Ron Santo, yet is able to always bring focus back to the game. And conversations with Santo are real, not forced or scripted. He knows how to perfectly work the crazy beast named Ron Santo.

WORST
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7. The guy that does play-by-play for ESPN. the big fat bald guy
There’s only reason why I don’t like this guy. He always uses a stupid influctuation when pronouncing last names of latin players. aaaaa-ramis rrrrrr-aaaaaa-mirez. It’s aramis ramirez. You’re an American who speaks English. Don’t try to get authentic. It’s forced and annoying.
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6. Tim McCarver
sputters out incorrect analysis of games. offers little insight, but he thinks his insight is golden.
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5. Hawk Harrelson
he’s not an announcer. he’s a crybaby sox fan who pouts when his team performs poorly and continues to rampage on the umpiring. His tagline calls are fun… until he pumpels them into the ground after repeating them hundreds upon thousands of times.
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4. Chris Berman
doesn’t really call the game. spends all his time coming up with stupid, quick-hitting, smerky comments. IQ level is low because his obnoxiously loud voice has kept him out of any library throughout his life. He can never say a negative thing about a player. He worships all sports figures. No sporting figure can do any wrong in Chris Berman’s mind. Berman kisses up to MLB too much. He’s a mindless slave to the major sporting leagues, as is all the ESPN anchors and analysts.
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3. Joe Morgan
thinks his 5hit don’t stink. Never prepares for games. makes completely illogical comments on current issues in the game of baseball.
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2. Joe Carter
completely insane in all the wrong ways. Harry Carey was insane, but a good kind of insane. Joe Carter is like that guy you knew in college who would say all the wrong things at the wrong time and thinks of himself as a funny guy.
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1. Steve Lyons
smug SOB. know-it-all who knows nothing. his casual approach to calling the game is contrived and awkward. comes off as completely unprofessional and disprespectful to the game and its fans.

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left off the list:
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Harry Carey
His throat-clearing every other inning got a little old and he simply was a little too slow (timing-wise) for the game’s play-by-play action. Still, Harry is a baseball classic and I enjoyed his work very much. He made the game that much more fun to watch. You never knew what he was going to say.
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Steve Stone
tremendous knowledge of the game and brings that insight in a clear, presentable fashion. The reason he’s off my “best” list is that in his second coming (after he took a couple years off in the mid-90s) he got a little snotty and conceded quite a bit with his comments. He’s great now on AM 670 The Score.
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Ed Farmer
He’s a know-it-all who actually knows it all. He’s very dry. His sense of humor is strange at best. Yet he offers incredible insight into the action on the field. Farmer desperately needs a good color guy. Rooney was incredibly dry and boring and sounded exactly like Farmer which was very confusing. Chris Singleton is a bit of a dope. He really doesn’t offer that much insight.

Farmer needs a quirky sidekick who knows alot about baseball and can communicate that knowledge in an interesting manner. Farmer is dry. He needs someone to add some spice and fun to the radio. Farmer talks too fast. (Fast is good when a play is happening, but Farmer still talks fast between plays.) He needs a color guy who can slow Farmer down between pitches.

Here’s the solution. Ed Farmer doing play-by-play and Hawk Harrelson doing color. I never understood why Hawk did play-by-play on TV. He’s terrible at it. He’s good at telling fun little stories here and there, offering insight on why certain players do certain things. That’s what the color guy does! Plus, by putting Harrelson in the radio booth as the color guy we will lose all his stupid play-by-play calls such as “grab some bench”, “he gone”, “stretch”. We’ve heard them all 18 million times. By putting Farmer and Harrelson together, I bet they would make a great radio team. On their own, they have serious problems.

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Walt
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Walt

I agree with the comments about McCarver and Joe Morgan. I would include anything produced by FOX in general. I hate the fact that they now show every important baseball game, because Tim McCarver and Joe(?) Buck aren’t very good (Joe is better than Tim). And…don’t even get me started on their studio people, especially Terry Kennedy. He’s the biggest name dropper who ever lived. Every time he’s talking about a player, he NEEDS to point out that he knows that player, or worked with them at some point. Apparently, he knows everyone, from Don Zimmer to Randall Simon, and… Read more »

Tom Saaristo
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The only thing I would do is switch your number 4 and your number 5 on your worst list. Otherwise that list is darn near perfect.

Stephen Zimmett
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Stephen Zimmett

I watched the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, Friday, June 8.I have never heard such BORING announcers as Greg Brown ans Bob Walk. They do not know how to announce a game. I’ve listened to Jon Miller and Joe Morgan,the ESPN announcers and they are great. They actually put some interest into the game. I’m not actually a baseball fan. I simply love hockey. When watching the Stanley Cup Finals I found this to be a much more exciting sport. Exciting from start to finish. I just wish hockey would get more attention as I believe… Read more »

lifebbaseball
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lifebbaseball

Nobody is worse than Rod Allen of the Tigers. There are some bad one’s out there, but Rod is beyond belief.

Seattle Fan
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Seattle Fan

I’m an M’s fan in Boston and watch the games on the Extra Innings package and get to listen to a lot of the opposing announcers. After watching the series in Chicago, I have to agree that Hawk Harrelson is pretty bad. Two of my favorites are Rex Hudler (Angles) and Mark Grace (Diamondbacks). They both have loads of baseball knowledge and are unbiased to the home team (almost to a fault).

Adrian
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Adrian

OMG…is everyone out of there mind!!!! Rex Hudler makes me want to vomit he acts like every angel player is a god!!!!!………How is Vin Scully not number 1….dude! hes the greatest of all F****** time!

Jer
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Jer

I dunno about Ron Santo being #3 in all of baseball, Cubs fan. I’ve heard him on the radio when the Pirates are playing the Cubs and he sounds drunk a lot of the time. I like Mark Grace with Arizona, Lanny Frattare with the Pirates, Thom Brennaman with the Reds, Bert Blyleven with the Twins, Harry Kalas with the Phillies and of course the all time greatest Vin Scully with the Dodgers. I mean, really how is Vin Scully not on your list? Listening to him is a thing of beauty, I love it when the Pirates play the… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

Sorry, you started losing me at “Ron” and then completely lost me at “Santo”. He announces about as well as he walks.

CitizenPete
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CitizenPete

Joe Buck and that other guy on Fox doing the broadcast of the Yankee/Redsox game as I am writing this are not much better than the fat guy and Joe Morgan that got fired. They just don’t know when to shut up and watch the game. Tell us about the game we are watching and shut up about somebody’s grandfather or the statistic on how many hotdogs were sold at a game in 1945 at Giants Stadium… nobody cares. Try again Fox. Those guys have to go.