This past week the local AM giant had a segment with Curt Smith, the author of Voices of Summer : Baseball’s Greatest Announcers. Curt was talking about the greatest announces ever for baseball and it was no surprise Vin Scully was the winner. But that got me thinking about how baseball has lost some of it’s luster. Specifically, I thought about the flood of games on now and how that compared when I was growing up in the 80s.
I can remember the excitement of the weekend games and the occasional game on local TV during the week. If you had cable you could get the Braves or Cubs playing, but it wasn’t the same.
The excitement culminated when This Week in Baseball came on and you saw all the great plays across the league during the week.
With the advent of ESPN and the myriad of Fox Sports and other channels baseball’s importance has been diluted. Joe Buck says the same thing in a column penned today for the Sporting News.
Joe Buck says:
“But remember when the Saturday game meant Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola coming to your city to take your team national? I couldn’t wait to hear those guys weigh in on Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals in the early 1980s.”
That’s a great memory and it’s true. I can remember the excitement of seeing your city on TV and realizing the rest of the nation was viewing.
Joe Buck sums it up:
“Those games were on an avid fan’s radar for weeks in advance. Vin and Joe were the best. Hearing those voices meant you needed to watch. Now, the Game of the Week is just one of seemingly thousands you can catch all week.”
When I watch baseball now it’s background noise for me. I don’t watch intently nor do I look forward to games as I did in the 80s. I think most of us feel the same way.