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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sports commentary is the activity of sports commentators.

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Famous sports commentators

Among the best known sports commentators, listed by the sport where their work is best known:

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Baseball

  • Mel Allen, famous voice of the Yankees and New York Giants, as well as This Week in Baseball.
  • Red Barber, legendary voice for the Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, among many other announcing jobs.
  • Marty Brennaman, for more than three decades with the Cincinnati Reds, and also on national radio for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
  • Thom Brennaman, Marty's son, previously with the Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks, but left Arizona to work with his father and the Reds starting in 2007.
  • Jack Brickhouse, who covered the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox from 1948 - 1981 on WGN-TV. Brickhouse is also remembered for his coverage of the 1954 World Series, describing Willie Mays' famous catch in game one. Additionally, Brickhouse covered the Chicago Bears on WGN Radio and the Chicago Bulls on WGN-TV.
  • Jack Buck, Caray's former color commentator, best known for his work with the Cardinals but also as a network announcer, and the radio voice for Monday Night Football. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Joe Buck, Jack Buck's son, who does baseball and football for Fox Sports. The current TV Play-by-play man for the World Series.
  • Harry Caray, best known with the Chicago Cubs, but also worked for many years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics. Also worked with the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA and University of Missouri football.
  • Skip Caray, Harry's equally-known son, longtime voice on television and radio for the Atlanta Braves, among many other play-by-play duties with various cable channels owned by Ted Turner and successors.
  • Chip Caray, Skip's son and Harry's grandson. The trio is the only three-generation team ever to work a single game together in any sport, having done so twice: on May 13, 1991, at a Cubs-Braves game, and in 1989 for an NBA game between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat. Chip Caray has worked full time with his father (currently, with the Braves). Chip took over play-by-play for the Cubs on WGN-TV after Harry's death, and left that job after the 2005 season to work with Skip again in Atlanta, where he since succeeded huis father after Skip's death in 2008. He also previously worked for the Magic, and also on national broadcasts (and in-studio hosting) for Fox Sports.
  • Herb Carneal, for the Minnesota Twins.
  • Don Chevrier, was the first television voice of the Toronto Blue Jays and continued to do the play-by-play of the Jays games for 2 decades.
  • Dizzy Dean, the famous player turned broadcaster, though often remembered for his malaprops on the air.
  • Joe Garagiola, Curt Gowdy's longtime partner as color commentator on NBC's Game of the Week, who later replaced Gowdy on play-by-play. A top former player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Garagiola was also a co-host of NBC's Today Show and a game show host, and in recent years has done "play-by-play" (of sorts) for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
  • Milo Hamilton, with the Houston Astros and before that the Braves; his radio call is often heard in recordings of Henry Aaron hitting his 715th home run in Atlanta.
  • Ernie Harwell, a 55-year career as a baseball broadcaster, 42 with the Detroit Tigers, with one of the best-known home run calls, "That ball is loooong gone!", and his trademark called third strike of "He stood there like the house by the side of the road." As a broadcaster for the New York Giants, called Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World " on television.
  • Russ Hodges, who did play-by-play for several teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants. Hodges was at the microphone on local radio for Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World ". It was Hodges who cried, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!..."
  • Harry Kalas, winner of the 2002 Ford C. Frick Award, broadcast Philadelphia Phillies games from 1971 to 2009. He was also the voice of NFL Films, Campbell's Soup, and GMC Truck, as well as the voice for the self-guided tour of the United States Mint in Philadelphia. His signature call for home runs was "LONG DRIVE! Watch that baby ... OUTTA HERE!" Kalas died in the broadcast booth at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., shortly before a game on April 13, 2009.
  • Ralph Kiner, Hall of Fame player for the Pittsburgh Pirates and original broadcaster for the New York Mets. Kiner is the longest running broadcaster for the Mets in their History. Kiner began his broadcasting career with the Mets in 1962 and is still a contributor on the Mets television newtwork SNY. Kiner is most famous for his post game show, "Kiner's Korner." Murphy, Nelson and Kiner are the three member of the most notable trio of broadcasters for one team. Kiner's most famous call came when the Mets won their first National League Pennant in 1969, "So the Mets are won out away from their impossible dream, pitch is a curve, topped out to third, Garret has the ball, he THROWS TO FIRST, and the New York Mets are the National League Champions."
  • Bob Murphy, Hall of Fame announcer and original broadcaster for the New York Mets, Murphy is one member of the most famous sportscasting trio. Murphy's career with the Mets started in 1962 and ended in 2002. Murphy called 4 World Series for the Mets in 1969, 1973, 1986, and 2000. Murphy's most famous calls include that of Bill Buckner's ground ball error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium, "and the pitch by Stanley...a ground ball, trickiling..it is a fair BALL! GETS BY BUCKNER!! ROUNDING THIRD, KNIGHT, THE METS WIN! THEY WIN!"
  • Lindsey Nelson, Hall of Fame announcer and original broadcaster for the New York Mets. Nelson's career with the Mets began in 1962 and ended in 1978. Nelson then went on to broadcast San Fransicio Giants game for a few years. Nelson is also famous for being the voice of Notre Dame Football for many years. Nelson's most notable call came when the Mets won their first division title and post season berth in 1969, "At 9:07 on September 24th, the New York Mets have won the championship of the Eastern Division of the National League."
  • Dave Niehaus has been the voice of the Seattle Mariners since the franchise's birth in 1977. His signature calls are "Fly Away" (for home runs) "Get out the rye bread and mustard grandma, it's Grand Salami Time" (for Grand Slams), My-oh-My (for any great play).
  • Vin Scully, who has worked more than half a century with the Dodgers, beginning in Brooklyn and then moving to Los Angeles. Scully has worked many national assignments, including the Major League Baseball Game of the Week on NBC for six seasons, and also the National Football League on both radio and television.
  • Mike Shannon, Jack Buck's color partner with Cardinals, who later replaced Buck on play by play.
  • Bob Uecker, better known for his comedic act and mediocre baseball career (the frequent topic of his comedy), but also since 1971 the play-by-play man for the Milwaukee Brewers. [1]

Football

  • Myron Cope, the Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcer for many many years, famous for his sqeaky voice, and phrases such as "DOUBLE YOI!" and "Okle Dokle"..
  • Keith Jackson, the decades-long voice of college football for ABC Sports. He also was the very first play-by-play man for Monday Night Football where he first worked with Howard Cosell, and also called NBA and MLB games for ABC.
  • Pat Summerall, a top NFL player in his own right, but for many years partnered with John Madden on NFL games with CBS and Fox, and also on many golf telecasts.
  • Al Michaels, the voice of Monday Night Football on ABC from 1986-2005, now does NBC's Sunday Night Football with Cris Collinsworth, starting September 13, 2009, but up until that time, from the debut of the show, with John Madden. Michaels has also called the World Series and NBA Finals when he was with ABC. Was also one of the announcers of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Winter Olympics hockey game, when an upstart American side upset the powerhouse team from the Soviet Union en route to a gold medal; coined the line, "Do you believe in miracles?"
  • Pete Gross, the voice of the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 until his passing from cancer in 1992. Gross's signature "TOUCHDOWN SEAHAWKS" was beloved by Seahawks fans from Alaska to Southern Oregon. He was the second person inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor.
  • Brad Nessler, voice of college football for ABC Sports. He usually calls prime time games on Saturday nights.
  • John Madden, longtime former partner of Al Michaels and Pat Summerall, he was a color commentator and is known for pioneering telestrator work on television.

Note: Nearly every major college football program in the United States can boast a "legendary play-by-play man" whose tenure with the school runs many years. They are too numerous to list here.

Soccer

  • JP Dellacamera, primary soccer announcer for Major League Soccer in the United States on ESPN. He also serves as play-by-play man for the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL.
  • Barry Davies, for 35 years the voice of the BBC Match of the Day, but also worked on many Olympic sports.
  • Peter Jones, best known as the commentator who witnessed and broadcast the accounts of the Hillsborough disaster.
  • Kenneth Wolstenholme, best known for his famous quote in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany: "Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over... it is now!"
  • John Motson, known as "Motty", a beloved commentator on the BBC's football coverage for over 30 years.
  • Raymond Glendenning, longtime English football commentator who worked numerous World Cup matches, but also tennis, boxing, horse racing and even greyhound racing.
  • "Bambino" Pons, the lively and emotional commentator of English football on Fox Sports Latin America, famous for singing the supporters' chants (and making some of his own up too) after a goal and banging the desk in tune to the music.
  • Andres Cantor, best known in the United States for his long, drawn-out call of "¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!" when a team scores.
  • Nigel Reed, primary soccer announcer for the Toronto FC of Major League Soccer on CBC. He is also the host of "The Soccer Show" on the Fan 590

Basketball

  • Marv Albert, Longtime voice of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers (NHL) is considered by many ad the greatest broadcaster in NBA history. He currently broadcasts for the New Jersey Nets and TNT.
  • Bill Roth, longtime voice of the Virginia Tech Hokies better known for his broadcasts of football games for the school.
  • Chick Hearn, longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers. Holder of the record for most consecutive games broadcast and inventor of several basketball terms, including Slam Dunk
  • Johnny Most, longtime voice of the Boston Celtics, remembered for many calls, including "Havlicek Stole the Ball".
  • Neil Funk, Johnny Kerr, and Jim Durham, voices of the Chicago Bulls.
  • Cawood Ledford, for many decades the radio (and sometimes television simultaneously) of the University of Kentucky Wildcats; he also broadcast their football games, as well as national radio broadcasts of the NCAA Men's Final Four and the Kentucky Derby.
  • Tom Hammond, who has worked on college and Olympic basketball for NBC, as well as horse racing (though better known in that sports as a host instead of a race caller).
  • Max Falkenstien, voice of Kansas Jayhawks basketball and football from 1946 until 2006, covering over 1750 basketball games as well as 650 football games.
  • Bob Harris, voice of Duke Blue Devils basketball and football since 1976, his play-by-play of Christian Laettner's jump shot to defeat Kentucky, sending Duke to the Final Four accompanies the broadcast video more often than the television announcers.
  • Woody Durham, voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels, has been broadcasting football and basketball games since 1971.
  • Chuck Swirsky, voice of the Chicago Bulls, has broadcast since the late 1980s for WGN Radio. He left WGN for Detroit. He broadcast in Michigan State both football and basketball games. He started his tenure with the Raptors in the 1998-1999 season. He is known in Chicago for his famous catch phrases such as, "Get Out The Salami and Cheese Mama!, This ball game is over!" When the Bulls are for sure to win a basketball game. Catch phrases like "Onions baby!, Onions!" was taken from legendary college basketball commentator Bill Raftery, he says it when a player from the Bulls makes a really tough shot. "You can ring it up from downtown <insert city name>, this one goes out to <insert persons name>" is said when the Bulls make a three point shot from time to time, as he sends out love to his family and friends.
  • Mike Gorman, Boston Celtics television play-by-play announcer, paired with color commentator Tom Heinsohn since 1982. Has also called games for Providence College, Big Monday on ESPN, and the NBA Playoffs on TNT.
  • Al McCoy, long time television and radio play-by-play announcer for the Phoenix Suns, memorable lines include "Shazam!" and "Oh Brother!"

Ice hockey

Horse racing

  • Tom Durkin, who has called many major races for NBC, including the Triple Crown and the Breeder's Cup.
  • Dave Johnson, known for his race work on ABC and ESPN, known for his trademark phrase as the horses come to the top of the home stretch: "And down the stretch they come!"
  • Chic Anderson, who called Triple Crown races for many years on CBS, best remembered for his call of the record victory by Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes.

Cricket

Play-by-play announcers in cricket and other traditionally-English sports are usually referred to as commentators, but perform the same function. Additionally, cricket commentators will often rotate between play-by-play and colour commentary, owing to the length of the game. (Some baseball radio play-by-play announcers will do the same.)
  • John Arlott, the best-loved & knowledgeable voice of cricket, with his rich West-Country accent. Covered emotionally the disgraceful dismissal for 0 of Bradman to miss a Test average of 100 by 0.06
  • Brian Johnston (Johnners) equally prized for his humour, trivial details, love of cakes & famous "gaffes" like "The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey", and the "leg over", followed by the longest corpsing in broadcasting history.
  • Richie Benaud, generally known as the "Doyen of Cricket Commentary".
  • Henry Blofeld, famous for his work on Test Match Special for the BBC, but also worked with ITV and BSkyB.
  • Jim Maxwell, Australian cricket broadcaster for more than 30 years, but also having worked in rugby league, rugby union, and Olympic Games.
  • Christopher Martin-Jenkins, also known for his longtime Test Match Special work.
  • Jonathan Agnew, Blofeld's frequent colleague, a former test cricketer for England in his own right and now a TMS commentator.

Auto racing

Curling

  • Don Chevrier, who has done play-by-play for Olympic and other major curling matches in Canada and the United States for many years, primarily with NBC in the U.S. in the years just before his death.
  • Vic Rauter, does play by play for curling on TSN.
  • Don Wittman, did play by play on the CBC until his death.

Multiple sports

Some play-by-play announcers are hard to pin down to a specific sport.

Pro wrestling

Play-by-play announcers are also well known in professional wrestling, where their main job is to put over the action in the ring by not only calling the maneuvers and action in the ring, but by recapping the angles and other goings on that have occurred. They often support the face in the match and are joined by color commentators, who take up for the heel - although this can change as circumstances dictate (Jerry Lawler always talked badly about the "Right To Censor" stable, and would always defend Jim Ross when a wrestler disliked a comment he made and tried to fight him). Current well known announcers in professional wrestling include Jim Ross, Todd Grisham, Joey Styles, Mike Tenay, and Michael Cole, and some "legends" in the field are Gordon Solie, Lance Russell, the late Gorilla Monsoon, and even World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon, who started his on screen career doing play-by-play as a face announcer being foil to the likes of Jesse Ventura.

Ford C. Frick award-winning announcer Jack Brickhouse was well known as a professional wrestling announcer in the 1950s.

Former Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers broadcaster Bill Mercer is also an established wrestling announcer in his own right; best remembered as the voice and associated producer of World Class Championship Wrestling. It was Mercer who, along with Mickey Grant and Gary Hart, came up with the World Class name, when the promotion was being retooled from its former name Big Time Wrestling.

Canadian football

Australian sports

In Australia (New South Wales, especially), the voices of modern rugby have undoubtedly been Ray Warren (league), and Bruce McAvaney (Australian Rules Football), who have covered their codes on the Nine Network and Seven Network, respectively, for many years. Before Channel Nine gained the rights to the then-known as New South Wales Rugby League, though, it was definitely common to hear Rex Mossop call television matches. More historically the voice of rugby league was Frank Hyde. However, both Warren and McAvaney have covered other sports. McAvaney is well known for his coverage of the Olympic Games, especially athletics, while Warren is also well known for coverage of the Australian swimming team, as well as three Melbourne Cup horse races in the 1980s.

References


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