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Sean McDonough
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Background information
Date of birth: May 13, 1962 (1962-05-13) (age 47)
Sports: Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, NCAA Basketball

Sean McDonough (born May 13, 1962) is an American television sportscaster.




Early life and career

The son of Boston Globe sportswriter Will McDonough, Sean graduated from Syracuse University in 1984. It was in Syracuse where McDonough began his broadcasting career in 1982 as the play-by-play announcer for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. Four years after graduating from Syracuse, he began broadcasting Boston Red Sox games on WSBK-TV (Channel 38) in Boston with former Red Sox catcher Bob Montgomery. McDonough was an Ivy League football announcer for PBS. He was a sideline reporter from 1984–85, and a play-by-play announcer from 1986–87.

CBS Sports

He began work for CBS Sports in 1990, where he broadcasted college basketball (including 10 NCAA tournaments), college football (including the prestigious Orange Bowl game), the College World Series, the NFL, U.S. Open tennis, 3 Winter Olympics (bobsled and luge in 1992 and 1994 and ice hockey in 1998), and golf (including 4 Masters and PGA Championships).

Major League Baseball on CBS

Outside of New England, he is probably best remembered for his time as CBS' lead baseball announcer, a role in which he was teamed with Tim McCarver. In 1992, at the age of 30, he became the youngest man to announce the national broadcast (and all nine innings of all of the games played) of the World Series. Coincidentally, that particular record would be broken four years later by Fox's 27-year-old Joe Buck, the son of the man McDonough replaced on CBS, Jack Buck.

Technically, Vin Scully, who was 25 when he called his first World Series in 1953 is the youngest man to ever do play-by-play for a World Series. However, unlike Sean McDonough and later, Joe Buck, Scully was there as a representative of the Brooklyn Dodgers (the policy of World Series broadcasters at the time allowed representatives of the participating teams to do alternating play-by-play on the national television broadcasts) instead of an actual network employee (as was the case for Scully when he was NBC's lead baseball play-by-play man from 19831989).

Perhaps Sean McDonough's most famous call is his emotional description of the Atlanta Braves' Francisco Cabrera (who had only 10 at-bats at the major league level that season) getting a dramatic, game-winning base hit in Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Line-drive and a base-hit!!! Justice has scored the tying run, Bream to the plate...and he's SAAAAFE!!! Safe at the plate!!! The Braves go to the World Series![1]

He also called the final play of the subsequent 1992 World Series, in which the Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-American based team to win the Major League Baseball's world championship:

Nixon bunts! Timlin on it! Throws to first . . . For the first time in history, the world championship banner will fly north of the border! The Toronto Blue Jays are baseball's best in 1992!

A year later, McDonough called Joe Carter's dramatic 1993 World Series ending home run off Mitch Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies:

Well-hit down the left-field line! Way back and GONE! Joe Carter with a three-run homer! The winners and still world champions, the Toronto Blue Jays!

NCAA Basketball on CBS

McDonough's other major endeavor at CBS was his coverage of the NCAA Tournament with then-partner (and fellow Irish-American) Bill Raftery. McDonough and Raftery covered a number of regional finals in the 1990s before McDonough's run at CBS came to an end. The pair developed a terrific on-air rapport, thereby enabling McDonough and Raftery to spice up their broadcasts. Before the 1999 South Regional Final between Ohio State and St. John's from Knoxville, Tenn., McDonough and Raftery donned fishing gear as they previewed the game from a boat on the Tennessee River, which was just outside the arena.

A year earlier, McDonough--with Raftery at his side--called one of the great buzzer-beaters in NCAA Tournament history, as Connecticut defeated Washington in the East Regional Semifinals on a last-second shot by Richard Hamilton. McDonough and Raftery still work together to this day along with Jay Bilas as part of ESPN's Big Monday coverage.


Since 2000, McDonough has announced baseball, college basketball, college football, and NHL and NCAA hockey for ABC and ESPN. Specifically, McDonough announces many Big East college football and basketball events.

It was McDonough calling the play-by-play on March 12, 2009 on ESPN between UConn and Syracuse which went into 6 overtimes, becoming the longest game in Big East history clocking 3 hours and 46 minutes. The final score was 127–117 in favor of Syracuse. Also on the broadcast was color commentary from Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas.

Leaving the Red Sox

McDonough continued to announce local Red Sox broadcasts during this time, moving over the years to different local stations including WFXT (Channel 25), WABU (Channel 68) and WLVI (Channel 56). Over the years, his other obligations began to interfere with his announcing of Red Sox games, and he seemed to call fewer and fewer each season. In 1996, he was teamed with former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy, with whom he worked for nine seasons before McDonough was replaced completely in 2005 by NESN announcer Don Orsillo.

He turned down an offer to become the New York Mets play-by-play man on television.

Career timeline

External links


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