The San Francisco Giants have had some truly great announcers in their history by the bay. Hall of Fame announcers like Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons and Jon Miller have entertained us with their wit, stories and of course their description of the game. Hank Greenwald was another fine announcer for the Giants.
Currently, the Giants' lead play-by-play man Duane Kuiper and analyst Mike Krukow are a pair that Giants fans adore. "Kruk and Kuip" as they are fondly referred to are a great tandem and it's hard to imagine one without the other.
Here are five of my favorite "Kruk and Kuip" memories.
Tim Lincecum has struck out over 200 batters in each of his four full seasons
I have heard the saying "Grab Some Pine, Meat," hundreds if not thousands of times. It is now in the consciousness of every long-time Giants fan who has ever listened to Mike Krukow on the Giants' broadcasts.
Barry Bonds provided many "we are goin' home" moments
Duane Kuiper has the distinction of calling the ninth inning of every Giants game. Frequently, when there is a walk-off home run or a hit to end a game, we hear his phrase, "We are goin' home," as the ball soars over the fence or when the Giants runner crosses home plate safely.
It's an exciting call, which tops off an exciting game. Whenever you hear it, you know the Giants have won.
In the 2002 NLCS, the Giants were facing the St. Louis Cardinals. The winner would advance to the World Series. Kenny Lofton was at the plate with David Bell on base. Lofton singles and here comes Bell rounding third base..
Bell is not a fast runner, nor is he slow. The throw is on its way, but is off line, enabling Bell to score as he dives head first into home plate.
As Duane Kuiper made the call, you could hear Mike Krukow simply yell out, "we're goin'." Krukow obviously meant that the Giants were going to the World Series, but his simple "we're goin'" is etched in my memory forever.
Closer Brian Wilson hopes to rebound from arm trouble in 2011
It was Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS and the upstart San Francisco Giants were one out away from defeating the Philadelphia Phillies and heading to the World Series.
Giants closer Brian Wilson was in with two runners on base. At bat was slugger Ryan Howard. The moment was tense, as a base hit ties the game and an extra base hit probably wins it for Philadelphia.
With two strikes, Wilson froze Howard and got the called third strike, and the Giants' bench erupted. The Phillies and their fans were dumbfounded and numb as they watched the Giants celebrate on their field.
I don't remember the exact words Duane Kuiper yelled on that strike three call, but I do remember throwing my arms up in the air, knowing that we were going to the World Series.
In May of 2010, the Giants were already displaying the tendency of winning close, nail-biting ball games. After one particularly tight game, Duane Kuiper coined the phrase "torture," when it came to watching Giants baseball.
"Torture" took on a marketing whirlwind all on its own. The Giants continued throughout the season playing torturous, intense games and the "torture" slogan fit the team perfectly.
The fans adopted the term and we began to see signs and shirts all around the ball park proclaiming that "Torture never felt so good."
With the Giants' proclivity of playing low-scoring, one-run games, the "torture" moniker stuck even throughout the 2011 season. It is now synonymous with Giants baseball and judging by the Giants' offseason moves, we are likely to see it again in 2012.
The date was Nov. 3, 2010 and the San Francisco Giants were celebrating their first World Series title in San Francisco. The team moved west in 1958 and it took them 52 years before they finally won it all.
As a lifelong Giants fan, I was beginning to get worried that I, like long suffering Cubs fans, would never live to see my team win a World Series. Fortunately for me, the Giants did it and I was able to cross that item off my "Sports Fan Bucket List."
The parade route was lined with elated, screaming fans. Pure joy reigned in The City. When the parade ended, there were hundreds of thousands of people who lined the route or were at the final destination of City Hall.
When Mike Krukow stepped to the microphone, he paused, then delivered this stirring, emotion packed moment which I call his "You owe it" speech.
"And everybody here today, you are standing here and you are not standing alone. You are standing with the person that taught you the great story of the San Francisco Giants — whether that be your Dad, or your Mom, a friend, or your sister, or your Grandpa.
They taught you right. They taught you that you had to be loyal; you have to love your team. And to a man on this team, this 2010 team, to a man back in August, they plugged into you, and you fueled and energized this group, all the way until the crazy month of September and into what was an epic month of October, and what is one glorious day in November.
And you have but one responsibility. You owe it to the person who taught you the good book of the San Francisco Giants. You need to pass this story on. Keep this love alive. And when you tell the story, simply tell ‘em, We’re the Giants. We’re San Francisco. And we’re the World Champions!”
"Cruz waiting on Wilson. And the right hander for the Giants throws...SWING AND A MISS! AND THAT'S IT! The Giants... for the first time in 52 years, the Giants are world champions, as they come POURING OUT OF THE DUGOUT....circling Brian Wilson! The bullpen...flying in from left-center field...dancing, hugging....and you can't help but think, that this group is celebrating....for the Say Hey Kid, for Will The Thrill, celebrating for No. 25, and celebrating for all you Giants fans, wherever you are... Giants fans...this party is just getting started!"
Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have entertained us for over two decades. It is a pleasure listening to them, along with Jon Miller and Dave Flemming on the Giants' broadcasts.
Those familiar voices can bring a smile, a laugh, a tear or a yell, but no matter what, you know Giants baseball is on the air.