Ranking MLB's Top 16 TV Announcers
When I turn on the TV on a summer night, you can bet that baseball will be on. Personally, I will probably be watching the Phillies and listening to Chris Wheeler.
However, I know that we all have different preferences when it comes to announcers. That is why I thought I would conduct a little survey of my fellow Featured Columnists here on Bleacher Report.
I simply asked who their favorite announcer was and why.
As might be expected, we all have individual preferences, and there were a lot of announcers tied with one vote apiece. As a result, I’m going to impose my authorial privilege and put them in order as I believe they should be.
Any words in quotation marks are attributed to my 27 great respondents. I want to thank all of them, and you all should check out their work after you finish with mine.
16. Joe Buck (1 Vote)
I think that a lot of people are going to have very strong reactions to Joe Buck even being on the list, but I do think that he does a pretty good job most of the time.
"Buck always has the biggest games of the year and really knows his stuff when it comes to doing the play-by-play. Although he doesn't cover games on a daily basis, he knows a ton about the game and never seizes to let watchers down"
15. Chris Wheeler (1 Vote)
It is not that I don't like Chris Wheeler, but is there really any way to follow Harry Kalas?
"Most people don't like Wheels and there is good reason for that. He isn't the most charismatic and he often makes blunders and silly statements. That said, he probably has the best baseball mind of all announcers. He constantly answers correctly the Dodge Stump the Fans Trivia and has insight from years of being involved with the sport. It is knowledge you don't often get elsewhere and I enjoy watching the games as a result of it"
14. Paul O'Neill (1 Vote)
I am sorry that I was not able to find a video for you of him actually announcing, but he does a solid job. As a former player, he understands the game on a level that many people don't.
"Aside from being my favorite Yankee back in the day, Paul O'Neill is the best announcer for New York because he brings his knowledge and experience from his playing days to the booth and doesn't try to pass the time with unnecessary information and anecdotes."
13. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy (1 Vote)
Living in New England, I have watched my share of Boston Red Sox games, and these guys are pretty funny. I know that I could have had a more serious video on this slide, but they had so much fun that I did not want to discount that.
"Don (play-by-play) and Jerry (color) have been together in the booth for over a decade, and have served as two of the best announcers in the game during that time. The two have fantastic chemistry and are notorious for cracking up in the booth with their countless jokes and contagious laughter. Despite the entertainment factor, their credibility however, has not been sacrificed. Jerry Remy is one of the most thorough and knowledgeable color commentators in the game. Orsillo and Remy are truly beloved in Boston."
T-11. Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling (1 Vote)
Because I watch Philadelphia baseball, I certainly have heard of these guys quite a bit, and I think that they do a pretty good job. I would have to agree with Nathan that they are more on the unbiased end of the spectrum.
"I picked Ron and Keith because they are far and away the most insightful and very well-spoken. I am a biased Mets fan though so take my word as much as you please, but the two are themselves very unbiased (which isn't always fun to listen to as a Mets fan either!)"
T-11. Ron Darling (1 Vote)
I guess I could have combined these slides, but I didn't want to. They are technically classified differently by the voters.
"Ron Darling gets a lot of credit in the New York area for his outstanding work in local telecasts, but I think he is underrated nationally. Darling is well-spoken, incredibly informed and has a knack for understanding when to dive into entertaining first-hand stories within a game's narrative."
10. Steve Stone (1 Vote)
He seems to be well spoken, and even though things did not work out so well with the Chicago Cubs at the end, the fact he was able to jump right into a variety of other jobs speaks to his talent.
"Steve is very insightful. He has a brilliant baseball mind. He's always professional, and he is quite impartial. He loves the game, not just the team that he's announcing for."
9. Michael Kay (1 Vote)
I know that people like to hate on Michael Kay, but I have always thought that he was a solid announcer who does his job.
"Despite my hatred for the Yankees, I've always liked Michael Kay. I guess I just find him informative and he doesn't take away from the game. That, and he's not Joe Buck or Gary Thorne. Also, I'm sure Vin Scully is going to get enough votes."
8. Thom Brennaman (1 Vote)
I remember watching that Steve Bartman game, and I wonder what I would have said if I would have been in that situation. How do you really respond to that?
"He is the most consistently underrated announcer on both Fox's MLB and NFL broadcasts. People forget he was on the call of the Bartman game and not Slow Joe Buck. Great voice, just the right energy, and always in tune with the game. A pro's pro."
7. Sean Casey (1 Vote)
Personally, I find Sean Casey fun to listen to. Like Kyle said below, he seems to have a great time doing his job.
"The guy just has a blast up there. The rest of the Reds' TV announcers are pretty dreadful, but Casey makes losses enjoyable with his stories and the way he can relate to the players these days because he isn't far removed from the game."
6. Joe Morgan (1 Vote)
When I listen to Joe Morgan, I simply think that he is a solid announcer. He knows his job, and he does not distract me from the game. I appreciate that.
"Classic and with a high baseball IQ, a rare find these days. Most will point to Vin Scully, but my pick is Joe."
5. Ken "Hawk" Harrelson (1 Vote)
Surprisingly, I don't have a problem with his bias. If the television announcer is fun to listen to, I am totally up for that. Also, you cannot tell me that you have never repeated this home run call.
"He's an unabashed homer. As an ardent fan with a passion for the Chicago White Sox, I can relate to the unadulterated elation and heartbreak that Hawk makes no attempt to hide. And if you have never heard Hawk tell you why he hates Jay Mariotti or explain what a Hiney Bird is, you are missing out."
4. Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow (1 Vote)
I love these guys. Maybe it is my bias from playing so many years of MVP Baseball, but Kruk and Kuip are fun to listen to.
"I'm an A's fan, but these guys are the best in the biz. They're knowledgeable, smart, funny and have a knack for when to talk baseball versus spice it up with trivia, providing commentary on fans, etc. They never give the players lame nicknames (they'll roll with the popular ones created elsewhere though (Panda) and their HR calls are legit without being obnoxious (see Chicago White Sox). The tone, the knowledge, the insight, the enthusiasm, the humor, the "baseball voice", these guys are the complete package together."
3. Ken Singleton (2 Votes)
He seems to be a pretty honest analyst, and like many of the people on this list, having a background as a player certainly helps his knowledge base.
"He doesn't [mess around]."
"Primarily an analyst on the YES Network, Singleton draws on his experience as a ballplayer to give top-notch analysis that is both informative and entertaining. You can tell that he's having fun in the booth, and that vibe makes the game all the more enjoyable."
2. Gary Cohen (2 Votes)
Even though I am a Phillies fan, I have to give credit where credit is due. Gary Cohen is certainly entertaining.
"As the Mets' TV play-by-play announcer, Gary Cohen has always been full of historical knowledge that is relevant to the game being covered. He's also impeccably impartial and calls both sides of the field evenly - no home-team bias from Mr. Cohen."
"He's as knowledgeable, if not more knowledge than any other announcer in baseball. His calls are great and it makes watching Mets games that much more enjoyable."
1. Vin Scully (10 Votes)
I really am just going to let all of the quotations speak for themselves because I do not know what else I can add beyond the obvious.
"He's a legend. His knowledge of the game is evidence by his flawless commentating which is done with great detail. Each televised game is announced as if it were on the radio. One can close their eyes and picture exactly what's happening in the game."
"He's the best. He's been doing it forever, and his knowledge of baseball's history is unparalleled. He adds small insights to every game that make each experience unique."
"The Shakespeare of announcers. A Hall of Famer. Still great at age 85."
"Scully sets up the action in a way that is easy even for the most casual of baseball fans to understand. He's also the only announcer in all of baseball who doesn't need a color commentator by his side. He doesn't need one, he describes all of the action perfectly. Over 60 years after his career in announcing baseball games started, he's still unique."
"He's the best in the business, and it isn't even close. Scully has the perfect blend of intelligence and objectivity to be an announcer, not to mention an iconic voice. Scully, without a doubt, sets the standard among announcers of every sport in any era."
"There's nothing like hearing an old-timer like Vin call a game. Listening to a game he calls brings back MLB history and everything he's experienced."
"What more needs to be said about Vin Scully other than that I turn to the Dodgers' broadcast when my Braves play in Los Angeles? Scully is still so good and gives you amazing details about things you would never think of in addition to being a one-man play by play and color guy. The best announcer ever regardless of what team you like."
"No one can tell a story like Vinny."
"Not only does he call the game in a unique way with no color guy, he knows everything about the Dodgers and the opposing players. He calls the game in a manner no one else ever will again."
"Knowledgable and great storyteller"
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