When I was in the Fan Radio booth during the summers of 2005 and 2006, I spent much of my time trying to be “that guy” on the microphone.
Instead of being my own person and having the same small-town Illinois accent that I’ve carried since childhood, I tried to be a mixture of Wayne Hagin (pictured) and Chris Berman on the microphone.
That tactic blew up in my face.
In fact, the only reason I became popular as an announcer was because my home run call was in honor of a cute girl that I knew at the ballpark. What better way to cement your name on Wikipedia by having your home run call placed above Hawk Harrleson, who I believe has the most annoying home run call in history.
But I digress.
If I had to pick three announcers that I would not want to listen to, the first one that would come to my mind would be Mets announcer Wayne Hagin. He's been broadcasting in the majors for over 25 years for teams like the Rockies and (cough, cough) the Cardinals after Jack Buck left the KMOX booth in 2001.
While Jack Buck made you feel like you were at the game during his 47 years of being the soundtrack of Cardinals baseball, Hagin sounded more like the guy that would read the entire 26-volume World Book on audio cassette.
In fact, if one heard the leadup to Jim Edmonds’ dramatic home run in Game 6 of the NLCS, instead of just saying, “Here’s the pitch” and letting the listener at home figure out whether or not the pitch was a strike or a ball, he talks about Edmonds’ flair for the dramatics and then provided the Cardinal Nation with his most famous call during his short stay in St. Louis:
“SWING AND A LONG ONE! WE GO TO GAME SEVEN...A GAME WINNING HOME RUN!”
While I admit, it wasn’t the same as Jack Buck’s calls during the 1985 NLCS, Hagin, instead of letting the crowd noise tell the story, he kept on talking through the whole commotion at Busch, giving new meaning to the word douchebag.
When he switched over to KPLR-TV with another drab broadcaster in Rick Horton, Hagin again proved why most people (probably including myself) don’t need to go into broadcasting.
From what some of my friends have told me in the past, maybe instead of teaching English after graduation, the world of radio broadcasting is a good backup plan for yours truly.
Hopefully, if I do become a baseball announcer, it won’t be anywhere in the same breath as Mr. Hagin.