The 20 Greatest Sports Announcer Calls Of All Time (With Video)
If seeing is believing, than hearing is remembering.
When something incredible happens in sports it will be remembered.
However, how it will be remembered is in the announcers hands.
There are five seconds after a great play happens.
Those five seconds are the announcer's chance to leave his mark on history.
What he says will determine how the play is remembered.
If he says something simple the play will be legendary.
If he says something incredible the play will be immortal.
While announcers have disappointed in a handful of these opportunities, they've succeeded under the spotlight as well.
Let's take a look at 20 sports announcer calls that have echoed through time.
20. Mark Boyle: 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Call: "Ding-dong the witch is dead!"
Unless your name was Hakeem, Michael or Scottie, the 1990s were not a fun time to be a professional basketball player.
Reggie Miller was no exception to this rule.
While most teams had trouble getting past the Bulls in the '90s the Pacers had a different problem: They couldn't get past the Knicks.
Patrick Ewing and the Knicks always had the Pacers' number in the '90s, so in 1995, when the Pacers finally got past the Knicks you knew it would be special.
When Patrick Ewing threw up "The missed layup heard 'round the world" and the Pacers finally took a series from the Knicks Mark Boyle made you realize just how long they had been waiting.
This one was for Reggie.
Here's the video (You might want to fast forward to around 6:30):
19. Appalachian State Radio Team: September 27, 2007
Call: "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! ... The Mountaineers have just beaten the Michigan Wolverines!"
Can you define the word insane?
Because after you watch this, it will have a whole new meaning.
18. Sam Rosen: 1994 Stanley Cup Finals
Call: "The waiting is over! The New York Rangers are the Stanley Cup Champions! And this one will last a lifetime!"
The state of New York waited and waited and waited and waited and waited for their beloved Rangers to win a Stanley Cup.
It was 54 years to be exact.
So when they finally got their Stanley Cup it was an extremely special moment. When Sam Rosen said it would last a lifetime, he wasn't lying.
17. John McAdams: 1992 NCAA Tournament East Regional
Call: "There's the pass to Laettner. Puts it up. YES"
Sometimes the simplest calls are the best.
This one is as simple as it gets, but it's also as good as it gets.
16. Joe Buck: September 8, 1998 (McGwire's 62nd Home Run)
Call: "He did it! He did it! He did it! He did it! He did it! He did it! In St. Lou.!"
Roger Maris' home run record was supposed to stand forever.
So when "Big Mac" topped it, the moment was HUGE.
As usual Major League Baseball had to be a killjoy and delete the video, but I think I've found something just as sweet:
15. Al Michaels: Super Bowl XXXIV
Call: "He came up one yard short."
This one is literally as simple as it gets, but it is still memorable.
Maybe it's the actual moment that outdoes the call in this situation, but there's no doubt that Al Michael's voice is cemented in anybody's mind that thinks about the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV.
14. Vin Scully: 1986 World Series
Call: "So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first; Behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"
Vin Scully is one of the greatest baseball announcers of all time. Calls like that show why.
When Bill Buckner didn't want to get his glove dirty he was already engraved into baseball history, with this call Vin Scully engraved himself along with him.
13. Dave O'Brien: August 7, 2007
Call: "Bacsik's 3-2 again. (Crack of the bat) There's a swing and a high fly ball, right-center field! Back it goes, racing back Logan jumping up and that ball is gone! Number 756! Barry Bonds stands alone. And on the night of August 7th, 2007, at San Francisco, California, Barry Lamar Bonds has hit more home runs than any major leaguer in the history of baseball."
Barry Bonds is baseball's all time home run king whether you like it or not.
Most people (me included) don't like it, but it is what it is. When Bonds broke the record you knew that somewhere there was an announcer who would give us something to remember, and Dave O'Brien was that announcer.
As usual, Major League Baseball has deleted all video evidence of this historic moment from YouTube, so I can't show you the call, but I can show the actual home run.
12. Bill Raftery: January 25, 1988
Call: "Send it in, Jerome!"
This has got to be one of the greatest one-liners in the history of sports.
When Jerome Lane dunked, he brought the rim down with him.
Great dunk and even better call.
11. Mike Keith: January 8, 2000
Call: "10, 5, endzone...touchdown, Titans! There are no flags on the field! It's a miracle! Tennessee has pulled a miracle! A miracle for the Titans!"
Thanks to this play the new millennium started with a bang.
The "Music City Miracle" was one of the craziest plays in the history of sports.
There are truly not enough words in the dictionary to describe this, so I'll skip straight to the video.
10. Jonny Most: 1965 Eastern Conference Finals
Call: "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!"
If you haven't heard this one by now, you either live in a different country or need to move to one, because this is the most famous call in the history of basketball.
John Havlicek's steal goes down as one of the greatest plays in NBA Playoff history.
If you take a closer look at the video, you'll find out that Havlicek isn't the only one who stole the ball. At 00:18 direct your attention to around the free throw line.
9. Bud Palmer... Sort Of: 1964 Summer Olympics
Call: "Look at Mills! Look at Mills!"
This was weird to say the least.
At the 1964 Summer Olympics Billy Mills was an unknown to the Track and Field world. He soon became a legend.
He became the first American to ever win the 10,000 meter race, and finished the race in an incredible 50 seconds less than his old personal best.
However, maybe the most memorable part of this race is the fans reaction.
Bud Palmer HAD the call until one crazy fan took over, and screamed the famous phrase: "Look at Mills!" Let's take a look:
8. Vin Scully: 1988 World Series
Call: "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"
Kirk Gibson's historic home run is a tale of two calls.
Vin Scully's and Jack Buck's.
We'll delve into Buck's a little bit later, but Scully's was tremendous.
It truly seemed impossible that Gibson would play in that game, let alone win it with a homer.
Sorry no video or audio for this one. I'd like to give a special shout out to Major League Baseball for that one.
7. Jack Buck: 1985 NLCS
Call: "Go crazy, folks!"
Ozzie Smith was known for flashing the leather.
Home Runs were a rarity for The Wizard Of Oz which is what made this one so special.
After Smith won Game Five of the 1985 NLCS, it's safe to say that he didn't need to tell folks to go crazy, but we're all glad he did.
6. Brad Sham: October 27, 2002
Call: "Move over sweetness, make a place for Emmitt"
This one will forever stick with Emmitt Smith.
When he passed Walter Payton and became the NFL's all-time leading rusher most announcers would have simply screamed "He did it!"
However, Brad Sham gave us a treat. Let's take a listen.
5. Howard Cosell: The Sunshine Showdown
Call: "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"
I kind of feel bad for Joe Frazier, it must be embarrassing to be knocked out by a grill salesman.
4. Jack Buck: 1988 World Series
Call: "I don't believe what I just saw!"
No you're not seeing things, Kirk Gibson's home run is really making it's second appearance on this list.
Kirk Gibson could barely walk going into the 1988 World Series.
So when he emerged from the locker room, it was special. When he stepped up to the plate, it was special. When he hit a home run, it was unbelievable.
3. Russ Hodges: 1951 NL Pennant
Call: "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
Most people couldn't tell you that Bobby Thomson hit the shot heard 'round the world.
Most people couldn't tell you that the year was 1951.
Most people couldn't tell you that the Giants were playing the Dodgers the night this home run was hit.
However, most people could tell you, "The Giants win the pennant!"
The call is more legendary than the actual play, and that's saying something.
2. Joe Starkey: November 20, 1982
Call: "Oh, the band is on the field! He's gonna go into the end zone! He's gone into the end zone! ... The most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football!"
This became known as simply "The Play." However, it's hard to even call it a play. It involved a bunch of laterals, a marching band, an announcer going absolutely insane, and a band member getting jacked up after the whistle.
Yea, it's safe to say this was a special "play".
1. Al Michaels: 1980 Winter Olympics
Call: "Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?... Yes!"
The greatest moment in sports history was blessed with the greatest call in sports history.
The Miracle On Ice is the most remembered moment in the history of American sports and Al Michaels has a lot to do with that.
Let's take a listen.