Friday, October 28, 2011

Loved the call, hated the moment

When St. Louis Cardinals hero David Freese belted a solo home run to dead center field to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, the Rangers fan in me cringed and tried to sink deeper into the couch. But as a broadcaster, I couldn't help but appreciate FOX's Joe Buck tipping his cap to his late father Jack.

"We'll see you tomorrow night!"

The same words that Jack Buck used to punctuate the dramatic finish of Game 6 of the 1991 World Series when Kirby Puckett launched a bomb over the left-center field wall.

Now those words are part of St. Louis Cardinals lore, the same team that featured Jack Buck as lead broadcaster for decades.

And while this tribute to his father is certainly significant -- not just for the World Series Game 6 parallels but also the fact that it was a Cardinals victory -- it's not the first time Joe Buck attempted a tribute to his father. In Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox staved off elimination on a David Ortiz walkoff home run after midnight on the East Coast. Joe Buck capitalized on the moment:

"We'll see you later tonight."

Whether you love Joe Buck or hate him, anyone who has an appreciation for broadcasting knows exactly what was going on in that booth. All broadcasters have their vocal heroes they have either worked to emulate, blatantly or subconsciously. Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully, Jack Buck -- these are legendary voices, and in this era of broadcasters, hearing Joe Buck pay tribute to a man he no doubt admired as a broadcaster but also as his father was special.

Broadcasters of the world, I don't believe what I just saw! heard!

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