clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Local announcers used to join World Series broadcasts. Fox should revive the tradition

It would make the broadcasts more interesting.

This post was prompted by a comment left in my article about the Ken Holtzman trade providing dividends years later. I included this video of Holtzman hitting a home run for the Athletics in the 1974 World Series:

The comment:

Announcers on Holtzman HR

Sounds like Kurt Gowdy, Tony Kubek and a 3rd voice I can’t ID.

The third voice is Monte Moore, who was the Athletics’ TV play-by-play announcer in those days.

From the 1950s through 1975, NBC, the rightsholder for the World Series, put announcers for the participating teams in their broadcast booth. For the early part of this era, it was only the two participating teams’ announcers splitting the time. In 1966, NBC hired Curt Gowdy as their primary baseball announcer and after that, the local broadcasters shared the booth with Gowdy, calling only a couple of innings and occasionally only their team’s home games. Here’s video of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1968 World Series called by Harry Caray, then the Cardinals primary announcer:

The other voice on that clip is Gowdy. The interviewer at the end of the video is Ernie Harwell, who was the Tigers’ main radio voice for many years.

The practice ended in 1977, when ABC began to share World Series coverage with NBC.

I think World Series broadcasts today would be greatly enhanced if Fox, the current rightsholder, would invite a broadcaster from the team(s) involved to join the booth, maybe call an inning, at the very least provide some information or local color from someone who follows the team on an everyday basis. Wouldn’t you have loved to hear Len Kasper calling part of the 2016 World Series? I certainly would.

Bob Carpenter has been the Nationals’ TV voice for 14 seasons and Todd Kalas (son of longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas) has been Houston’s TV play-by-play man for the last three seasons after spending 19 years as part of the Rays’ TV crew in Tampa.

Personally, I’d love to hear from those guys during the World Series. That’s especially true if the viewer isn’t that familiar with the teams. The local broadcasters know much more about the teams than the national guys.

It’s obviously too late to do this for the 2019 World Series, which begins tomorrow. Fox should consider this going forward, though. It would make for a much better broadcast.