A fascinating tour of baseball’s greatest moments and iconic stadiums, told through the reminiscences of 50 play-by-play broadcasters.
With careers spanning two to three times that of an average player, baseball’s best broadcasters have no shortage of history to offer. They have witnessed opening days, no hitters, slugfests, and perfect games, all from arguably the best seats in the house. Broadcasters know their clubs, their stadiums, and their teams in a way that no one else can.In The Voices of Baseball: The Game's Greatest Broadcasters Reflect on America's Pastime, Updated Edition, Kirk McKnight provides an in-depth look at each of Major League Baseball’s thirty ballparks from the perspectives of the game’s longest-tenured storytellers. Fifty broadcasters reflect on their most iconic calls, fondest memories, what makes their ballparks unique, and more. This updated edition includes 14 additional broadcasters, two new stadiums, the latest World Series calls from the booth, and a special tribute to the recently-departed Vin Scully.With decades of broadcasting between them, their stories encapsulate some of Major League Baseball’s biggest moments. Generations of baseball fans will all enjoy the historic and triumphant memories shared by some of the game’s greatest broadcasters in The Voices of Baseball.
Kirk McKnight is an American author specializing in interview-based sports books ranging from the diamonds of baseball to the Zamboni-swept ice of hockey. McKnight’s other books include The Voices of Hockey: Broadcasters Reflect on the Fastest Game on Earth and Batting Clean: Why Dale Murphy Belongs in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. McKnight currently serves as the associate editor for The Wickenburg Sun, a weekly Arizona newspaper. He resides in Wickenburg, Arizona.
Introduction: In a Word, “Theatrical”
1Joe Castiglione & Ken “Hawk” Harrelson at Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
2Chip Caray, Pat Hughes, Len Kasper, Bob Costas, & Steve Stone at Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
3Vin Scully & Charley Steiner at Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)
4 Dick Enberg, Terry Smith, & Rex Hudler at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels)
5Ken Korach at RingCentral Coliseum (Oakland Athletics)
6Denny Matthews, Ryan Lefebvre, & Rex Hudler at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals)
7Mike Wilner at Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)
8Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone at Guaranteed Rate Field/Field of Dreams (Chicago White Sox)
9Jon Miller & Gary Thorne at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
10Eric Nadel at Globe Life Park in Arlington/Globe Life Field (Texas Rangers)
11Tom Hamilton & Jim Rosenhaus at Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians/Guardians)
12Jack Corrigan & Wayne Hagin at Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
13Dave Wills, Andy Freed, & Charlie Slowes at Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)
14Greg Schulte & Tim McCarver at Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)
15Rick Rizzs & Aaron Goldsmith at T-Mobile Park (Seattle Mariners)
16Jon Miller at Oracle Park (San Francisco Giants)
17Bill Brown & Robert Ford at Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)
18Dan Dickerson at Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)
19Greg Brown at PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)
20Bob Uecker, Brian Anderson, & Jeff Levering at American Family Field (Milwaukee Brewers)
21Marty Brennaman at Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds)
22Tom McCarthy & Jim Jackson at Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)
23Ted Leitner, Dick Enberg, & Jesse Agler at Petco Park (San Diego Padres)
24Dan McLaughlin, Joe Buck, & Tim McCarver at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
25Charlie Slowes at Nationals Park (Washington Nationals)
26Howie Rose & Wayne Hagin at Citi Field (New York Mets)
27John Sterling & Michael Kay at Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)
28Dick Bremer at Target Field (Minnesota Twins)
29Dave Van Horne at LoanDepot Park (Miami Marlins)
30Jim Powell & Chip Caray at Truist Park (Atlanta Braves)
31This Was a Parking Lot, Now It’s Turned into an Outfield
32And That’s a Life: A Tribute to Vin Scully
About The Author
McKnight, a sportswriter and blogger, nicely captures baseball’s best moments, players, and places through the eyes of the folks whose job it is to paint pictures with their words—baseball announcers…. McKnight’s choice to present each story in an announcer’s unique voice makes [the chapters] lively and charming, and each chapter comes together in its own special way.… [A] testament not only to the baseball’s TV generation, but also to its golden age.
Baseball broadcasters usually have longer careers than those of the players whose games they call. It’s that unique perspective that gives their recollections a compelling context…. [T]here is plenty of rich baseball lore here, and it comes straight from the mouths of those who have been there.
There are baseball books about ballparks, and ones about broadcasters. What author Kirk McKnight has done here is to fuse the two, getting broadcasters who know the parks well to describe them and the players and dramas that have enlivened all 30 current major-league stadiums, as well as some from the past.
Players may come and go, but the connection for many baseball fans to their favorite team remains constant thanks to the voices that describe the games. Kirk McKnight does a wonderful job profiling the people whose passion for the game in their accounts, win or lose, maintains that love affair for fans.
Voices of Baseball is a great read. Kirk McKnight gets a knock with his ground-level look into baseball’s historic ballparks and iconic plays that make them special venues. The moments and memories that make each stadium unique is perfectly captured by the home team radio and television broadcasters that paint the pictures and tell the tales in brilliant fashion. A well written baseball book for the ages.
It's one of the oldest expressions in the history of man: "If only these walls could talk!" In the case of Kirk McKnight's informative and entertaining The Voices of Baseball, the walls do talk—or certainly they come alive in the words of some of the most prominent broadcasters in the game's history. What an idea Kirk had. Let's face it, I would buy a book to hear Vin Scully's tales alone, but Kirk also spoke with Frick Award recipients like Jon Miller and Eric Nadel—just to name a couple of the announcers whose recollections grace the book. If you are a fan of baseball and a fan of broadcasting (and Kirk does as good a job as anyone has ever done blending the two), I highly recommend The Voices of Baseball. Baseball is a sport for storytellers. If you close your eyes and use your imagination, the walls talk in his book.
The Voices of Baseball takes you through all the teams and all the ballparks in a fascinating, storytelling way from some of baseball's most spellbinding oral historians. Kirk McKnight sends you on a journey from Safeco Field in the Pacific Northwest to Marlins Park in South Florida, spinning accounts of historic games from students of baseball history. You'll be entertained by the descriptions and accounts of some of your favorite voices.
Kirk McKnight has done all baseball fans a great service. He’s bought you a ticket and takes you along with him right into the ballparks and right into the game. If you love baseball, you’ll love this read!
President Bill Clinton's appearance on the Baltimore Orioles' broadcast of Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game is one of the many stories that brings McKnight's book to life. The Baltimore chapter is one of the book's best, thanks to the storytelling ability of announcer Jon Miller, who now works in San Francisco. Miller talks about his call of Ripken's fourth-inning home run being drowned by Clinton's reaction. Other behind-the-scenes tales include how Ripken was dealing with a fever that week, amid the stress of approaching the record, and how he didn't want any kind of ceremony once the game became official in the fifth. Teammates practically shoved him out of the dugout to do a victory lap. The stories behind Ripken's record is an example of how McKnight went far beyond his original plan to describe the ballparks.
In The Voices of Baseball, Kirk McKnight serves up a detailed and unique cross-section of baseball history. This history is told by baseball’s broadcasters, using the sport’s ballparks as the backdrop. Each chapter is focused on a different MLB franchise, and McKnight immerses us in that team’s ballpark—its stories, eccentricities, top players, and games—through quotes from the team’s play-by-play voices. McKnight’s latest work is a gem for baseball fans of all ages—either to relive memories or to take a plunge into baseball’s past.
Whenever there’s a picture of Vin Scully, I smile and listen in my mind even though he’s no longer talking. Kirk McKnight has awakened that audio, and with it the audio of many of the other baseball broadcasters of our era. What a grand way to visit all our ballparks.
If you have a love for baseball and, specifically, broadcasting, this book is for you. It’s an opportunity to get first-hand insight from many of the game’s top voices on some of their fondest memories behind the mic, while also capturing some of the pristine details of the ballparks each of them have called home. Baseball is a beautiful game and that beauty shines through each page.
4/16/23, USA Today: National baseball writer Bob Nightengale highlights the new edition in his syndicated column calling it “fabulous.”
6/4/23, Shore Sports Talk with Vin Ebenau: Kirk McKnight joins the show to discuss the book.
6/29/23, Tucson Weekly: Kirk McKnight’s book is featured in an article about books by Arizona authors to read this summer.
Link: U2FsdGVkX19wdzknMe0J6jffFtKtgIIg2mG7CEu9_8pV1kH3wnZAOw (burrelles.com)
9/2/23, BLEAV Baseball & Barbeque podcast: Kirk McKnight joins Jimmy Carbone, Brett Mandel, and Ray Sheehan to discuss baseball and the book.