By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor
No sport is better to listen to than baseball. Even with this year’s sped-up rules, there are more down times than football and basketball, allowing the announcer to not only describe the action but narrate it as well. The best baseball announcers can entertain and educate.
Below are our picks for the 10 best baseball TV announcers of all time — and some YouTube videos that allow you to take a listen to their greatness. Enjoy.
1. Vin Scully
No list of baseball announcers would be complete without Vin Scully. Serving as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for an astounding 67 years, Scully’s eloquence, smooth delivery, and storytelling prowess made him a legend in the broadcasting industry. Vin’s soothing voice and relaxed style was so comforting that Dodgers fans would bring radios to the game so they could continue to listen to him.
2. Bob Costas
Bob Costas has become synonymous with baseball broadcasting. His versatile career has seen him cover numerous World Series, and his ability to seamlessly transition between play-by-play and analysis has made him one of the most respected voices in the game. While Costas can be polarizing, no one should discount his understanding of the game, both past and present, and his ability to communicate that.
3. Jon Miller
Known for his distinctive voice and vast baseball knowledge, Jon Miller has been a fixture in the announcing booth for decades. His colorful descriptions and infectious enthusiasm have made him a beloved figure among fans, particularly during his tenure with the San Francisco Giants. If there’s a radio broadcaster today who can compare to the great Scully, this is the guy.
4. Red Barber
Red Barber was a legendary figure in the world of sports broadcasting, particularly renowned for his role as the television announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers. With his distinct Southern accent and charming demeanor, Barber captivated audiences with his rich storytelling and insightful commentary. From 1939 to 1953, he brought the games to life for fans across the nation, painting vivid pictures of the action on the field. Barber’s passion for the game, coupled with his engaging style and unmatched knowledge, made him a beloved and influential figure in the history of sports broadcasting.
5. Joe Buck
Joe Buck’s polished style and ability to capture the intensity of the game have earned him a place on this list. As the lead play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports, he covered multiple World Series and possesses a knack for delivering memorable calls during critical moments. Buck is now with ESPN doing Monday Night Football, but he has expressed hope that he can do baseball again. Let’s hope with him.
6. Mel Allen
Mel Allen, the iconic former TV announcer for the New York Yankees, was a captivating voice that brought the excitement of baseball into the homes of millions. With his distinctive baritone and legendary catchphrase, “How about that?”, Allen’s voice became synonymous with the Bronx Bombers and the golden era of the sport. And do you remember the show, This Week In Baseball? That was Mel doing the voice over.
7. Dick Enberg
Dick Enberg’s versatile career spanned multiple sports, but his impact on baseball broadcasting is undeniable as a local play-by-play for the San Diego Padres and nationally for NBC. Known for his eloquence and memorable catchphrases, Enberg’s enthusiasm for the game was infectious, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Oh, my!
8. Ernie Harwell
Ernie Harwell, the legendary former announcer for the Detroit Tigers, was a beloved voice in baseball. With his warm and distinctive delivery, Harwell captivated fans for over four decades, from 1960 to 2002. Known for his deep knowledge of the game, Harwell had an uncanny ability to bring every pitch, swing, and play to life through his colorful descriptions and insightful commentary. His iconic catchphrases, such as “It’s long gone!” and “That one’s outta here!” became synonymous with Tigers baseball.
9. Gary Thorne
Gary Thorne’s energetic and passionate approach to announcing made him a favorite among fans. With a career spanning several teams, including the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, Thorne’s enthusiasm and genuine love for the sport shine through in every broadcast. He’s been in semi-retirement for the last few years since a dispute with MASN where he worked as the Orioles’ play-by-play man. Let’s hope he gets back in the baseball booth soon.
10. Curt Gowdy
Curt Gowdy was a legendary baseball TV announcer, known for his distinctive voice and unparalleled passion for the game. Throughout his career, spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s, Gowdy captivated audiences with his masterful storytelling, insightful analysis, and unwavering enthusiasm. Best known for his work on NBC’s Game of the Week, ‘The Cowboy’ had a smooth delivery and deep understanding of the sport.
Honorable mentions go to Al Michaels, Jack Buck, Bob Uecker, Harry Carry, Russ Hodges, Phil Rizzuto, Joe Garagiola, Harry Kalas, Charley Steiner, Bob Carpenter, Dave Niehaus, and Michael Kay. So many greats.
The selections and article were compiled by the TV Answer Man team and ChatGPT.