The Greatest Calls in Baseball History
This weekend, I watched an MLB Network countdown of the greatest calls in baseball history. It reminded me how much I miss Jack Buck. That’s not to diss any of the current announcing teams. Buck was iconic to the Midwest.
Oct 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Fox analyst Joe Buck prior to game one of the 2012 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers at AT&T Park. Image Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
In addition to the great Jack Buck calls, Joe Buck was featured in there as well. Of all the memorable Jack Buck calls, his call of the last out of the 1982 World Series was just shy of the top 50 calls:
"Sutter from the belt, to the plate…a swing and a miss! And that’s a winner! That’s a winner! A World Series winner for the Cardinals!"
The first call related to the Cardinals came in at #41. I remember the game well because it was Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Scott Rolen was at the plate and Jim Edmonds was at first. Gary Cohen had the call for WFAN in New York:
"Edmonds at first and one out, and Pérez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that’s deep, back goes Chávez, back near the wall, leaping, and…. he made the catch! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first, Edmonds… he’s doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chávez saved the day! He reached high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chávez, and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Óliver Pérez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chávez, and the inning is over."
Thankfully, Yadier Molina came through later that night with one of the most memorable home runs.
Coming at #35 was Jack Buck’s call of Jack Clark’s 3-run home run in 1985 NLCS Game 6:
"The Dodger right-hander is set and here’s his pitch to Jack Clark. Swing and a long one into left field! Adios, goodbye, and maybe that’s a winner! A three-run homer by Clark and the Cardinals lead by the score of 7 to 5 and they may go to the World Series on THAT one, folks!"
The Cardinals indeed won the National League pennant on that play.
The Cardinals were on the losing end of #30. Joe Buck was behind the microophone during the last out of Game 4 of the 2004 World Series.
"Back to Foulke. Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions!"
For Cardinals fans, 2006 made up for 2004.
27. Joe Buck, September 8, 2008, Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run
"Down the left-field line, is it enough? Gone! There it is, 62. Touch first, Mark, you are the new single-season home run king!"
22. Harry Caray, October 4, 1964, Cardinals win the NL Pennant.
"Now the Stretch, ready, everybody standing up, the pitch. A high pop foul. McCarver’s there. The Cardinals win the pennant! The Cardinals win the pennant! The Cardinals win the pennant! Everybody out. Johnny. Everybody congratulating everybody. I don’t know if they’ll ever get here. I don’t know if they’ll ever get here. The Cardinals just won the pennant! Mayhem on the field!"
20. Jack Buck, September 7, 2008, Mark McGwire’s 61st home run.
"Mike Morgan is the pitcher. Here’s the pitch to McGwire…SWING…looky there! LOOKY THERE!!!! Looky there! McGwire’s number sixty-one!!! McGwire’s flight 61 headed for Planet Maris! History! Bedlam! What a moment! Pardon me while I stand up and applaud!"
11. Jack Buck, 1991 World Series Game 6: Kirby Puckett’s walk-off home run.
"Into deep left center…for Mitchell … and we’ll see you .. .tomorrow night!"
5. Jack Buck, 1985 NLCS Game 5: Ozzie Smith’s walk-off home run
"Smith corks one into right, down the line, it may go!…Go crazy, folks! Go crazy! It’s a home run! And the Cardinals have won the game, by the score of 3-2, on a home run by The Wizard! Go crazy!"
2. Jack Buck, 1988 World Series Game 1: Kirk Gibson pinch-hit home run
"Gibson…swings and a fly ball to deep right field. This is gonna be a home run! UNBELIEVABLE! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don’t believe what I just saw! I don’t BELIEVE what I just saw!"