Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ralph Kiner, Special Announcer:

I promise that - after this entry - there will be at most one more blog entry about the Mets' first baseball game, that I'm listening to on my mp3 player. Ralph Kiner announced the third and fourth innings of this game. He had become an announcer the year before, and there's some polish in his delivery. There was something really special about Kiner's announcing, which I will try to explain. (I'm also thinking about adding this info to his Wikipedia entry.)

When someone hits a flyball home run, the announcer usually calls it like this: "It's a long fly ball ... going way back there, ... way back ... it's a home run." Now I'm pretty sure the announcer is not trying to build suspense. Rather, he's trying to avoid saying something like this: "It's a long fly, a three run home run! Oops, the center fielder catches it at at the wall for the third out." In fact, the announcer initially isn't sure the ball is going out of the park, so he plays it safe.
Now Ralph Kiner hit 369 home runs, and as an outfielder he watched many more fly out of the park. He KNOWS what a home run looks like, and he tended to call them this way when the fly ball was hit: "It is gone, goodbye." No wishy washy playcalling for him.
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