Monthly Archives: July 2010

Broadcaster Jon Miller to be Inducted Into Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday

 

Jon Miller (left) will be introduced at the Baseball HOF Induction Ceremony by Joe Morgan, his ESPN broadcast partner and Hall of Fame member

Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jon Miller.  That has a great sound to it, just like the man’s radio and television descriptions of the game of baseball.

Sunday, Miller, who broadcasts nationally for ESPN and locally for the San Francisco Giants, will be inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He “got the call” while on a cruise with his wife just after they had docked in Cartagena, Columbia in early February.  Miller couldn’t help himself when he told his wife the news.

“So I go up, find her on deck and say, ‘By the way, sweetheart, there’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask you.'” Miller reminisced.

“Did you ever sleep with a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame?  She got a little ticked off and said, ‘What kind of question is that?…Oh, oh.  Wait…a…minute!’  So it was kind of fun that way.”

Leave it to Miller, who routinely does yoga to relax in the broadcast booth, to find a creative way to inform his wife of his election to the Hall.  Everything he does in – and apparently out of – the booth is creative.  Miller was one of the great announcers I had the privilege to listen to over the years.

From the time I began listening to baseball broadcasts on radio (and occasionally on television), I have listened to some of the greats of the game.  Mel Allen and Red Barber in New York…Vin Scully in Los Angeles…Harry Caray and Jack Buck in St. Louis…Ernie Harwell in Detroit…Chuck Thompson in Baltimore…and, of course, Miller also in Baltimore.

He broadcast’s games like the listener is a friend.  Accuracy is very important to him, even if it is radio.  He prides himself on calling the right pitch thrown.  Every game is important…despite posting some really bad seasons, people in Baltimore always tuned into WBAL radio…first to hear Thompson, then Miller…to hear how the O’s were doing.

One time in particular, might have really confused people.  The O’s were being blown out, and Miller was in full stride…one inning he broadcast the game doing his great impression of Vin Scully…the next, he broadcast in Spanish…and my favorite…one inning in Japanese.  Seriously, you had to listen.

Jon Miller has broadcast games for the Oakland A’s (1974), the Texas Rangers (1978-79), the Boston Red Sox (1980-82), the Baltimore Orioles (1983-96) and the San Francisco Giants (1997-present).  He also called the Game of the Week on NBC (1986-89) before moving to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (1990-present).  First only local fans of these teams had the opportunity to hear Jon Miller…but nationally since 1986, if just for one night a week, everyone could (can) hear his stories and learn about the game’s history.

On Sunday afternoon, Miller will be introduced a the Hall of Fame induction ceremony by his longtime ESPN partner and Hall of Famer himself, Joe Morgan.  After his acceptance speech, which should be very entertaining, Miller will be followed by the day’s other inductees: umpire Doug Harvey, manager Whitey Herzog and outfielder Andre Dawson.  Indeed, these inductees are in great company.

Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Jon Miller

I have met Jon Miller on several occasions, but the one I remember best was an early March spring training game in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, between the Orioles and the New York Yankees.  No one noticed the large, nearly bald guy wearing a big flowered shirt walking up to the booth…except for me.  I asked if he had a minute…and he did.  He said, “It’s only spring training, but I can’t wait to get going and let the folks back home know how the O’s are looking.”  As for Miller, he was in mid-season form…in both voice and dress.

Congratulations to Jon Miller…I hope you have a chance to hear him call a game or two!

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Today’s World Cup Quarterfinal Match-Ups

Brazil vs. Netherlands

The Netherlands' Arjen Robben must be a big part of this game or the Dutch will he heading home

Good Morning!  We have a potential FIFA World Cup classic for you in the early morning game.  Two outstanding teams, both of whom could win it all…but they are meeting in today’s quarterfinal match-up.

Each team is more defensively-minded than in the past when offense was the name of the game.  Back in 1974, when the Dutch were known as Clockwork Orange for their amazing passing and offensive skills, they defeated Brazil 2-0.  Brazil returned the favor in a 3-2 quarterfinal victory 20 years later, when a late free kick won the game after the Dutch came back from a 2-0 deficit.  Finally, in the 1998 semifinal, Brazil won in a penalty shootout.

My gut feeling, after seeing both teams play a lot in the past few weeks, is we are looking at another one goal game…I am not sure who will get the victory, but I am favoring Brazil today.  Brazil features a great scorer (usually from the left side) Robinho, who usually plays in front of Kaka.  Names by now, everyone knows.  The Dutch score from the right side, with Arjen Robben looking for the net.

Defense is where the game will be decided…which team will have the better game?  Stop Robben and Brazil keeps on playing…stop Robinho, and the Dutch will be 2-2 against Brazil in the World Cup and will head to the semifinal round.

Regardless, one of these two teams definitely can win the World Cup.  Brazil is my choice.

Uruguay vs. Ghana

Uruguay's Diego Lugano heads a stout defense

This is another tough match-up to call…because I would like to see both teams advance for different reasons.  Uruguay has looked very good…considering this is one of the few countries in the world to have won a World Cup (they beat Brazil, 2-1, in front of 200,000 Brazilian fans in Rio de Janeiro’s new Maracana Stadium back in 1950)…Uruguay’s population is about 3.5 million – the size of Connecticut…Uruguay is bordered by Argentina and Brazil…and seems to have been infected with the good soccer played in both of those countries.

Ghana…conquerors of the United States (in extra time)…so we should pull for them, right?  Ghana, the last African nation playing…again, we should pull for them, right?  Ghana…there just may be some magic left as an entire continent is now backing them.

But, only 11 players on the field at a time does not a continent make.  Uruguay, the Sky Blues, feature Diego Forlan, a dangerous striker and Diego Lugano, their captain, who heads up a stingy defense.  If they are on their game, Ghana will be heading back 3000 miles to their homes after today’s late game.  Ghana has Asamoah Gyan, as you will recall from the U.S. match.  He is fast and has a lethal shot.

It comes down to this for me: who can score goals…it is Uruguay, and they will advance to the semifinals with a victory over the Black Stars.