MLB – WHY I LOVE LISTENING TO BASEBALL GAMES (ALMOST) MORE THAN WATCHING

Since I was a small child, baseball has been my favorite sport.

And, when I wasn’t watching baseball as a kid, I was playing it with my Dad & my brother in the backyard or out on the street in front of the house when we needed more room.

But, perhaps even better than watching and playing ball for me, is listening to it.

Radio commentators take us right to the heart of the action.  It’s all about what happens at the plate and on the field, in real time.  There’s no filler or distracting shots of the crowd (most of them are buried in their cell phones anyway).  I just hear the crowd noise in the background as if I’m there with them and let the game unfold – pure and simple from another person’s point of view.

There’s also something about using my imagination as the radio commentator(s) sets the stage and tells the story of the game.  I rely upon my memory of what the field and players look like, providing a romanticized viewpoint.

And, if I’m lucky enough to listen to a particularly adept announcer, he/she can actually make the game seem more dramatic and build the tension with their own excitement for the game.  (I actually prefer it sometimes over TV commentators who over-stat everything in baseball.)

Take Vin Scully.  He has been the Dodgers radio announcer since 1950 (64 seasons) and knows a thing or two about the game as well as having been a witness to history.  But, it’s his delivery of the game as it unfolds to us the audience that makes him so great.  He uses his buttery voice to describe the physical makeup of the players, give us the stories, and pass along history with only occasional use of the stats.  But, he doesn’t rely on them.  In fact, he’s been known to say: “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

That said, I do wish there were more women MLB radio commentators.  I am only aware of 1 for the 30 teams, and she does not do the play by play.  (Suzyn Waldman for the Yankees.)

Not sure what the issue is in this regard.  Does MLB think that men mostly listen to games, and wouldn’t be interested in hearing a woman?  Or, do they have the opinion that there is an abundance of experienced male broadcasters over women?

It’d be great to finally have a woman’s perspective of the play by play for an MLB team that has knowledge, creativity, and a love for the game that stems back to childhood like I do.  There are many little girls, women, and men that I’ll bet would love to listen to a woman like that.

I’ll still continue to love listening to the likes of Dan Dickerson for the Tigers and John Sterling for the Yankees.  Male or female, great commentators like those provide a wonderful experience of baseball that could just be better than watching.

For more  info on where to find full listening coverage of all MLB games, use the “AT BAT” App like I do.  Every game for every team, every point of view.

 

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