Top 10 Best Announcers

This list represents the best in-game announcers that I've heard call a game. As such, this will clearly not be the be all end all list of best announcers. I know, by reputation, many of the great game callers in history. However, I have no frame of reference to effectively rank them.

Before the proliferation of widespread cable access, baseball announcers were generally regional. Each team had their own announcer that fans grew to love as much as their favorite players. As free agency became commonplace, the fans could still rely on the announcer to be there year after year. As media has grown, I have had the opportunity to hear many of the greats call a game. Here's my list, help me fill in the gaps with some of the older greats of yore.

10. Orel Hershiser (ESPN) - Hershiser kicks off the list as the first of many ex-pitchers. He's knowledgeable and objective when calling games. He also offers pitching insight during games.

9. Ron Darling/Keith Hernandez (Mets) - Similar to Hershiser, Ron Darling offers key pitching commentary to the game. The Mets have a nice dichotomy of hitting and pitching perspective with this duo, as Hernandez brings a great hitting and fielding aspect to their broadcasts.

8. Jim Palmer (Orioles) - Combining a good announcing voice with, yet again, great perspective, Palmer does solid color work for Baltimore. Another thing I like about Palmer is that he doesn't over talk. He'll let some time pass so the viewer can enjoy the game.

7. Harry Caray (Cardinals/Cubs) - Harry was mostly known for calling Cubs and Cardinals games. The Cubs were one of the few teams I could watch growing up, so Harry was a summer staple in my youth. He had some nice catch phrases, and called play by play well.

6. Steve Stone (Cubs/White Sox) - Harry's Cubs broadcast partner, again providing great pitching and player inside knowledge, was Steve Stone. A former Cy Young winner with Baltimore, Stone broke the game down well.

5. Al Michaels (Nationwide) - Michaels is a versatile announcer that has covered most sports. He has a very good voice for calling games.

4. Ernie Harwell (Tigers) - Thanks to the MLB Extra Innings cable package, I was able to see some Tiger games called by Harwell. He typically called games by himself as many older announcers did. Harwell was also known for catch phrases that endeared him to Tiger fans.

3. Ralph Kiner (Mets) - Kiner called Mets games for years with Tim McCarver. As a kid, I loved visiting my grandfather in Brooklyn in part because of Met games. Kiner had/has a way of seamlessly going from banter to game action. Occassionally, he will sit in with Darling and Hernandez, and it's clear he can still call the games.

2. Harry Kalas - Even though they were rivals, I loved watching Phillies games growing up. Mostly this was because of Harry. It was like watching the game with your grandfather. I didn't care for Ashburn, but Harry combined his outstanding voice with great, memorable calls.

1. Vin Scully - No matter what team you root for, any baseball fan that flips the remote to a game called by Scully will keep watching. The ultimate solo announcer, Scully expertly does play by play and color by himself. As with Harry K, it's like watching the game with a very knowledgeable grandfather. I wish Scully still called the World Series.

Who are some other greats?


  1. i agree with this list. scully and kalas cant and never will be replaced

  2. Scully is really good- has that HK quality that I grew up loving. One name not mentioned which I think has to be on this list - Hawk Harrelson. "You can put it on the boaaaarrrrddddd... yessss!" or the epic "You've gotta be bleepin me!"

  3. He gone!!

    Harrelson is amusing, but he's an uber homer and I find him annoying. His partner made the list, Steve Stone.

  4. Not sure if he's any less annoying than Caray but he's not as much of an icon, either. You nailed it... One of the best things about MLB Network and Extra Innings packages is the ability to get a glimpse of out of market baseball, in true form. You can compare your guys to the other out of market broadcast teams.

  5. Growing up a Phillies fan I have to add By Saam. Great radio voice. And I loved Ashburn. Funniest announcer I've ever heard. Very dry sense of humor and you had to listen to when he would have the other teams signs figured out by the 5th inning.

  6. What about Mel Allen and Red Barber?

  7. That's a tough assignment when you blend pbp with color anlysts and try to knock it down to 10 people. 10 of each would be tough. The one guy that stands out as missing to me is Jack Buck. The more I think about it, the more names I could come up with, but Buck really stands out. I'll throw 1 unsung name out there which I believe people in the business would readily agree with, but I don't think national audiences would be quick to agree with because of familiarity. Mark Holtz did the Texas Rangers games for quite a while before succumbing to cancer.

  8. Never liked the Pirates much when I was a kid, but loved listening to Bob Prince on the radio. He was a great one!


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