Sports Broadcast Journal wrote:
Based on marketplace merit, durability, edge, warmth, artistic contribution, distinction and style – these are Halby’s top 5 play-by-play announcers in each of the top 10 DMAs (designated market areas).
The list in each market is spelled out in alphabetical order. Some markets are easier to grade than others .
Popularity of both sport and team market by market is also a consideration. There are no right and wrong answers because play-by-play is both a science and art. The science is the use of nomenclature, pace and fundamentals and the art includes warmth, proper pausing, bond-building and storytelling .
JACK BRICKHOUSE, HARRY CARAY, JIM DURHAM, BOB ELSON AND HAWK HARRELSON
This involved splitting hairs. Names considered include popular broadcasters of yesteryear; Hal Totten, Pat Flanagan, Bert Wilson, Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd. Currently an argument can be made for Pat Foley, Pat Hughes and Neil Funk. Tough market to limit to five!
Thanks to the former superstation WGN-TV (as opposed to WGN America, which carries nothing worth watching anymore), people with cable TV, or people who lived close enough to Chicago, could see and hear the work of nearly everyone on this list:
Only those of a certain age might remember that Brickhouse did the Cubs and the Bears:
This list prompted Kyle Cooper to think:
First, let’s consider the entire state of Wisconsin to be a single market, since the population to this day is under six million. That’s smaller than the New York City DMA and barely bigger than Los Angeles.
That said, the top five is:
Bob Uecker (Milwaukee Brewers)
Jim Irwin (Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, etc.)
Eddie Doucette (Bucks)
Earl Gillespie (Milwaukee Braves, Badgers, etc.)
Matt Lepay (Badgers, etc.)
A solid quintet, to be sure. But it leaves out Merle Harmon, Blaine Walsh, and, in a roundabout way, Ray Scott. And, I’m sure I’m leaving out some other worthy candidates.
What’s your top five?
It’s hard to argue against Uecker, Irwin and Lepay.
Walsh worked with Gillespie on Braves’ games, but also did some national work:
Gillespie got to do some national work too, thanks to the Braves:
Scott was CBS-TV’s assigned announcer for Packer games, which means that in the TV blackout days Packer fans in Green Bay and Milwaukee only got to see Scott on road games.
Along with Harmon …
… a lot of fans not might remember Gary Bender, who did sports at WKOW-TV in Madison and announced Badger football and the Packers (both with Irwin) before going to CBS:
There’s also Brewers TV announcer Brian Anderson, who misses Brewers games because he’s getting a lot of national work: