Best Home Run Calls by MLB TV Announcers
Not every announcer has a great catchphrase. Some probably do this consciously, believing that the fan's attention should fall on the game, and not the broadcast booth. In a sense, a good announcer should blend in, improving the game without the viewer even noticing his presence. Dan Shulman may be the best announcer in the game today, but his home run call does not make this list. Don Orsillo is excellent, but his home run call won't make the list either. The great Vin Scully lacked a distinctive home run call, instead understating dingers, announcing them the same way he called the entire game. This list does not celebrate MLB announcers: It celebrates home run calls, be they goofy or fiery.
Announcers that HAVE specific home run calls
Here are some other calls announcers have in the bigs that don't make the top five.
Michael Kay, New York Yankees. "See ya!" It's not much of a call, but he is consistent with it, and as a Yankee fan I enjoy it. My attitude towards Kay is that he's good, not great, and that sums up his call as well.
Victor Rojas, Los Angeles Angels. "Big fly for [Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, etc]." This one feels like a bit of a stretch. No one calls home runs big flies, so while I've heard a lot of good things about Rojas as an overall broadcaster, there's no way his call makes this list.
Tom Hamilton, Cleveland Indians. "Gone to souvenir city!" Nothing wrong with this call, but it's not special either.
Glen Kuiper, Oakland A's. "...aaaand, that baby's gone!" Simple, simplistic, not too over the top, but Ken Kuiper's brother's call doesn't quite make this list.
Drew Goodman, Colorado Rockies. "Take a good look, you won't see it for long." This one is growing on me the more I hear Goodman. It's great on long home runs, and what makes it an interesting call is that it only really works if he can call it while the ball is still in the air.
Bob Carpenter, Washington Nationals. "See....you...later." He varies his home calls though. That call is typically reserved for absolute bombs, when he knows it's gone right away. Carpenter has great energy, giving important home runs a little bit extra.
Victor Rojas Home Run Call
- Calhoun belts solo home run to right - YouTube
8/3/13: Kole Calhoun smashes a solo homer to right off Esmil Rogers to extend the Angels' lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth Check out http://MLB.com/vid...
I Hope David Wright's Spine Gets Its Act Together and He Can Play Again
Gary Cohen - Mets
Cohen has my vote for the best TV announcer in all of baseball. Even if you don't think he's the best announcer, the Mets broadcasting booth is easily the best in baseball, and that's coming from a Yankees fan. Cohen is a true professional, and probably has fought the temptation to develop a catchphrase for a long time. When he calls a home run though, you can hear the passion, and hear that he's simply a master commentator. More than any other announcer on this list, Cohen's calls capture the emotion of the home run, even if we can't remember what precise words he used to describe it. Despite that positive aspect, I actually think home run calls are the primarily weakness in Cohen's nearly perfect broadcasting game.
"Today it stands for Just Dingers."
Steve Berthiume - D'Backs
Ya gotta love listening to Steve Berthiaume call a D'Backs game. I don't care about the D'Backs, but I watch them when they're on just to hear Berthiaume on the broadcast. The reason he doesn't make the top five here is because his call lacks distinctiveness, and he can be inconsistent. He still usually provides a great call, and oozes good vibes. He's clearly the man.
Gary Thorne Home Run Call
#5. "Goodbye, home run!"
- Team: Baltimore Orioles
- Announcer: Gary Thorne
We all know Thorne has a great voice. He's also versatile, as he calls both hockey and football games in the offseason. Even though his call may not have a ton of flash, it's still great because Thorne's the one saying it. He typically gives it the right amount of passion too, adding a little extra in big moments and games. I cannot vouch for Thorne as an overall baseball broadcaster, but his home run call is straighforward, not too over the top, and entertaining.
Ken Harrelson Home Run Call
#4. "You can put it on the booooaard!"
- Team: Chicago White Sox
- Announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson
Really, this one should be spelled, "Stretch, stretch, he looks up, you caaaaan put it on the booaaard, yes! Yes! (insert White Sox hitter's first name/nickname)." Harrelson is the most polarizing announcer in the game, and in my opinion, also the worst overall. If you ever listen to a White Sox broadcast, it's incredibly unfriendly to the average fan. Harrelson narrates the game with a lot of nonsensical baseball jargon, which won't turn off the knowledgeable fan, but will frustrate someone just tuning in casually. Even as a Yankees fan, I value objectivity from my announcers, so it always strikes me as odd when White Sox fans say they love the fact that he's a "homer." Having said that, his home run call is energetic, unique, and celebrates a lot of the goofiness that makes the game of baseball so great, so as a call alone, it belongs on this list.
#3. "Clear the deck, cannonball coming!"
- Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
- Announcer: Greg Brown
While he started with the Pirates back in 1994, Brown only began saying this a few years ago. He also doesn't say it for every home run, mostly using it for home runs that are no-doubters right off the bat. On walkoffs he says his other classic line for Pirates victories, "Raise the jolly roger!" Like Buck Martinez, Brown's home run call is quite variable, so unfortunately one cannot expect a perfectly satisfying delivery for each round tripper. Also, Brown doesn't call every game for the Bucs, splitting duties with the slightly less entertaining Tim Neverett, but his home run line is still good enough to make this list. Brown also customizes his home run calls, with my personal favorite coming after a Jung-Ho Kang home run (pray for Jung-Ho). When Kang hit one Brown exclaimed, "Jung-Ho ho and a bottle of rum." However, that same silliness is the reason he isn't higher on this list, because sometimes he goes a little too far, like when he says, "Marte part-ay," in the below video. Marte partay? Geez.
Greg Brown Home Run Call
#2. "You can forget about this one!"
- Team: Toronto Blue Jays
- Announcer: Buck Martinez
Unfortunately, Martinez varies his home run calls quite a lot, and doesn't always give each call the same enthusiasm. It's a darn shame, but this year he's said "You can forget about this one" very sparingly. Personally, I cannot get enough of the way Martinez says, "Edwin Encarnacion" after a home run. Martinez's average home run call wouldn't be this high on the list, but even though Martinez does not always bring his top call for each dinger, his top calls are as good as anyone in the game, which makes him worthy of this ranking. Martinez specializes in true moonshots, and he gets plenty of opportunities to call those at the Rogers Center. He is also blessed with a deep, gravelly voice, which elevates him as well.
Buck Martinez Home Run Call
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#1. "He hits it high, he hits it deep, it is outta here!"
- Team: San Francisco Giants
- Announcer: Duane Kuiper
This home run call has just one flaw: Kuiper can only use it on balls that have been absolutely crushed. If he doesn't know it's getting over the fence right off the bat, he doesn't use this call. However, that just makes it all the sweeter when he does say it. Other than that, this call is hands down the best in the game, and the most exciting. It's not flashy, or pointless, but it's unique at the same time. Kuiper's delivery for the rest of the game distinguishes his call as well. For non-home runs, Kuiper is quite calm and restrained, so when he puts some belly into it for the home runs, it really stands out. Kuiper's got a great voice as well, and he really embellishes the call. If he worked it in more often, no other home run call would be close.
Duane Kuiper Calls Barry Bonds' 756th Home Run
Home run calls don't make or break an announcer, but they can be the cherry on top. What makes a great announcer is a combination of their ability to accurately call a game, and add something to the game: Small details, historical tidbits, entertaining banter, intangibles, etc. Good home run calls add a little something extra to the fans enjoyment. Simple silliness with home run calls is worthless, but a combination of creativity, delivery, and timeliness can create something that makes the game more enjoyable. Overall, home run calls are a small facet a baseball broadcast, but they can also be the most fun, and they reveal a lot about an announcer's presentation ability.