Sportscaster Jack Buck
All St. Louis Cardinals Baseball fans know the name Jack Buck. The legendary sportscaster received countless awards, including the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and is honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. The I-64/US 40 in St.Louis, Missouri has been named in Buck's honor.
Public domain photo courtesy Wikipedia/John Mena
This 1997 photo shows Buck with his autobiography That's a Winner!
Photo Courtesy: Redbirdsfun
Jack Buck was born on August 21, 1924, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The third of seven children by Kathleen and Earle Buck, who was a railroad accountant who commuted weekly to New Jersey. In spite of his association with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jack grew up a Boston Red Sox fan and idolized Jimmie Foxx. When Jack was 15, his father got a job in Cleveland with the Erie Railroad. A year later, Earle Buck died at the age of 49 due to high blood pressure.
As a teenager, Jack worked as a deck hand on the iron ore boats of the Great Lakes. He was soon drafted into the Army where he served in World War II. In 1943, Buck became a corporal and instructor with K Company, 47th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On March 15, 1945, Buck was wounded in his left leg and forearm by shrapnel while crossing the last (Remagen) bridge into Germany to stop enemy fire. Buck was ultimately awarded a Purple Heart after spending time in a Paris hospital. (Years later, Buck discovered that fellow future sportscaster Lindsey Nelson was also with the 9th Infantry and was wounded in the same battle.)
Prior to his broadcasting career, Buck attended Ohio State University, where he majored in radio speech and minored in Spanish. Buck paid for college by working at an all night gas station.
Buck crafted his play-by-play skills broadcasting Ohio State basketball games. After college, he called games for the Columbus Red Birds, a Triple-A (American Association) affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1950-51. He spent the 1953 season as voice of another AAA Cardinals affiliate, the International League Rochester Red Wings on WHEC (AM). His work there earned him an invitation to join....(read more)
"I don't think there is anyone in any sport who combined the supreme talent with a great personality. He is also is one of the most wonderful people who ever walked the face of the earth. I don't think there's anybody who compares to Stan Musial on both fronts."-Jack Buck.
Buck's 9-11 Poem - September 17, 2001, at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis.
Buck wrote a poem named For America that he read at the first Cardinals game after the 9/11 attacks to describe the emotions of the general public after September 11. This was one of the ailing Buck's last public apperences before his death on June 18, 2002. The poem:
Since this nation was founded under
God, more than 200 years ago,
We've been the bastion of
The light which keeps the free world
We do not covet the possessions of
Others, we are blessed with the
Bounty we share.
We have rushed to help other
War is just not our nature...we
Won't start, but we will end the fight.
If we are involved we shall be
Resolved to protect what we know is
We've been challenged by a
Cowardly foe, who strikes and then
Hides from our view.
With one voice we say there's no
Choice today, there is only one
Thing to do.
Everyone is saying the same thing
And praying that we end these
Senseless moments we are living.
As our fathers did before, we shall
Win this unwanted war.
And our children will enjoy the
Future, we'll be giving.
Memorable Calls by Jack Buck
Select notable calls from the Hall of Fame broadcaster
1.*****Breaking ball, hit off the pitcher, TO THE THIRD BASEMAN!!! No play! Base hit! Three thousand for Lou Brock!
-------Calling Brock's 3,000th career hit in 1979.
2.*****Montana lines up at the five. And on third-down-and-three he rolls right, looking to throw...looking to throw...and he throws into the end zone, touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown, San Francisco, by Dwight Clark!
-------Calling "The Catch" in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
3.*****Sutter from the belt, to the plate...a swing and a miss! And that's a winner! That's a winner! A World Series winner for the Cardinals!
-------Calling the last out of the 1982 World Series. Bruce Sutter struck out Gorman Thomas.
4.*****Smith corks one into right, down the line! It may go...Go crazy, folks! Go crazy! It's a home run! And the Cardinals have won the game, by the score of 3-2, on a home run by The Wizard! Go crazy!
-------Calling Ozzie Smith's walk-off home run off Tom Niedenfuer of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series.
5.*****The Dodger right-hander is set and here's his pitch to Jack Clark. Swing and a long one into left field! Adios, goodbye, and maybe that's a winner! A three-run homer by Clark and the Cardinals lead by the score of 7 to 5 and they may go to the World Series on that one, folks!
-------Calling Jack Clark's 9th inning three-run home run off Niedenfuer in Game 6 of the 1985 National League Championship Series to give the Cardinals the lead and the National League Pennant.
6.*****Here's the pitch to Mookie Wilson. Winning run at second. Ground ball to first, it is a run...an error! An error by Buckner! The winning run scores! The Mets win it 6 to 5 with three in the 10th! The ball went right through the legs of Buckner and the Mets with 2 men out and nobody on have scored three times to bring about a seventh game, which will be played here tomorrow night. Folks it was unbelievable. An error, right through the legs of Buckner. There were 2 on, nobody out, a single by Carter, a single by Mitchell, a single by Ray Knight, a wild pitch, an error by Buckner. 3 in the 9th for the Mets. They've won the game 6-5 and we shall play here... tomorrow night! Well, open up the history book folks, we've got an entry for you.
-------Calling the final moments of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
7.*****Off the stretch, Orosco, here's the pitch...swing and a long one into left field! Way back in the corner...GRAND SLAMMMMMAAHHH! A grand slam home run by Herr! And that's a winner! Twelve to eight!
-------Calling Tom Herr's game-winning grand slam home run against the New York Mets in April 1987.
8.*****Here's the pitch...Swing and a fly ball, you want another winner here? Coleman going to it...YOU GOT IT! That's a winner! 6-0 Cardinals!
-------Calling the final out of the 1987 National League Championship Series as the Cardinals advanced to the 1987 World Series.
9.*****Gibson...swings and a fly ball to deep right field. This is gonna be a home run! UNBELIEVABLE! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don't believe what I just saw! I don't BELIEVE what I just saw!
-------Calling an injured Kirk Gibson's walkoff home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series off of Dennis Eckersley.
10.*****Into deep left center...for Mitchell...and we'll see you...tomorrow night!
-------Calling Kirby Puckett's walkoff home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series.
11.*****The Twins are gonna win the World Series! The Twins have won it! It's a base hit! It's a 1-0, ten inning victory!
-------Calling Gene Larkin's game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
12.*****Mike Morgan is the pitcher. Here's the pitch to McGwire...SWING..looky there! LOOKY THERE!!!! Looky there! Number sixty-one!!! McGwire's flight 61 headed for Planet Maris! History! Bedlam! What a moment! Pardon me while I stand up and applaud!
-------Calling Mark McGwire's single season record-tying 61st home run in 1998.
More Buck Clips
Another Buck Quote
"It (George Steinbrenner's new yacht) was a beautiful thing to observe with all thirty oars working in unison."