Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MLB Network's Top 50 Calls All-Time

I was trying to search for some of MLB Network’s “Top 50” countdowns online and I noticed I couldn’t find much. Here’s what I was able to gather from their top 50 broadcasted calls of all time. I didn’t get the idea to write them down until #22, so the details are scarce on a lot of them and unfortunately there’s some I’m completely missing. For some I was only able to note the team, but for all the ones from #22 and below, I was able to gather the announcer too. Sadly, some may be upset that I was able to provide less detail regarding the moment following #22, and for that I apologize.

Unfortunately, as this is an A’s blog, there was not one Athletics call on the countdown, though there were a couple done in a game the A’s experienced some famous misfortune. It’s a shame Bill King isn’t admired a lot more posthumously – I definitely expected to see Scott Hatteberg’s walk-off to seal the 20th consecutive victory in 2002, as it was truly unforgettable (both the call and the moment). Despite that, I’m surprised at least one of Ken Korach’s calls weren’t on the list. They couldn’t easily put Tejada’s walk-off home run off Eddie Guardado in the 17th consecutive win as one of the better calls ever, and the same goes with Braden’s perfect game. My perceived injustice is only magnified by the presence of Hawk Harrelson’s call of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, in which he screamed “Alexei,” and subsequently screamed “YES.” Quite profound for the vocabulary-impaired, I suppose. I thought technical play-by-play involved painting a picture of some sort. Either way, the subjectivity involved in a national network’s countdown tends to leave the less-noticed teams near the bottom, or in this case, entirely off the list.

Despite that, it’s hard not to love MLB Network. Since I failed in collecting the announcer for each call, I listed what information I did have, starting with the team in which the call focuses on. Here’s the list...

MLB Networks Top 50 Calls of All Time

50. Detroit Tigers: Armando Galarraga’s near perfect game in 2010

49. Houston Astros: Chris Burke walk-off HR in the 18th inning

48. Chicago White Sox: Scott Podsednik walk-off in 2005 World Series

47. San Francisco Giants: Jon Miller calls Barry Bonds’ 71st HR

46. Atlanta Braves: Jayson Heyward HR in 1st MLB plate appearance

45. Milwaukee Brewers: Bob Uecker calls Ryan Braun HR vs. Cubs

44. Arizona Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez GW-single off Mariano Rivera in Game 7 of 2001 WS

43. New York Yankees: Chris Chambliss HR at Yankee Stadium, crowd storms field

42. ???

41. New York Mets: Endy Chavez robs HR in Game of 2006 NLCS

40. Chicago White Sox: Ken Harrelson calls final out of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game

39. New York Mets: Jesse Orosco K’s Marty Barrett to win 86’ WS in Game 7

38. Cincinnati Reds: Pete Rose breaks all-time hit record

37. Montreal Expos: Final out of Dennis Martinez’ perfect game

36. Detroit Tigers: Kirk Gibson hits HR off Goose Gossage in 84’ WS

35. St. Louis Cardinals: Willie McGee’s 2nd HR of Game 3 in 82’ WS

34. New York Yankees: Bucky Dent HR in 1978 AL East Tiebreaker at Fenway Park

33. ???

32. ???

31. New York Mets: Robin Ventura’a Grand Slam single in Game 5 of 99’ NLCS

30. Boston Red Sox: Joe Buck calls Red Sox’ final out of 2004 WS vs. St Louis

29. Chicago Cubs: Ernie Banks’ 500th career home run

28. San Francisco Giants: Either Jon Miller or Duane Kuiper call Bonds’ 756th HR, sets all-time record

27. St. Louis Cardinals: Jack Buck calls Mark McGwire’s 62nd HR to set single-season record

26. ???

25. Boston Red Sox: Joe Buck calls David Ortiz’ walk-off HR in Game 4 of 04’ ALCS

24. ???

*23. New York Mets: Bill Buckner’s E3 in 1986 WS

22. St. Louis Cardinals: Harry Caray’s call in October of 1964

21. New York Yankees: Phil Rizzuto’s call in September of 1961

20. St. Louis Cardinals: Jack Buck’s call on September 9, 1998

19. Boston Red Sox: Dick Stockton calls 1975 World Series

18. Atlanta Braves: Skip Caray’s call of Francisco Cabrera driving in Sid Bream in the 92’ NLCS vs. PIT

17. Seattle Mariners: Dave Niehaus calls 1995 ALDS

16. Seattle Mariners: Dave Niehaus calls Griffey Jr. scoring to win 95’ ALDS vs. NYY

15. Los Angeles Dodgers: Vin Scully in September, 1965

14. New York Yankees: Vin Scully calls final out of Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 7 of 56’ WS

13. Philadelphia Phillies: Harry Kalas calls Mike Schmidt’s 500th HR

12. Los Angeles Dodgers/ Brooklyn Dodgers: Red Barber calls 1947 WS

11. Minnesota Twins: Jack Buck calls Kirby Puckett’s walk-off HR to force Game 7 of 1991 WS

10. San Francisco Giants/ NY Giants: Jack Brickhouse calls Willie Mays’ catch in 1954 WS

9. Boston Red Sox: Al Michaels calls Dave Parker’s HR against Angels in 86’ ALCS

*8. New York Mets: Vin Scully calls Buckner play in 86’ WS vs BOS

7. Toronto Blue Jays: Tom Cheek calls Joe Carter’s walk-off HR to win 93’ WS

6. Atlanta Braves: Milo Hamilton calls Hank Aaron’s 715th HR to set all-time record on 4-8-74 (A’s won WS that year)

5. St. Louis Cardinals: Jack Buck calls Ozzie Smith’s HR in 85’ NLCS (“Go crazy folks!”)

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Mel Allen calls Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off HR in Game 7 of 1960 WS vs. NYY

*3. Los Angeles Dodgers: Vin Scully calls Kirk Gibson’s walk-off HR in Game 1 of 1988 WS vs. OAK

*2. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jack Buck calls Kirk Gibson’s walk-off HR in Game 1 of 1988 WS vs. OAK

1. San Francisco Giants/ NY Giants: Russ Hodges calls Bobby Thompson’s “shot heard around the world”

(*play appears twice)

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