Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Top 50 Sportscasters

The American Sportscasting Association released their list of the Top 50 Sportscasters of All-Time last month. Ken McMillan is the sports radio and TV maven for the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY and he breaks it all down here.

The top 50 are:
1 - Vin Scully

2 - Mel Allen

3- Red Barber

4- Curt Gowdy

5- Howard Cosell

6- Bob Costas

7 - Jim McKay

8- Keith Jackson

9 - Al Michaels

10 - Dick Enberg

11 - Jack Buck

12 - Ted Husing

13- Jack Brickhouse

14- Don Dunphy

15 - Graham McNamee

16 - Ernie Harwell

17- Marv Albert

18 - Harry Caray

19 - Jon Miller

20 - Bill Stern

21 - Chick Hearn

22- Marty Glickman

23 - Jack Whitaker

24 - Jim Nantz

25- Chris Schenkel

26 - Lindsey Nelson

27 - Russ Hodges

28 - Ray Scott

29 - John Madden

30 - Bob Prince

31- Joe Buck

32 - Milo Hamilton

33- Bob Wolff

34 - Chuck Thompson

35 - Chris Berman

36 - Phil Rizzuto

37 - Marty Brennaman

38 - Clem McCarthy

39 - Bill Walton

40 - Foster Hewitt

41 - Harry Kalas

42 - Johnny Most

43 - Bob Elson

44 - Brent Musberger

45 - Pat Summerall

46 - Merle Harmon

47 - Dick Vitale

48 - Dick Stockton

49 - Tony Kubek

50 - Bud Collins

Runners up: Terry Bradshaw, James Brown, Andres Cantor, Skip Caray, Gary Cohen, Don Criqui, Jimmy Dudley, Joe Garagiola, Frank Gifford, Greg Gumbel, Tom Hammond, Sonny Hill, Ned Jarrett, Jaime Jarrin, Charlie Jones, Bill King, Jim Lampley, Cawood Ledford, Verne Lundquist, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Bob Murphy, Van Patrick, Herb Score, Jim Simpson, Bob Uecker and Ken Venturi.

OK, of course I agree with Scully at number one, and have no problem with Allen at number two (I would have gone with Red Barber). I think Cosell gets way too much credit (he wasn't that popular during his prime). After that, it becomes crazy to argue who is ranked where. I don't think Bill Walton would be in my top-50 - that might be my biggest debate. Graham McNamee at number 15 proves what I've said for years - that he should be a recipient of the Frick Award.

What else? Let's see - the locals who have chimed in have screamed about Bob Murphy as an honorable mention, and no Ralph Kiner, yet fail to notice that Lindsey Nelson (probably the best of the three old Mets broadcasters) is at #27. Those same people rip Phil Rizzuto's placement. I've been down that road, and I'm not going there again. Listen to him call his three innings for Roger Maris' 61st home run and you'll hear a completely different announcer than the guy that did birthdays and anniversaries with Bill White, Bobby Murcer and others on WPIX. Personally, I'd like to see Frank Messer get a nod, but I'm going to yell about it.

I also think it's difficult to rank these men as one group. I get it - they're sportscasters in total, but many of them qualify as play-by-play men (Scully, Barber, etc), while others are analysts (Walton, Tony Kubek, Dick Vitale), and still others are, to me, anchors and reporters (Jack Whitaker, Brent Musberger, and Cosell).

It's all open to debate. Overall, I'd say it's not bad.

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