Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Is Your Chemistry?

A tweet this week asked if a specific baseball radio announcer did anything other than check the out of town scoreboard.  I responded that yes, she also contributes by giggling at her broadcast partner.
It's funny how broadcast partners come in all shapes, sizes and variations.  Some teams are the best of friends; others merely tolerate each other.

I was once familiar with a duo calling games in the New York Penn League.  They both had the same first name, Rick.  We referred to one as "Professional Rick," - he showed up to games prepared and dressed for success.  His partner, also named Rick, was "Unprofessional Rick," - he appeared just before the first pitch, unshaven in jeans and a t-shirt.  Both we good guys, and together they complemented each other nicely.

I've heard stories about ambivalent radiocasters, and one who actually spends his time between innings reading novels.  He really couldn't care less about baseball.

Other broadcasters travel the entire season together but can't stand each other.  While I've always worked with broadcasters who were good friends, I once had a time where my broadcast partner and I didn't talk for a few days - other than on the air.  Makes for a unique dynamic when you spend 3 hours in close quarters, plus time together on the bus.

Broadcast teams come in all flavors and on-air chemistry is ultimately all that matters.
How would you rate the chemistry of your favorite broadcast team?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jackie Robinson: A Special Friendship

"If Jackie Robinson likes me, I can't be that bad." - Tania Grossinger

Want a different look into who Jackie Robinson was?

In 1997 I was lucky enough to conduct a very special interview with Tania Grossinger during a WFUV Radio special.  Below is the brief interview, along with a follow-up chat recently on WFUV.  I haven't listened to this in years until One on One re-released it this week. 

I'm very proud to be involved, please listen.  You'll get a rare look into  what Jackie Robinson was like as a person.  It will make you appreciate him even more, I guarantee.

Please click here to listen to the brief interview with me in 1997

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Untold Tales From The Bush Leagues

Rick discusses the new behind the scenes minor league baseball book on KNUS Radio, Denver....

Jackie Robinson's REAL First Game

In the mid-90's I was part of a wonderful WFUV radio documentary about Jackie Robinson and his impact on baseball and America.  It was a terrific program, during which I had the chance to interview Marty Glickman and Ernie Harwell, among others, about their recollections of Jackie Robinson.  Bob Ahrens did a super job putting that show together, and I still have the cassette tapes!

Today I came across a very intriquing article from an outstanding baseball site, Baseball Past And Present.  This story chronicles Jackie Robinson's first minor league game, as told by one of his opponents. 
Read this, and you'll experience what makes baseball great.
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baseball Fights Are Necessary

A minor league baseball manager (and former big leaguer) once told me, "There's something wrong if you can't fight in this game from time to time."  I ate it up.
A short time later I called my first bench-clearing brawl.  It was ugly, gruesome and violent.  250-pound athletes pounding each other, some with running starts.
After the game, and for the next two weeks, the team's third baseman wore a huge, black shiner - his momento of the fight he began by charging the mound.  The opposing team's center fielder had used his metal cleats to stomp this guy's forhead and face.
Perhaps they do have a rightful place in the game.  Just stay clear of the metal spikes

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Most Influential Sportscasting Book

With last week's passing of longtime writer and columnist Stan Isaacs, I was once again reminded of the book that has formed my broadcast philosophy.  More than a book, it was a man.  And one of Stan Isaacs lasting legacies is that he helped that man tell his story.

In 1996, sports broadcasting pioneer Marty Glickman told his story with Stan Isaacs in The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story.  More than just a broadcaster's how-to manual, the book recapped, among many other fascinating aspects of his life, how Glickman overcame devastating  prejudice at the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin.

The second half of The Fastest Kid On The Block indeed deals with the nuts-and-bolts, ins-and-outs of sports broadcasting.  In fact, for six years while teaching at Marist College, this book was a required textbook for my Sports Broadcasting students.  My students needed to learn Marty Glickman's story, and how he transitioned from world-class athlete to broadcast pioneer.  We had weekly quizzes on Marty's life and traditional broadcast philosophy.  (Take the look-at-me, attitude-first philosophy of today and reverse it)

I appreciated Marty Glickman each Tuesday in the mid-90's when we sat with him for hours, critiquing demo tapes in hopes of improving.  When Marty talked, you listened.  That tradition lives on today at Fordham's WFUV under the direction of Bob Ahrens.

Last week I was reminded to appreciate the great Stan Isaacs as well, for helping to tell Marty Glickman's story, and countless others.

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