Voices of Summer
Many books have compared great players. Until now, none compared the broadcasters who turn diving catches and soaring home runs into the stuff of myth. Curt Smith’s Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball’s 101 All-Time Best Announcers rates the men who often become more memorable than the games they describe.
Publisher’s Weekly says: “No baseball writer has ever done what [Smith] has done.” Was the New York Yankees’ Mel Allen better than Brooklyn’s Red Barber? Did ex-ESPNer Jon Miller top the Fox Network’s Joe Buck? How do the Dodgers’ Vin Scully’s poetry and Cardinals’ and Cubs’ Harry Caray’s zeal compare? Irreverent, authoritative, even addictive, Voices of Summer (Carroll & Graff, 2005, 410 pages, $15.95) is essential to any baseball year.
The book’s unique ranking system uses ten criteria including continuity, longevity, award, and network coverage. Each criterion is rated on a 1-10 point scale. Scully earned a perfect 100 score: to Smith, baseball’s best-ever Voice. The rest of the author’s all-time top ten broadcasters includes: Allen, Detroit Tigers’ Ernie Harwell, St. Louis Cardinals’ Jack Buck, Barber, Caray, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bob Prince, Chicago Cubs’ Jack Brickhouse, CBS TV’s Dizzy Dean, and New York Mets’ Lindsey Nelson.
All 30 major-league teams boast at least one announcer. The Yankees have the most Voices (21), trailed closely by the San Francisco/New York Giants (16), Chicago White Sox (15), Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves, Cubs, and Boston Red Sox (13 each), Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers (11), and /Oakland/Kansas City/Philadelphia and Cardinals (10). Smith’s 101 all-time announcers include national celebrities, local favorites, and upcoming stars. Each is detailed in an essay and scorecard. Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball’s 101 All-Time Best Announcers is a book sure to delight, enrage, and fascinate any baseball fan of any age, anywhere.