Friday, August 20, 2010

David Halberstam's "Top 25 All Time NY Sports Voices," from Neil Best

8/19/10, "Marv Albert is #1 NY Voice," Neil Best Watchdog, Top 25 all time New York sports announcers as ranked and written by David Halberstam
  • Halberstam is "a prominent sports broadcasting historian and former play-by-play voice of St. John's and Miami Heat basketball."...
  • Mr. Best says he wouldn't have made the same list, but that's the fun of lists. He adds,

"Halberstam strongly considered in the rankings people's pioneering roles - i.e. "Mike and the Mad Dog" for sports talk and Warner Wolf for his use of videotape.

And Vin Scully's relatively low ranking is not meant to be a slight. It simply reflects that a relatively small percentage of his career was spent working in his home town.

  • 1. Marv Albert
  • 2. Marty Glickman
  • 3. Mel Allen
  • 4. Red Barber
  • 5. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo
  • 6. Warner Wolf
  • 7. Bob Murphy
  • 8. Phil Rizzuto
  • 9. LenBerman
  • 10. Bill Mazer
  • 11. Sal Marchiano
  • 12. Stan Lomax
  • 13. Ralph Kiner
  • 14. Lindsey Nelson
  • 15. Vin Scully
  • 16. Art Rust
  • 17. Sam Rosen
  • 18. Russ Salzberg
  • 19. Scott Clark
  • 20. Walt Frazier
  • 21. Jerry Girard
  • 22. John Sterling
  • 23. Russ Hodges
  • 24. Les Keiter
  • 25. Spencer Ross"
Mr. Halberstam included a paragraph on each of his choices. Mr. Best's site is subscription, which I signed up for. Right now I have enough time to copy one of the paragraphs:
  • " 22) John Sterling

A talk show host in the 1970’s, Sterling fashioned amusing diatribe and tantrums. John’s evening show on WMCA was the only place to tune in sports talk. After leaving for a decade in Atlanta, Sterling was hired to do Yankees radio play-by-play in 1989. Despite a continuing avalanche of criticism in the years since and a call for his dismissal by longtime New York Post sports media critic, Phil Mushnick, Sterling has survived.

  • Sterling ‘s body of baseball work, a mix of stream of consciousness, tendentious judgments and knee-jerk reactions,
  • smacks of a broadcaster whose roots are in talk, not a melodically trained play-by-play announcer. While he never developed the beat and cadence that have woven radio baseball into the American summertime fabric,
there are those diehards who find him humorous and informative. Unfortunately, listeners who don’t like him and there are tons, cannot avoid him!
  • Sterling is the first baseball announcer in the history of the game to do all nine innings, 162 games a year."

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