With the TV situation the last couple of years for the Astros, a lot of fans were relegated to listening to the games on the radio. Now for somebody like me, who is aspiring to be a broadcaster in Major League Baseball, this wasn’t a major issue. But for the casual fan, this could be quite different from hearing the broadcasters on TV. With the limelight on them, Robert Ford and Steve Sparks did a great job presenting the games to us through the radio.
As a broadcaster on TV, you don’t have to necessarily call every pitch. You can have more side conversations, and call the plays at a simpler level. That’s not taking anything away from Bill Brown and company as they are very good at what they do. But when you’re watching the game on TV, you don’t have to paint a picture for the fans because we can see it with our own two eyes.
On TV, when you see a diving catch in the outfield, you might hear, “Springer is running in, and WOAH!! What a catch!” On the radio, that exact same play should have more depth and description: “The ball is floating into shallow right field… Springer is charging in, dives, AND HE MAKES THE CATCH!!”
You are the eyes for the listeners at home as a radio broadcaster. A fan who is listening should be able to close their eyes and picture everything clearly that’s going on in the stadium. Robert Ford and Steve Sparks did just that. From describing the grass stains on the uniforms, to which direction the flags were waving, to even a pitcher tugging at the bill of his cap before he steps on the rubber, we can picture all of that.
So on behalf of all Astros fans, thank you Robert Ford and Steve Sparks. When people think of Astros’ radio, the casual fan probably thinks of Milo Hamilton. But people are recognizing the hard work, and even though more people have access to the games on TV, I know many people will still tune in to listen to y’all broadcast on the radio. I look forward to hearing more from you in 2015 and beyond.
You stepped up to the plate, dug your foot into the dirt, took a deep breath, and rested the bat on your shoulder as you prepared to swing away.
Make sure to check out the next potential prospect the Astros could move. And if you’re like me and want to see the Astros in action, go look at Brian McTaggart’s Instagram page for some quality photos this spring.
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