Skip vs. McCarver

Skip’s a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award — finally. So is McCarver.

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7 thoughts on “Skip vs. McCarver

  1. Living in Fort Worth, I listen to Eric Nadel quite a bit, and although I like him, and he comes across as a really nice guy, I always thought that his broadcast partner, Mark Holtz (who died of leukemia a few years ago), was the better part of that pairing. Although Holtz never had to physically drag Nadel along as Jack Buck had to do with Mike Shannon for oh, the first 10 years of his career. Shannon, a St. Louis native who got the radio gig because the organization and city felt sorry for him after kidney disease cut his playing career short, is beloved in St. Louis, but a Hall of Fame broadcaster? Please. The French play-by-play guy for a franchise that made such inroads among the French-speakers in Montreal that now it’s in Miami? (English-speakers made up the bulk of the fan base for the Expos.) Again, please. (Seriously, why not Doucet’s color guy, former Brave Claude Raymond?) The only guy on the list who might be close to Skip’s stature is Cardenas, who was a pioneer in Spanish-language baseball broadcasting, and, unlike the French-speakers, there’s a lot of Spanish-speakers who follow the game. So it’ll probably go to McCarver, who’s sucked forever, but, like Tony Kubeck, has done so for national broadcasting outlets.

  2. I’d disagree that the majority of the fan base in Montreal was English speaking. In the late 70′s and early 80′s, before I was a Braves fan, I would go to Montreal w/ my family for games and the crowd was predominately French. Montrealers stopped going when the franchise decided to trade the team away in 1994. Doucet is a French-Canadian legend. While I’d clearly want Skip to go in, Doucet and/or Cardenas going in would not bother me. So, obviously McCarver will get in. His name is probably being engraved on the plaque as we speak.

  3. I based that on the one game I saw at Stade Olympique in 1991 (a no-hitter by former Brave Tommy Greene) and a long conversation I had with the local English-speaker sitting near me who’d been coming to ballgames since Jackie Robinson played for the Royals. (The guy said he’d been attending at least 50 games a year, and that was the first time he got a foul ball or saw a no-hitter.) The crowd was sparse (although it was an afternoon getaway day start), and support by then was certainly flagging, but his generalizations seemed accurate. I could hear more English being spoken among fans than French.

  4. You’re right. Things were on the decline by then. The 1990′s were great for me as tickets to see the Braves in Montreal were cheap and plentiful! 1994 really broke the back of the franchise. The 70′s and 80′s were the boom time for the Expos.

  5. That was the weirdest day I’ve ever spent at the ballpark. I got there early and parked my car in the stadium parking lot, then used the subway the rest of the day. Because the subway stop connected to the stadium via an underground passageway, it meant that I, along with most people in attendance, went to, watched and left the game without ever going outside. Not sure that was ever possible anywhere else. (It’d have to be an indoor stadium with a subway stop, and all the other indoor baseball stadiums I can think of aren’t on subway lines.)

    Then there was the incredibly polite scalper who sold me a ticket and apologized for not having anything behind home plate like I’d asked for. I had to “settle” for a seat on the aisle, which ran directly behind home plate, on the second row. There were maybe four seats in the building that were better, and I got the ticket for under face value. But the longtime Montreal baseball fan I sat by assured me I’d paid twice what I should have. Yikes! I’d say interest was in steep decline.

  6. I take it as a good sign that Skip was chosen by the committee. Maybe Marty will go to bat for him.

    All in all, this is prbaby a McCarver fix. He’s not as bad as Kubek or Gariagiola and those two assholes are in. Plus, McCarver’s having minor heart surgery this year and they’ll probably give it to him as a consolation/get well soon! prize.

    Tom Cheek and Bill King are the guys I always rank alongside Skip as the truly egregious omissions. I’m somewhat cheered by their presence on the list but each, like Skip, won’t be here to enjoy it if elected.

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