Do your democratic duty and vote for the best radio call of the 2015 MLB season
Broadcasting a baseball game over the radio is a daunting job. It's as much storytelling as documentation, responsible for not just transcribing the action but also evoking emotion -- how it feels to be in that ballpark and in that moment.
The Esurance MLB Awards are Major League Baseball's way of honoring the greatest achievements from the 2015 season with an industry-wide balloting process. In the Best Call, Radio category, we're asking you to help decide which voice gave the game life -- whether it's the choice of a word or just the tone of a voice.
Check out some of the nominees below, then click here to see the full list and vote for your favorite.
"You just saw as good as it can get in the big leagues."
Back on July 11, the Cardinals and Pirates faced off in one of the weirdest and wildest games of the regular season, featuring everything from crazy comebacks to #PitchersWhoRake:
It all came down to the bottom of the 14th inning. With Pittsburgh trailing 5-4, Andrew McCutchen launched a two-run walk-off dinger to dead center, setting off bedlam at PNC Park -- and inspiring one of the most frenzied "Raise the Jolly Roger!" calls of Pirates play-by-play man Greg Brown's career:
"They're timing Colon with a sundial."
Bartolo Colon's quest for hitting excellence has been a long and winding saga, and the Marlins-Mets game on May 31 was undoubtedly the high point. Facing down Miami starter David Phelps, Colon ripped a line drive to center field. The ball split the outfielders and rolled all the way to the wall, as Mets radio voice Howie Rose called a footrace for the ages:
"A swing and a drive, way back ... GONE!"
Broadcasting, much like baseball, is a marathon -- pacing yourself is key. Sometimes, though, you just can't help yourself. Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton found himself in just such a situation back in August, as Yan Gomes launched an 8th-inning grand slam to give Cleveland some much-needed insurance. Hamilton was so ecstatic as the ball flew through the air, he almost didn't save enough breath to finish his trademark home run call. Luckily, though, he's a pro:
"You can't make this up! Unbelievable!"
The 2015 Astros spent pretty much all season surprising the baseball world, and their comeback against the Angels on Sept. 13 was no different. Trailing by three and down to their final out, Houston rallied -- a homer, a triple and a glove-busting single by Carlos Correa to bring up pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie with the winning run aboard. Lowrie smacked one into the right-field seats, and the Houston radio duo of Robert Ford and Steve Sparks could hardly believe their eyes:
"He catches it! He catches it!"
Whether he's throwing out runners at home or setting the All-Star Game on fire, Mike Trout is baseball's foremost purveyor of the indescribable. So, when Trout treated the center-field wall like a jungle gym to bring back a Jesus Montero fly ball, all Angels voice Terry Smith could do was exclaim along with the rest of us -- yes, that really did just happen:
"Bye bye birdie, into the right-field bullpen!"
If there's one thing Yankees broadcaster John Sterling enjoys more than adorable cats playing football, it's coming up with unique nicknames for each and every hitter who dons the pinstripes. So, when rookie Greg Bird delivered a clutch 10th-inning homer to give New York the lead over Toronto back in September, a nation waited with anticipation to hear what the newest Yankee's home run call would be. The answer -- bye bye, birdie:
Voting will remain open through Nov. 13 at mlb.com/awards, so be sure to cast a vote for your favorites. Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Nov. 20.