One of them grew up listening to Bob Prince call Pirates games on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, went on to call more than 3,000 hockey games, became the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, played second base for Team Clemente at the Pirates' 2012
One of them grew up listening to Bob Prince call Pirates games on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, went on to call more than 3,000 hockey games, became the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, played second base for Team Clemente at the Pirates' 2012 fantasy camp, and then joined the Pirates' broadcast booth as a guest announcer this past Spring Training.
The other carried a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet, began his sportscasting career covering Minor League hockey while still a student at Syracuse University, and then the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association, delivered a philosophic signoff after each World Series clincher he covered, became NBC's longtime Olympics studio host (even once with pinkeye) and has won a record 27 Emmys.
Mike "Doc" Emrick and Bob Costas are two of the most renowned and recognizable voices in North American sports, and at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, July 8, they will come together in one MLB Network booth -- like wind and water, macaroni and cheese, Socrates and Plato. Together they will call the Cubs-Pirates game at PNC Park, and what actually happens on the field in a key National League Central matchup could be almost rivaled by the expected collection of pearls that flow from the booth.
"This is a baseball fan's ultimate gift from Bob and MLB Network. A lifetime memory," Emrick said. "I have been in Chicago to marvel at the Cubs, and thanks to the Pirates and their broadcast crew, I have gotten to see the Bucs several times. It will be fun, yet you don't want to sit at the piano with Billy Joel and just play 'Chopsticks.' I have joyful homework for July 8."
"When I heard Mike say that it was a lifelong dream of his to call a baseball game, I immediately thought, 'Well, we can make that happen at MLB Network,'" Costas said. "He's naturally anecdotal, and that lends itself well to baseball, plus he has a passion for baseball and a lifelong connection to it. The Pirates have been his team since he was a kid, and the Cubs are a fascinating team this year, so it's a perfect matchup and perfect setting for him, and we're all looking forward to it."
It will mark the first regular season MLB game call for Emrick, the voice of hockey in the U.S. His call with Costas follows previous guest appearances in the MLB Network Showcase booth by Hall of Fame award winners Tim McCarver and Bob Uecker and multiple Emmy Award winner Al Michaels.
Emrick is a four-time Emmy Award winner and the lead play-by-play voice for NBC Sports Group's NHL coverage. Now he goes temporarily from the National Hockey League, where he just completed his 32nd year of broadcasting, to the National League. In 2008, Emrick received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
Over the next four weeks, MLB Network Showcase presented by Chevrolet will feature back-to-back matchups between the MLB-leading Cubs and the Mets on June 30 and July 1, plus Red Sox at Yankees on July 15, and then the NL West-leading Giants at the Yankees on July 22. Games will be blacked out in each team's home television territory unless otherwise announced.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.