It was one of the most thrilling plays of a thrilling World Series, and the pair that gave voice to it were honored at the 2017 Esurance MLB Awards.FOX's Joe Buck and John Smoltz took home the award for Best Call: TV/Radio for their call of Jose Altuve's game-tying three-run
It was one of the most thrilling plays of a thrilling World Series, and the pair that gave voice to it were honored at the 2017 Esurance MLB Awards.
FOX's Joe Buck and John Smoltz took home the award for Best Call: TV/Radio for their call of Jose Altuve's game-tying three-run homer off Kenta Maeda in Game 5 of the World Series in Houston. The American League MVP helped rally the Astros to a comeback win over the Dodgers in one of the most memorable Fall Classic games ever played, en route to their first World Series championship in franchise history.
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"Tie game! Unbelievable!" Buck yells as Altuve's drive lands high above the center-field wall at Minute Maid Park and the Houston crowd erupts, nearly drowning out the broadcast. "Altuve! 7-7!"
And as FOX shows the replay -- the ball sailing out, the fans roaring and on their feet -- Smoltz puts the bow on the play: "The smallest guy went big."
Buck and Smoltz edged out the other finalists for the award: Indians radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton and Astros radio broadcasters Robert Ford and Steve Sparks.
Ford and Sparks were nominated for their call of another memorable moment in the same game: Alex Bregman's walk-off hit against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the 10th inning, which gave the Astros a 13-12 win. Hamilton was nominated for his call of Francisco Lindor's rally-igniting grand slam against the Yankees in Game 2 of the AL Division Series.
This is the third year the Esurance MLB Award for Best Call has been given out. Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully was honored in both 2015 and '16, and Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose was also honored in 2015.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: Media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories (Personality of the Year; Best Defensive Player; Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; Best Fan Catch; Best Player-Fan Interaction) on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled the Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment categories following the Fall Classic's final out.
The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, giving fans the opportunity to help determine the Best Major Leaguer, Pitcher, Rookie, Manager and Executive. Winners were announced on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday night.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.