This Rox legend just joined the 3,000 club
This story was excerpted from Thomas Harding’s Rockies Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
Baseball is different in the altitude of Denver, and while the high scoring and sheer unpredictability of games at Coors Field may cause some to reach their wits’ end, that’s not the case for Jack Corrigan.
“I love broadcasting here because of the thing some people find maddening,” Corrigan said Monday before calling his 3,000th Rockies game on KOA Radio.
“Baseball is going to be crazy. And you take the “c” in “crazy” and capitalize it at Coors Field. And if you’re broadcasting for the home team, you love that the craziness still exists.”
Corrigan, 69, has been a Major League play-by-play announcer for 37 years dating back to 1985, when he began broadcasting on WUAB TV in Cleveland. In 2003, he moved to the KOA booth in Denver, and he is now in his 20th season calling Rockies games.
It was as a 10-year-old boy that Corrigan decided he wanted to broadcast Major League Baseball, thanks to Wiffle ball games with a friend who lived next door in the west Cleveland neighborhood where Corrigan resided.
“When you were batting, you got to do the play-by-play,” Corrigan said. “That’s when I started using ‘Touch ’em all time.’”
Corrigan had no idea that the phrase that originated in those Wiffle ball games would become a signature home run call he would be using six decades later in a Major League booth.
And little did he know it when he would listen to him on the radio in college, but Corrigan’s first partner in calling Major League games in Cleveland would be Joe Tait, the man he looked up to most in the business. It was a dream come true for Corrigan, but what happened during his first month with his new broadcast partner was something he could never have dreamed of.
On April 17, 1985, Brook Jacoby hit his first home run of the season against the Orioles at Municipal Stadium, and then came a pivotal moment in Corrigan’s career.
“Just sort of spontaneously, I said, ‘Touch ’em all time for Brook Jacoby!’” Corrigan said. “And we went to a commercial break, and Joe said, ‘You know, that ‘Touch ’em all time,’ that’s pretty good. You ought to keep it.’”
Corrigan has kept it through more than 5,000 MLB broadcasts, including his 3,000th with the Rockies on Monday night at Coors Field. And he has no intention of hanging up his headset any time soon.
“I’m doing baseball and I’m sitting next to one of my best friends [Jerry Schemmel], and we’re talking about the game,” Corrigan said. “Why wouldn’t you love that?”