Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Congrats to Jon Miller

I heard on this morning's (Brian) Murph and (Paulie) Mac show (5am-9am, KNBR; Mon-Fri) an interview with Jon Miller who took time away from his "Colombian cruise" to speak about receiving the Ford C. Frick Award and being inducted into the Baseball broadcaster's Hall of Fame.

He will join both Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons, two voices Miller said got him interested in the craft of play-by-play for baseball games.

I am currently reading a book on the Beatles by Tim Riley and his description of how the Beatles put together their songs rings so perfectly true to me it was as if I went back in time and recalled the emotions I shared with the lyrics and styles of each and every Beatle tune.

That's the way Jon Miller must have felt when he was able to meet those who first made him interested in broadcasting. And then to get a congrats from non other than Willie Mays himself, the player who made baseball such a great game to listen to (on the radio) or want to go out and see in person.

Murph recalled the time he interviewed Jon Miller when baseball was trying to figure out ways to speed the game up and he asked Miller what Miller would do about "speeding up the game" and Miller's response was , 'What could be better than watching a three-hour baseball game?'

Miller then went on to say that one of his most precious memories was the time there was a rainout and the Giants had to play back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday one week. Heaven on Earth!

When you listen to Jon Miller broadcast a game you can tell it's the only thing on his mind. He's not multi-tasking, he's concentrating on how to deliver the game in a most listenable fashion with an occasional anecdote to keep some levity in the air, because after all it is only a game. But it's a game he is passionate about and he will do everything in his power to make the listening audience feel as if they were there in-person. You can almost taste the peanuts and hot dogs when Miller gets on a roll with the intricacies of the game and almost always wraps up his strategy with a humorous one-liner.

Congratulations to Jon Miller.

Now if only we can get enough of those voters who realized that Jon Miller belongs in the Hall of Fame to listen to tapes of Bill King so he too will get his due, because the former voice of the Warriors and Raiders is most definitely worthy of the same honor bestowed on Jon Miller.

Kevin Marquez