On October 14th, 1985, Jack Buck made my favorite home run call ever by a big league radio announcer. When the St. Louis Cardinals’ Ozzie Smith stunned the LA Dodgers with a 9th inning home run, Jack’s reaction was “Go crazy, folks - go crazy!” That call is spotlighted on Track #3 of this CD.
People loved Jack Buck for many reasons. Not only was he a great broadcaster for over half a century, he was also a funny, personable and generous man. In his performance there was a sincerity and a consistency.
Jack Buck was the 1987 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, the 11th baseball announcer ever inducted into the Broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame.
Jack’s first season on Cardinals radio was 1954, and he was still on the air in 2001. He became nationally known for his TV work on events like the Super Bowl and the World Series, but it was his work on local radio - KMOX and The Cardinal Radio Network - that really made him who he was. You will hear some of his greatest broadcasting moments on this CD.
Jack Buck’s natural wit and charm also made him a legendary master of ceremonies. He could make you laugh! I’ve included a couple of very funny lines from speeches he made.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Jack worked with another Hall of Famer, Harry Caray. They told fans about Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Orlando Cepeda.
Beginning in 1964, the Cardinals won 3 pennants in a 5-year span, including 2 World Series crowns. Jack Buck and Harry Caray became one of the most legendary broadcast teams in big league history.
Three Cardinals players of the 1960s would become future announcing partners of Jack Buck: Tim McCarver, Bill White, and Mike Shannon. Buck and Shannon began teaming up in the booth in 1972, and they would partner for an amazing 29 seasons.
In the 1970s, Jack Buck made some dramatic calls that are all featured on this CD, including Bob Gibson’s 1971 no-hitter, Lou Brock’s single-season stolen base record of 105, and Brock’s stolen base #893, which moved him ahead of Ty Cobb for the most ever. You will also hear Brock’s 3000th hit in 1979.
In the 1980s, Jack Buck had one of the best decades any play-by-play man has ever had. You will hear the final out of the 1982 Cardinals world title, Jack Clark’s game-winning home run in the 1985 National League Championship Series, and Kirk Gibson’s startling home run in the 1988 World Series (“I don’t believe what I just saw” - Jack Buck).
Jack Buck was also the radio voice of Monday Night Football for 19 years. On CBS Radio. Jack announced 16 Super Bowls. Added to his Super Bowl TV play-by-play in 1970, his 17 Super Bowls are the most ever by any announcer.
To go along with his 1987 induction into the broadcaster wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jack entered his second national Hall of Fame, the Radio Hall of Fame, in 1995 and his third , the broadcaster section of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 1996.
In 1998 Jack Buck made some historic calls during the great home run chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. A couple of McGwire’s homers are included on this program.
Jack died in 2002. His son Joe Buck delivered a classy farewell to his dad, which you will hear.
In 1998 the Cardinals unveiled a statue, a bronze sculpture of Jack Buck’s likeness behind a microphone. One fan visiting the statue said, “I never met him, but I’ve known him all my life. His voice was like a best friend.”
At Jack Buck’s funeral, his daughter Christine concluded her eulogy by saying, “Go crazy, Heaven, go crazy!”
Thanks for reading this and enjoy listening to Jack Buck, “The Voice of the Cardinals.”