Every baseball fan knows how special it feels to be at a game. All of the sounds and smells that are heard bring a sense of being home for some. But if you cannot make it out to the ballgame, the San Francisco Giants have the best team of announcers in the game……..and it isn’t even close.
Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants broadcasterMike Krukow
pumps up the crowd during the World Series celebration at City Hall. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in game seven of the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The group of Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming have been together since 2006. That is when the young Flemming came along. The group has been consistently good each and every year, and the camaraderie between them is evident on the air.
Listening to stations and broadcasts across the country, I have heard every other voice available during the season. Vin Scully will always be the most iconic voice ever to describe a baseball game. And I am thankful for the opportunity to listen to him anytime I can (you are able to listen to history right now).
But the team here in San Francisco is one elite voice after another.
Duane Kuiper, the eldest statesmen as far as time with the team, had his first run in 1985-1992. Then after experiencing that thin air up in Colorado, he returned in 1994 and has been here ever since. Kuiper was a hard worker on the field, and he has carried that same trait into the booth.
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Krukow started in 1993 and immediately gave you an inside look at what goes on down on the field. His pairing with Kuiper almost sounds like two guys taking a bus trip to the next town to play a game. And fans like that. Krukow was a veteran when he came to the Giants, and he was a great role-model for the younger pitchers coming up teaching them the ropes. He also teaches the fans who listen to him about the inner-workings of the game. That should be appreciated.
Miller is one of the elite when it comes to describing the entire atmosphere at a game. Giving details that make you bummed that you aren’t out there, but happy that you have him on the radio to tell you about it. His delivery is like that of a person with lines. But he isn’t reading off of a script. And his candor with the others is always the oil in the gears. Coming to the Giants in 1997, the Hall of Famer is a bay area native. He was recognized immediately because of his work nationally, and now held in even higher regard after hearing him every day. Miller graduated from Hayward High School in Hayward. CA. I graduated from the same school, and we share the same legendary baseball coach, Jim Bisenius.
And finally there is the youngster of the group, Dave Flemming. He was on the radio in 2003, and became an instant hit. His knowledge of baseball is off the charts, and he sounds like he is enjoying what he is watching just like the fans are. (Not that he is a homer in any way, the announcers stay away from too much bias on the air. Which is good.) He just sounds like he is very grateful in the job he gets to do, and some announcers in other parts of the country sound like they are doing a job instead of doing what they love.
As for the spanish broadcast team of former Giant Tito Fuentes and Erwin Higueros. Although spanish is a second language to me, a far distant second, the enthusiasm I have heard in some of the calls transcends the language. They too, are at the top of the profession on the spanish side.
(Also to Hall of Fame voice Lon Simmons, one of the greatest, most recognizable voices in Giants history. He was the radio voice of both me and my father. I salute you, and thank you.)
All the announcers for the San Francisco Giants would be number one men in any other market. But the fact that we have them all here collectively is amazing. And with Amy Gutierrez, Greg Papa and the array of former Giants contributing before, during, and after the games, the fans get high quality coverage even without making it out to the game.
And the front office should also be commended for keeping this group together. They also understand what a good group of voices means to the presentation of their product.
Giants fans should feel good that they have a group of announcers who are both fans of the game and fans of the fans. They understand what a listener wants to hear, and produces quality programming every single game.