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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Here's to the Sportscaster!

Over the past two days the following clip has been seen by millions of viewers on nearly every TV network. But as the clip was played and replayed for the amazing visual image of a pinch-hitter diving over the catcher in (a play evidently never filmed in over a hundred years of baseball history), another amazing accomplishment was not included. The two times I saw this clip on TV, the network hosts chatted and laughed and gasped (as we all did) at the acrobatic leap, but they did not let their viewers hear the audio of the original sportscaster's description as the split-second event happened in real time. The pertinent part of his description is below the video clip.

",,,Rounding third , coming to the plate…and …diving over home [i.e.Beck]…and safe! Unbelievable! Brian Kownacki…a circus slide over home plate…a clean leap over the catcher, James Beck, a tilt-a-whirl…he touched-down home with his right hand…and Pat Kerry in disbelief… he argues that James Beck tagged him…and Brian Kownacki—with one of the most amazing innings of play you’ll ever see at any level of baseball—as a pinch hitter he bats around…was hit by a pitch twice…the second time for the tying run…and then Nick Rustano waiving him around third…a low throw from the short stop Kopowski picked out of the dirt by Beck…and Brian Kownacki showing some ups…hopping over Beck and touching home with his right hand…a truly remarkable play…and what a turn of events here in the Bronx as the Rams now have eight runs across in the eighth to take an 11-9 lead."

I do not know the announcer's name, but typically such assignments are given to young guys hoping someday to rise in the elite world of sportscasting. I think Brian Kownacki's name has gotten its 15 minutes of fame this week, and he may very well have a bright baseball career in the future (though he is a business major)... but I think there is another man who launched his career in that moment, and that is the young announcer whose vivid,imaginative,spontaneous descriptions summarized the inning in one sentence and then captured the excitement for radio listeners who could not see the spectacular athleticism with their own eyes. So here's to the unknown sports announcer whose grasp of the game and gift with words helped listeners see with their ears.

[Update three hours after posting: After some internet digging and Google-time, I learned that the announcer is indeed young. His ame is Gregg Caserta of WFUV public radio, who "has honed his talents as part of WFUV’s training program for student broadcasters."]


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