Many books have compared great players. Until now, none compared the broadcasters who turn diving catches and soaring home runs into the stuff of myth. Curt Smith's Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball's 101 All-Time Best Announcers rates the men who often become more memorable than the games they describe,
Publisher's Weekly says: "No baseball writer has ever done what [Smith] has done." Was the Yankees' Mel Allen better than Brooklyn's Red Barber? Did ex-ESPNer Jon Miller top the Fox Network's Joe Buck? How do the Dodgers' Vin Scully's poetry and Cardinals' and Cubs' Harry Caray's zeal compare? Irreverent, authoritative, and addictive, Voices of Summer (Carroll & Graff, 2005, 410 pages, $15.95) is essential to any baseball year.
The book's unique ranking system uses ten criteria including continuity, longevity, award, and network coverage. Each criterion is rated on a 1-10 point scale. Scully earned a perfect 100 score: to Smith, baseball's best-ever Voice. The rest of the top ten includes: Allen, Detroit's Ernie Harwell, Cardinals' Jack Buck, Barber, Caray, Pittsburgh's Bob Prince, Cubs' Jack Brickhouse, CBS TV's Dizzy Dean, and Mets' Lindsey Nelson.
All 30 major-league teams boast at least one announcer. The Yankees have the most Voices (21), trailed closely by the Giants (16), White Sox (15), Braves, Cubs, and Red Sox (13), Dodgers (11), and A's and Cardinals (10). Smith's 101 all-time announcers include national celebrities, local favorites, and upcoming stars. Each is detailed in an essay and scorecard.
Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball's 101 All-Time Best Announcers is a book sure to delight, enrage, and fascinate any baseball fan of any age, anywhere.