Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ken Singleton, 1981 Drake's #12

With the Orioles having added a starting pitcher, closer, and third baseman in recent weeks, the Hot Stove talk is turning to the broadcast booth. The nasally monotone of Buck Martinez has graced its final Mid-Atlantic Sports Network broadcast, as the Buckster has returned to the Toronto Blue Jays. MASN is reportedly considering several options in replacing him as color commentator for roughly half of the O's TV games, and many of the names should be familiar to Baltimore fans.

Ken Singleton would be at the top of my list, and rumor has it that he's talked with MASN about the possibility of leaving the Yankees and their YES network. It's a travesty that a former Oriole who was as successful and popular (and classy) as Singleton has been behind enemy lines for so many years.

Among the other ex-O's on the yak market, I think Dave Johnson would be a good choice. His high-pitched voice and thick Bawlmer accent don't make for a polished presentation, but he's proved to be knowledgeable and passionate on the pre-and-post game radio programs in recent years.

I've also heard fans clamor for a return by John Lowenstein, who called the team's games in the 1990s for Home Team Sports. I'm fine with that; my hazy memory tells me that he was goofy without being an irritant. Believe it or not, I think that Billy Ripken could hold his own as well. Mike Flanagan has already talked to network staff about continuing his seeming lifelong connection to the Birds; he was perfectly acceptable in his past go-rounds in the booth.

I'm not crazy about Rick Dempsey being upgraded from MASN's pre-and-post-gamers to in-game announcing, based on the fill-in work I've seen him do in recent seasons. I'm not sure how Brady Anderson entered the discussion; that seems like an ill fit. Brooks Robinson would be welcomed warmly, but it's a long shot at this time.

So, armchair programming directors, who's your choice to sit in alongside Gary Thorne in 2010?


Ryan said...

I really hope that Ken Singleton gets the job. I saw a segment this summer where he was being interviewed by Tom Davis. I never knew much about him until that point and I never realized how much Baltimore meant to him and how much he meant to Baltimore. I thought to myself, why isn't he announcing the games?

William said...

Two words: Jack. Voigt.

night owl said...

I couldn't agree more on the Singleton comment. It always struck me how out of place he was with the Yankees -- even though he's a native New Yorker and been in that job for so long. It's just after Jim Kaat retired, it was so APPARENT that Singleton didn't belong with the other loud-mouths.

GCA said...

The Buck Martinez drinking game starts with one sip for every "E-fect-ive-ly" and goes from there.
I'd swear Buck would be wasted by the late innings and start slurring...

FreeTheBirds said...

I used to love these Drakes cards, it made going to the grocery store somewhat tolerable as I got to pick out the box with the best cards on them. Then I'd hit up the candy/gum aisle where the baseball card packs were and try to pick out a pack with a star on top. Some rak packs were loose enough where you could see every card in the entire pack

As for broadcasting, my top choice would be Billy Ripken. His baseball knowledge is infinite and I hear he has quite a sense of humor.

Kevin said...

William - Hey, why not?

Greg - I can always count on you for a little anti-Yankee sentiment. I think even most Yankees fans would agree that Michael Kay and John Sterling are pretty unbearable.

GCA - When the Orioles acquired Ryan Freel last year, Buck said he would give them "another Brian Roberts". I can do without that sort of expert analysis, thanks.

FTB - I still occasionally buy cellophane packs. That's how I got the 2009 Topps pack with Bob Gibson on it that turned out to be chock full of the Legends short prints.