Every broadcaster has influential figures that are crucial in his or her development, and I am no exception. I’d like to take a moment here and list one play by play performer from each sport that has made an impact on my growth as a play by play broadcaster.


There have been many great play by play baseball broadcasters, but my favorite of all was Vin Scully, the venerable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a post he held from the 1950’s until his death, dating back to when the franchise was in Brooklyn. There was never a better storyteller in all of baseball history. Vin was also a master of the English language, effortlessly using the English language as a painter weaves his brush. His superior knowledge and experience yielded wonderful stories, which is crucial to all baseball broadcasts.


Relating to basketball, my favorite all time was Joe Tait, the longtime voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers. For many years Cavaliers games were broadcast on WWWE in Cleveland (1100 AM) and I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to his broadcasts from Massachusetts. Joe was a master of description. His creativeness was legendary in describing basketball action- which is what we all strive for. Joe’s commentary allowed the listener to see the game in your mind’s eye.


Football on the radio will always mean Gil Santos to me, the longtime voice of the New England Patriots. Gil possessed a deep booming voice, and the ability to make the game of football easy to grasp for the average fan. He was excellent at breaking down formations, a complicated process, while at the same time never neglecting the basics for the listener. I grew up listening to Gil as a youth and his relationship with his analyst, Gino Cappelletti, was one of the best in all of sports.


Again, there are many great play by play men who have graced the microphone, but my biggest influence was Hall of Fame Broadcaster Fred Cusick of the Boston Bruins. Fred was a consummate student of the game and his passion was never questioned. Fred’s signature phrase, “SCORE”,, was simple and powerful. I would be glued to the set listening to his calls. He was as close to flawless as a broadcaster can be.