The greatest play by play man of all time, without a shadow of a doubt is the immortal Harry Caray. No personality even comes close….
Harry Caray was one of the two WORST announcers I've ever had the misfortune of listening to….
Greatest Baseball Announcer discussion at Baseball Fever.
Even with all the saberstats and new knowledge we now have, coming up with a list of the best players and pitchers in major league history is not easy. So you can imagine the difficulty in coming up with a list of the best or greatest big league announcers.
If there is one historian who has the knowledge to come up with such a list, it is Curt Smith. His highly acclaimed Voices of the Game, The First Full-Scale Overview of Baseball Broadcasting, 1921 to the Present, (published in 1987) is a must-read on the subject.
Now comes his latest effort, Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball's 101 All-Time Best Announcers. His rankings, based on categories such as longevity, continuity, language, voice and knowledge (there’s 10 in all), will surely raise some eyebrows (Tim McCarver, at number 17, seems too high).
Smith’s book is a great resource, providing years, teams and networks for each announcer. He provides a lot of quotes and inside information but the author’s writing style takes some getting used to.
All in all, Voices of Summer is an excellent effort. I went through it and wrote down those mike men in his top 101 who have spent time with the Giants.
Mel Allen 1939-1943
Al Helfer 1945, 1949
Jack Brickhouse 1946
Russ Hodges, 1949-1970
Ernie Harwell 1950-1953
Jim Woods 1957
Bill King 1958-1959
Lon Simmons 1958-1973, 1976-1978, 1999-2002
Al Michaels 1974-1976
Joe Angel 1977-1978, 2002-2003
Dave Campbell 1978
Lindsey Nelson 1979-1981
Hank Greenwald 1979-1986, 1989-1996
Joe Morgan 1986-1994
Jon Miller 1997-
Tim McCarver 2002
Note: The entry for Arch McDonald does not show his Giants work. I believe he and Allen did their play by play in 1939 on WABC.