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You can hear your favorite team in places you never thought possible.

In today's modern age, we are spoiled as baseball fans when it comes to listening to radio broadcasts. As I compose this story, I am listening to the a radio broadcast of the Tigers and Braves playing a game about 30 miles from my house. Ten years ago, it would have been very tough to find any radio broadcast for spring training. Satellite or streaming radio does spoil us as fans today, but the terrestrial radio market is still alive. In fact, some odd outposts of North America are broadcasting radio games all throughout the baseball season. 

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What baseball life is like at the second-highest level, as told by the radio voice of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Mike Curto is about to begin his 15th season as the broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has called 11 Major League Baseball games—the best 11 days of his life. You can read his writing at Booth, Justice and the American Pastime and follow him on Twitter @CurtoWorld.
 


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A running diary of the two-hour radio broadcast of game 1 of the 1948 World Series, featuring Bob Feller and Johnny Sain.

Last week, Ben Lindbergh let us all in on the secret treasure trove of 50- and 60-year old radio broadcasts that Craig Robinson at Flip Flop Fly Ballin' recently uncovered. It's a pretty fantastic find, with games ranging from the 1948 World Series to a late summer game between the White Sox and Red Sox in the Impossible Dream season.

While Ben had a few things to say about Game 5 of the 1948 World Series, I recently listened to the full two-hour broadcast of Game 1 of the same series, a tight pitcher's duel between Bob Feller and Johnny Sain. Even for a game played when Jackie Robinson was the reigning Rookie of the Year, the game, at one-hour and forty-two minutes long, was a speedy affair. By contrast, Game 1 of the 2012 World Series between Justin Verlander and Barry Zito lasted three-hours and 26-minutes.

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Ben and Sam discuss an assortment of topics, including the Astros' outlook for 2013 and beyond, Alex Rodriguez's long-awaited surgery, the Marlins and the MLBPA, and whether baseball broadcasts on the radio will survive.



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Will video (and the internet) kill baseball's radio star, or will technology simply bring fans closer to the booth?

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Dave Raymond has been broadcasting professional baseball since 1995, including the last seven years with the Houston Astros. He started a blog, Everybody Reads Raymond, last season. He also likes elderberry jelly on his grilled cheese sandwiches.  Catch up with him @daveraymond4.
 


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A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club

It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.

Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.

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A radio broadcaster's persona reflects the team's roster and fan following. Or is it the other way around?

I’m driving in Georgia with my new wife, way, way down south. We’re here on family business, but we’ve taken an afternoon to indulge the notion that we are still on our honeymoon, although it officially ended weeks ago. We are passing through the rural exotica: tiny, ruined towns, no signs of life. Stunted, desiccated crops. Vultures are everywhere: in the air, in the trees, devouring carcasses on the side of the road. Rain blatters on the windshield. History has ended here.

We need a signal, some reassurance of life against this deathless decrepitude. Put on the radio, there’s a Braves game—that will more than do. Those live pauses between pitches, the ambient life piping through the speakers. Baseball on the radio is as potent as the smell of bread in the oven. What sound could possibly be better in southwest Georgia, on a road where the speed limit is 45 mph, where you can drive five, 10 miles at a stretch without seeing a single other vehicle?

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Milo Hamilton's impending retirement reminds us to savor early-generation broadcasters.

The upcoming season will mark the 50th year of Major League Baseball in Houston. For more than half of those seasons, Astros fans have heard a familiar voice in the broadcast booth—the voice of Milo Hamilton, who announced on Wednesday that the 2012 campaign would be his last in the booth.

Hamilton came to Houston in 1986, and took over for Gene Elston as the team’s lead radio announcer in 1987. Since then, he has become as synonymous with Astros baseball as Craig Biggio, bringing to life moments like Mike Scott’s no-hitter to clinch the NL West division in 1986 and Biggio’s 3000th career hit in 2007.

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Join Kevin Goldstein and Steven Goldman every Sunday on BP's new SiriusXM show!

In partnership with SiriusXM, Baseball Prospectus is pleased to announce that on Sunday, July 17, we will begin a new radio show, MLB Roundtrip with Baseball Prospectus, co-hosted by BP’s Kevin Goldstein and Steven Goldman with Sirius XM veteran Mike Ferrin. Appearing every Sunday on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel at 11 PM eastern, the program will feature three hours of the quirky and original analysis, insight, and humor for which BP has become known since its founding in 1996.

“Everyone at Baseball Prospectus is excited to be involved with MLB Network Radio,” said co-host Goldstein. “With both Mike and Steven on board, the amount of wit and baseball intelligence in the room is staggering and we look forward to entertaining, informing, and interacting with our fans and listeners.”

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Despite our nostalgia for the days when distance mattered, there's no denying that new technology has made it easier than ever before to follow our favorite teams.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Jason Fry co-writes the Mets blog Faith and Fear and Flushing with Greg Prince, and writes a weekly column about sportswriting for Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center.

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The voice of the Blue Jays discusses getting into broadcasting and baseball in Toronto.

If you’re a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Howarth needs no introduction. The 64-year-old has been the radio voice of the Blue Jays for three decades—24 of those years paired with the late Tom Cheek—and few broadcasters in the game are more popular, or as respected. A graduate of the University of Santa Clara, Howarth grew up in San Francisco and is now a Canadian citizen and a resident of Toronto.

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The Mariners' radio duo discuss their time in baseball, breaking into the business, and their most memorable moments.

Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs are more than just the radio voices of the Seattle Mariners, they are baseball icons in the Pacific Northwest. Niehaus, who received the Ford C. Frick award in 2008, has been in the booth since the franchise’s inaugural season, in 1977. Rizzs’ tenure is nearly as long, as he has been Niehaus’ broadcast partner since 1983, save for three tumultuous seasons spent with the Detroit Tigers. Niehaus and Rizzs talked about their storied careers, the art of broadcasting, and Mariners baseball during an August visit to Fenway Park.


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