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Scott McCauley has been broadcasting minor-league games since 2000 and is currently with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians of the International League after previous stints with low-A South Bend and Double-A Akron.

For me, nothing passes the time like turning my radio dial to a baseball game. A ballgame can blend into the background while you go about your daily routine or weekend chores. A baseball game will melt away the miles on a road trip or a 30-minute drive across town. The miles on my car have added up over the years, and I've always done my best to find a game. To me, it didn’t matter if it was the Dayton Dragons or the Chicago Cubs; just give me a game and I will be content. Nowadays I just dial up my MLB app and plug the phone into my car radio and I will find myself in Southern California or Fenway Park. With every team at my disposal, the question is which broadcasters do I enjoy the most?

I reached out to several colleagues and asked for their favorite major-league announcers. I found a majority of minor-league announcers do not listen to others due to the fear of losing their own style. It is a valid point, but I have been listening to games since I was a kid and I am not about to stop now. So who are the best in the business? What makes them the best of the best? Ultimately the choice is up the fans. Late Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell said that after four or five years the fans are likely to accept you whether you are good or bad. You are their announcer and the voice of their team. Here are my favorites:

11. (Homer Pick) Scott Franzke, Philadelphia Phillies
Scott and I worked together in the Midwest League in 2000 and 2001. He was with the Kane County Cougars and I was the voice of the South Bend Silverhawks. Nine years later he has a World Series ring and I just had a direct phone line hooked up at my cubicle. He went from the buses of A-ball to the Texas Rangers and then the Phillies. Franzke made a few breaks along the way, and his enthusiasm and style will keep him in the City of Brotherly Love for a while.

10. Tom Hamilton, Cleveland Indians
You should know that as a kid I laid in my bed at night listening to Joe Tait and Herb Score. I grew up an Indians fan, and I can’t get enough of Tom’s “A swing and a drive… a-waaaay back…gone.” Even an Indians home run when they are down by five runs can sound like a game changer from Hamilton. A quality I like about him is he tells you like it is when things are going great and, more importantly, when they are going bad. I believe it is important for a broadcaster to let you know when a player is struggling and not sugarcoat a slump. It happens to every player and adds to the game when you hear Tom say, “Boy, he needed that hit” because Jhonny Peralta was three for his last 36.

9. Joe Castiglione, Boston Red Sox
I know ESPN’s Dave O’Brien is in the booth, but I’ll take Castiglione’s voice any day of the week. What is unique about Joe is he’s been in the booth since 1983 and didn’t get the lead announcer title for several years. My guess is unless you live in Boston, he is an acquired taste. I like the style and distinct sound. Plus, he constantly refers to David Ortiz as “Big Papi.”

8. Howie Rose, New York Mets
On Wednesday night I was driving back from Columbus to Indianapolis and tuned into the final innings of the Mets' one-run win over the Marlins. Howie was solid as an analyst questioning bullpen moves and even went into the Marlins' radio booth between innings to get an answer of why they thought Jorge Cantu did not pinch-hit late. How great is that? He simply got up, walked to the next booth and tried to find information for the Mets' fans. Mets fans and New York baseball fans are lucky to at least have one solid guy in the radio booth. Some of the best advice I ever received was from Howie’s partner, Wayne Hagin. Prior to my first year as announcer, I traveled to Tucson to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks in spring training and get to know their minor-league guys. One night, the D'backs were playing the Rockies and I was allowed into the Colorado booth. I stood by behind Wayne and Jeff Kingery, watching the way they handled a broadcast. We would talk in between innings and I asked the ultra in-depth question of what is the one bit of advice you can give me on being a broadcaster. Binoculars. What? Binoculars are the No. 1 thing you will need in a booth and he gives me a wink. The first thing I did when I got back to South Bend was drop $125 of the baseball team’s money on a serious pair of binoculars. You know what? Wayne was right. I still have the same pair and use them all the time. Every once in a while I’ll actually use them to see who is warming up in the bullpen.

7. John Rooney, St. Louis Cardinals
Too high? Six years ago he would not have made this list because he was working for the Chicago White Sox Homer Radio Network. I have always liked his style and the stats that he uses. Just the other afternoon I was listening and he did not give batting average, but listed home runs and runs batted in. I like John now that his is out of Chicago (told you I grew up an Indians' fan), and I really enjoy listening to him call Cardinals games. It’s much easier for me to hear “it’s a goner” after a Pujols home run rather than a Big Hurt blast off of Chad Ogea.

6. Pat Hughes, Chicago Cubs
The job he does with his partner, Ron Santo, makes for great radio. Santo is the cheerleader and Hughes is the straight man in the nine-inning drama that is Cubs baseball. Hughes is excellent with description, and I will tune into a Cubs call as often as I can.

5. Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers
Get well soon Ueck; baseball fans across the world are missing your calls. Simply put, he's one of the best and most entertaining announcers in the business. What more can you say?

4. Jon Miller, San Francisco Giants
I like his style and way he sounds on the radio. You really get his personality during a radio call more than you do on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. He nails all of the big moments and does a tremendous job of building up to the moment. Let’s be honest, all of the top five are legends of the booth.

3. Dave Niehaus, Seattle Mariners
“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it’s grand salami time!” Awesome.

2. Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds
Brennaman is so much fun to listen to, and at times he can make you a little uncomfortable. If a player dogs it to first base, you better believe that Marty will air him out. He pulls no punches, and he will even get a dig in from time to time when talking with Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy. (On a side note, I notice the established broadcasters are quick to criticize or challenge a decision during the game. They don’t make them like they used to. More than a few newcomers call it straight down the middle. Can’t blame them for that; it’s the job of a lifetime and you do what you can to keep it. I hope the fans don’t suffer from that thinking.) Reds fans love Marty for his honesty, and I’m lucky I live in a place where I can to have 700 WLW on my radio preset.   

1. Vin Scully, Los Angeles Dodgers
Still the best, even today. 

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mibush
7/02
I really miss Joe Nuxhall. Marty and Joe were a huge part of my life for many years. The radio would follow me from room to room in our house in Indy for the 11 years we lived there. Once we moved to MT, I really missed their presence in my life. Finally MLB came through with their audio package and I had them back again! Marty is great and Joe was a friend who I never met.
redsfan1470
7/03
Ever since Joe's departure, I have had problems listening to Marty because he's just so damn bitter about everything. It reminds me of watching college basketball games when Billy Packer was announcing - everything is negative.
Oleoay
7/02
No Steve Stone? I will also say as much as I dislike Joe Morgan at times, Jon Miller rocks.
beerchaser42
7/02
Steve Stone is one of my favorites too. I really miss hearing him and you-know-who doing Cubs games.
vgalloro
7/02
Stone is back on TV now, where his talents are wasted because they come with a double dose of Ken Harrelson. And I hate to contradict a wonderful man like the late Ernie Harwell, but I have never accepted Harrelson in his post-GM period. I was only 15 years old when Harrelson sent Rule 5 pick Bobby Bonilla back to Pittsburgh for Jose DeLeon, but even at that tender age, I knew that was a stupid move. At this point, Harrelson is more formulaic, with all his annoying catchphrases, than the computerized announcers on a baseball video game. John Rooney is fantastic. I miss him dearly. For the last six seasons that he was in Chicago, I muted the TV and listened to the radio broadcast, even though I usually couldn't get them to match up just right. No argument with No. 1.
LlarryA
7/02
I became a fan of Stoney in his Cubs days. When Harry would take his middle-innings "break", depending upon who was around, Stone would sometimes switch from color to PBP, and occasionally ended up doing a couple of innings solo. Well. One-man-booth is not easy, and usually reserved for the serious pros, the guys who've trained for it, with years and years of announcing experience. Not the guy who used to be out on the field. Last year, I was flipping around the dial and the only thing on was a WhiteSox game. I was dreading listening to the Hawk (I remember before he left Boston...), but found that Stoney does a remarkable job with Harrelson. I don't think anyone can really stop the Hawk, but Stone was at least able to keep him more on track, using clever questions to keep him more focused on the game at hand, and on actual facts drawn from his playing days. Far better than I was expecting.
happyfunmiles
7/02
The radio voices of the Orioles that I grew up with, Jon Miller and Joe Angel, are still my favorites. As sad as it is that Miller is of to the land of the Golden Gate Bridge, I jumped for joy when the Orioles brought back Joe Angel in 2004.
mswain784
7/02
Jon Sciambi is quickly becoming my favorite. The way he blends stats in with more traditional comments should serve as an example to all "saber-friendly" broadcasters. You get more information in a game from Sciambi then you typically do in a week of other guys.
pobothecat
7/09
Totally agree on Sciambi. Way under-rated. He did Atlanta TV last year and, teamed with (the also under-rated) Joe Simpson, was a real pleasure. Definitely a BP kind of guy, knows his numbers and has a silly sense of humor --- all of which I really miss.
LynchMob
7/02
My favorite line of all time was when Wayne Hagin was a side-kick to Bill King and Lon Simmons in Oakland ... and Lon says to Wayne "I'd have invited you along to play golf with us yesterday, but we already had 3" :-)
greggborgeson
7/02
Jerry Remy of the Red Sox. Entertaining, highly knowledgable.
grenadewade
7/03
Re-read the article title - Remy is strictly a television broadcaster at NESN, so he doesn't qualify for the list.
alangreene
7/02
Before he went to MLB Network and disappeared, Matt Vasgersian was great for the Padres. New school style, but still fantastic, which is hard to find these days.
rbtgt3
7/02
Hmmmm.........lessee.......Denny Mathews is already a Hall of Fame member (inducted year before last) and has being doing Royals games since 1969. I thnk he merits inclusion on this list.
dcarroll
7/02
I am no doubt in the minority on this one, but I find a little of Vin Scully goes a long way. He simply talks too much, mainly about things unrelated to the current game.
atfhoops
7/04
I can understand not liking that, but I think it's one of the reasons he's so loved. Is he still the only guy doing it by himself?
davidpom50
7/07
It drives me nuts when announcers ramble on about things unrelated to the game, and forget to tell me what's happening on the field. However, it's been my experience that Vin NEVER does that. He'll stop his stories to call the count, the pitch, and any action, then go back to his story in the downtime. Mostly happens when no one is on base, and the pitcher is taking his time, or the batter is backing out of the box after every pitch. I absolutely love Vin, he's the best there ever was or ever will be.
blw777
7/02
I like Jon Miller and Don Sutton.
Oleoay
7/02
My favorite part about Jon Miller ESPN broadcasts are the seconds of silence after Joe Morgan says something inane.
pobothecat
7/09
Glad to see a Don Sutton mention. A bit brainy for most in Atlanta -- go figure -- his pitching insights are top notch.
metty5
7/02
One guy you missed is Gary Cohen for the Mets. He is an encyclopedia of Mets knowledge and does a great job.
WaldoInSC
7/02
I don't know how anyone can compile a list of best baseball announcers without Boog Sciambi and Gary Cohen. It's like omitting U2, the Beatles and the Who from your best rock 'n' roll band list.
kerrigrr
7/03
Yeah, but Gary is the SNY TV play by play guy now. This list is only radio announcers.
Oleoay
7/04
I honestly thought he meant announcers in general, since I can plug in my iPod and stream mlb.tv or tv stations or such. I think WGN has a podcast too..
tbookas
7/02
Wayne Hagin is awful. More often than not the listener can infer the result of a play from the crowd's reaction well before he's done trying to describe the play. He seems unprepared as well, frequently referring to players by their positions rather than their names. It is also tough to listen to him describe what a player is thinking or saying at a given time, as if he knows these things for a fact. Howie Rose is fantastic, and an expert on Mets history, but I think he must get annoyed sometimes at Hagin for jumping in while he's doing the play-by-play (this occured when the Mets turned a triple play earlier this season).
kerrigrr
7/03
I actually diagree. I think Hagin brings a lot to the table this year. He frequently makes insightful comments about strategy and subs that come to be played out on the field afterward. I think he's a big upgrade over McCarthy who the Mets had a few years back. Between Howie and Wayne on the radio and Gary/Keith/Ron on SNY, I feel like Mets fans have a surplus of good broadcasters, which makes tuning in a pleasure.
PaulieNeu
7/02
No John Sterling or Suzyn Waldman? What is the world coming to when two morons who can't articulate what's going on aren't on this list?
GraigNettles
7/02
"No John Sterling or Suzyn Waldman? What is the world coming to when two morons who can't articulate what's going on aren't on this list?" Maybe being a Yankee fan has turned my brain to mush but I much prefer Sterling's enthusiasm to Dave O'Brien's - how did the author phrase his description of new PBP guys? - oh yeah, "straight down the middle" delivery. Being in New England I get to listen to both radio teams. I can appreciate Castiglione even though I'm not a Red Sox fan. It's become fashionable to bash Sterling for some slip ups, but we know he meant Matsui when he said A-Rod. He corrected himself. Time to move on. Signed, John Sterling's Mom :-)
garmoore
7/02
Good list, but I'd include Jerry Howarth, the Blue Jays' play by play man, in there. Great play by play, and although it's clear what team he's working for, he gets the Toronto fans a lot of information on the opponents.
TheBunk
7/02
Gah, I was really hoping that Jerry would get his due on this list, it's a joy to listen to Blue Jays games on the radio and I don't think many people know that.
MFPipkin
7/02
This list has to include Eric Nadel for the Texas Rangers. He is a consummate professional with a unique passion for the game. He was a perfect segue from the late Mark Holtz, who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Scott Franzke wouldn't be on your list without Eric Nadel.
joel3green
7/06
Second on the Eric Nadel nomination... probably not reaching the largest of audiences. Every game is on TV of some kind, and who outside of the Metroplex wants to listen to the Rangers radio?
andyfoy
7/02
I was listening to a Brewers' game last week and someone took second on defensive indifference in the 9th inning. Cory Provus said something to the effect of, "Runner takes second on defensive indifference. Or as Bob Uecker would say, 'Who Cares'?" Can't beat Ueck, get well soon, sir...
Clonod
7/02
You definitely picked the wrong Cardinals announcer. Mike Shannon is the most entertaining radio announcer I have ever heard. Heh Heh Heh...
redsfan1470
7/03
I'm a Reds fan so I have no love lost for the Cardinals, but I've got to agree with your comment. Shannon CLEARLY loves baseball and loves the Cardinals, and that shines through during his broadcasts. Even though I don't share his feelings, I enjoy listening to him because it's obvious he is having fun in the booth.
stevemillburg
7/04
Yeah, he's having fun in the booth, and occasionally he even gets around to telling you what's happening on the field. By all accounts he's a great guy, but if you're trying to follow the game, he can be maddening. At the end of the 2005 season, he announced a batter, then noticed an airplane flying over the stadium, which reminded him of an aerial photo he'd seen of the about-to-be-demolished Busch Stadium II, which led to some musings about the festivities the Cardinals had scheduled to commemorate the stadium's closing, and so on. Finally, after several minutes of meandering, he said, "Okay, the count's 3 and 2." Arrrggghhhhh!!! And this was during a playoff game. I'd love to have dinner with Mike Shannon, but as a play-by-play announcer, he's more like an every-other-play announcer, maybe, unless he's interviewing somebody from some local charity or event, in which case you're lucky if he eventually gets around to telling you about the hits, let alone the pitches or outs.
brunocat
7/02
Gotta give some love to Ken Korach of the A's. A worthy successor to Bill King and Lon Simmons.
jsnell
7/02
I second the author about the greatness of Jon Miller. You haven't heard Miller until you've heard him on the radio. He is downright wacky. Not only is the entire game covered masterfully, but the down time is frequently full of entertaining quips, asides, and ongoing discussion with his booth partner, usually young Dave Flemming.
bflaff1
7/02
Appreciate the shout out for Franzke, since he's been a great add for the Phillies.
JDaniels
7/02
No Jerry Howarth is criminal.
stevemillburg
7/02
The one basic duty of any radio announcer, before analyzing or entertaining or coming up with catch phrases, is to tell me what's happening in the game. That means every play and, yes, every pitch, even if it's just a parenthetical "ball two" inserted into a discourse on the next month's worth of team promotions. For whatever reason (habits from doing TV broadcasts? habits from sports talk radio? ego in thinking that listeners are more interested in the announcer's wit and wisdom than they are in the game?), few announcers do that anymore, and it drives me nuts. Marty Brennaman is one of the worst about this. He starts "bantering" with Jeff Brantley about his golf game or something, and batter after batter scarcely even gets mentioned. Brennaman also virtually ignores the game during the half-inning that he spends talking with a beat writer about the Reds. The Cubs' announcing team is also horrible (you lose the entire half-inning that they spend interviewing whatever F-list "celebrity" is singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" that day), though to be fair it's more Ron Santo's fault than Pat Hughes'. I have some other issues with Marty Brennaman, but the fact that he doesn't do his primary job, which is to tell people who aren't watching the game what's happening, alone disqualifies him from any "best" list.
cggarb
7/03
Marty is lax about giving the score and out status, to be sure. The best thing about this Reds season is that Marty isn't nearly as cranky. His "honesty" often turned into scapegoating the last few years.
redsfan1470
7/03
It's pretty damning that "the best thing" about Red broadcasts is that "Marty isn't nearly as cranky" - that's a pretty low bar. I do agree that he's less of a killjoy this season, but it's still a bother for me to listen to him. Everything is so negative that it stops being enjoyable for me to listen. FWIW, I feel the same way about Thom Brennaman's work on TV for FSN Ohio.
jalee121
7/02
So six years ago John Rooney was bad because he was on the "White Sox homer" network, yet Pat Hughes is good because he works with a bumbling homer. Got it.
airlifting
7/03
Yeah, I didn't quite get it either. He worked for EPSN 1000, so he's a worse announcer for it? That's worse than putting your favorite teams announcer in the list for no apparen....oh, wait...nevermind.
atfhoops
7/04
Calling Ron Santo a "bumbling homer" is a pretty sure sign that you're dead inside. If you can't see the difference in the homerism of Hawk and Ron, I'd almost think you were taking that stand just to spark an argument. Hawk is a smug d-bag, and a mercenary with no real ties to the team to boot. You could replace him with a Mad Lib and a bag of his catchphrases. He goes out of his way to try and say as little as possible about anything the other time accomplishes. Ronnie, on the other hand, is a close second to Ernie Banks for being "Mr. Cub". He wears his heart on his sleeve. The key difference is that he's not anti-opposing team like Hawk. He's just crushed when the Cubs don't get it done. Even if you want to insist on the bumbling homer bit, Hughes IS good because he's one of (I'm betting) a very small group of people who could work seamlessly with Ron and together create a strong broadcast.
rawagman
7/03
Jerry Howarth for me - him and the late, great, and still unappreciated Tom Cheek were the voices of my childhood (them and Mr.'s Bowen and Cole). Jerry is still going strong with a solid and improving Alan Ashby.
dbrociner
7/03
First, I'd like to say that the $15 a year I spend on the audio package from mlb.com is far and away the greatest value of anything I buy all year. Second, I'm a Yankee fan who listens to Mets games because of Howie Rose and whomever his partner is. I don't think Hagen is bad, he isn't Mr. Met but he does bring years of working in baseball to the booth and I think he does a good job. While Vin Scully is the gold standard, Charlie Steiner does an excellent job for the Dodgers. I know he's disliked by many and that he was run out of NYC but I can't figure out why. I also think that the mark of a good announcer is how excited they get when the opposing team makes a great play. The "homer" announcer doesn't do this being too worried about what just happened to "us" and how it affects "our" chances to score. To Jon Sterling's credit he celebrates the great play in the field regardless of who has made it.
atfhoops
7/04
I think one of the better things I could say about Charlie and Rick Monday is that I have no problem sticking with them when the 4th rolls around and Vin goes away.
davidpom50
7/07
I like Rick Monday, but Steiner drives me nuts. I'll often switch to the opposing team's broadcast after 3, if I can't get to a TV to keep listening to Vin. It's not radio, but I don't think there's a worse announcer in sports than the Dodger's TV east of the Rockies guy, Steve Lyons. Makes Joe Morgan look intelligent.
scottlong
7/03
A few years back, I believe it was USA Today rated the radio teams. Number 1 rank was Rooney and Ed Farmer. They were were as good as it gets. I'm someone who likes the interplay between 2 people, sorry Scully fans, so when 2 guys connect like Rooney and Farmer did, it's like a musical duet or a comedy team at its peak. I like Hamilton, as his passion is infectious, like Gus Johnson doing b-ball or Musberger doing college football.
atfhoops
7/04
Solid list. I'd probably swap in Ted Lightner and Milo Hamilton for Rooney and Rose (just haven't heard them enough). I agree with you in that the common thread in your list seems to be guys who are willing to criticize their team when they're dogging it or underperforming. One of the things I keep telling myself I'll do is listen to all 30 radio teams and write up "reviews" of each one. Instead, each year I tend to fall into sticking with with a group of comfortable teams (mostly east/west coast split, because I'm a Tigers fan). I'm a Tigers fan, but I wouldn't put Dickerson/Price in the top 10, maybe not in the top 15. Maybe that's honest, and maybe it's just that Ernie was Ernie and I'm docking them for not being him. Best thing about MLB AtBat? I never have to listen to Sterling/Waldeman ever again. Back with XM I had to deal with them when the Tigers were in NY.
flyingdutchman
7/05
I think you're docking them unfairly for not being Ernie. I mean, I dock everybody for not being Ernie, save for Vin Scully, whose games I watch every chance I get. But Dickerson & Price are pretty good, in my opinion. They're jovial, interested, and pretty much good guys who try not to say anything terribly stupid. I guess that's setting a pretty low bar, but when I sail around the MLB app and listen to the diamondbacks, rockies, and padres announcers, I thank my lucky stars for Dickerson and Price, who seem like legends in the making in comparison.
hyprvypr
7/04
Good list, I think Tom Hamilton is one of the best for sure. I listen to Indians games just to hear him call games - even if I don't care about the Indians or their opponents.
drawbb
7/20
Scully is in his decline phase, but he's still better than most. What a lot of people don't want to acknowledge is that even in his prime, Scully was not as good as Jon Miller--the best I've ever heard by far. Worst of all time is a tie between Ted Lightner and John Sterling with Harrelson very close.
basewinner
8/21
Disagree with drawbb - Lightner is solid and funny. Like Sterling too. I guess its personal preference. Personally I think the worst is Niehaus who gets his home run call out on all long fly balls that get caught and is consistent about his miscalls. He really sucks and his phrase are canned. Brutal. Another bad broadcast is Tampa's with the indoor stadium and the dudes voice sounds like he is calling another stripper up to the stage. Give it up for Carl Crawford on center stage. Best color man is Candiotti here in Arizona - who is very insightful and of course Campbell is a close second on the ESPN game of the week.