Baseball just a came as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.
Baseball is a tongue-tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball!
Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.
There's a man in Mobile who remembers that Honus Wagner hit a triple in Pittsburgh 46 years ago. That's baseball.
Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.
It isn't me that people love. It's baseball.
Baseball is the president tossing out the first ball of the season. And a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm.
If I walked back into the booth in the year 2025, I don't think it would have changed much. I think baseball would be played and managed pretty much the same as it is today. It's a great survivor.
A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from the corner of his dugout. That's baseball.
Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World Series catch, and then dashing off to play stickball in the street with his teenage pals. That's baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying, 'I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.'
Baseball is a rookie, his experience no bigger than the lump in his throat as he begins fulfillment of his dream.
Also I'm a part of the people that I've worked with in baseball that have been so great to me, Mr. Earl Mann of Atlanta, who gave me my first baseball broadcasting job.
In baseball, democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rule book. And color, merely something to distinguish one team's uniform from another's.
Baseball is a lot like life. It's a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.
Everybody we meet has an influence on us and an impact - good or bad. And I think that's why we have to be careful with the way we handle people because what we're doing is making an impact.
I think if you checked the attendance records of all the announcers, you'd find a lot better record than you would of anybody else in any other business because we love the game and have a passion for it.
That other saying, I'm a part of all that I have met, I think that would have to begin with my wonderful parents back in Atlanta when I was a youngster five years old I was tongue tied.
What happens with any announcer when he comes into an area, if he stays four or five years and does a fairly decent job, people accept him and he becomes part of the family.
I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan. I love their grit. I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have.
The best thing anyone can do is be himself. Everyone was made different by God, and that's the way it should be. And if I were a writer or an announcer starting out, I don't think I'd imitate anybody. I'd try to be whatever I am.
Everybody in the minor leagues - if you're a player, an announcer, whatever - wants to be in the big leagues.
The game's the thing. That's why people tune in. They don't tune in to hear an announcer.
In radio, they say, nothing happens until the announcer says it happens.
I look on life as a joyous adventure.
It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.
But most of all, I'm a part of you people out there who have listened to me, because especially you people in Michigan, you Tiger fans, you've given me so much warmth, so much affection and so much love.
I think I owe thanks to the people who have listened to me over the years, who tuned in on the radio. They have given me a warmth and loyalty that I've never been able to repay. The way they have reached out to me has certainly been the highlight of my life.
I praise the Lord here today. I know that all my talent and all my ability comes from him, and without him I'm nothing and I thank him for his great blessing.