Sunday, April 01, 2007


Baseball Gods, A Word

I believe in the baseball Gods. And before this turns into a theological discussion/fire and brimstone hailing thing, just that when good people associated with the game die, they go to The Big Game, where the grass is always green, it's always 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky, nobody ever gets hit with a ball or injured, and the umps always get the call right. It's like Field of Dreams mixed in with my Catholic school upbringing. But let's not get into that.

That in mind, let's be sincere for a minute: Herb Carneal died today.

It was his voice I heard when I'd listen to the Twins with my grandpa when I was 5 (he preferred to put the Cubbies on TV).

It was his voice I heard when I couldn't watch the games anymore because of that MSC debacle.

His was the only voice I wanted to hear on the AM radio (with apologies to Paul Harvey and the entirety of his story).

It was his voice I heard when I was speeding back home to St. John's after visiting my family when they moved to Nebraska. I got good at finding the right frequency at the checkpoints: Wilmar, Pipestone, Sioux Falls, etc. (in fact, highway 23 is a surprisingly beautiful stretch of road, in case you were wondering).

And now we're not going to hear it anymore.

Dazzle, them's big shoes you're (most likely going to be) filling. Herb's got the call for The Big Game.


I grew up in northern Indiana, halfway between Chicago and Detroit, so I got to hear Jack Brickhouse call White Sox games and Ernie Harwell do the Tigers. I've been in Minnesota for 30 years now and I can say that Herb was better. He announced like John McPhee writes -- clean, simple, direct, knowledgeable, a touch of humor now and then. Herb had a light touch that belied a deep appreciation for the game. No bombast, no cliches. Fine announcer, fine man.

Jim H.
Touch em all Herbie C. We will miss you!
"So long, everybody!"

So long, Herb. Hope you have a good spot to watch all the action this season. Wish you were calling it, too.
as uncontrallable id told me yesterday, herb passed just in time for him to find kirby and get some snacks before settling down and watching game 1...
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