Thursday, February 15, 2018

EXTRA: Sox/WGN not radical change

Still the voices, for better or worse ...
For those of you still having fits over this week’s announcement that the Chicago White Sox are shifting their radio broadcasts (for the next three seasons) to WGN-AM, relax.

Yes, that station once spreading the Tribune Co.’s image throughout the nation’s airwaves did develop an unnatural closeness to the Chicago Cubs – helping to bolster their image as a cutesy batch of losers.
... of White Sox baseball

BUT THE REALITY is that in sports broadcasting, it’s really the ball clubs that are in charge. It’s still going to be the voices and personas of one-time White Sox ballplayers Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson who will be doing the games. It’s still former ballplayers whom the White Sox think are best employed in the broadcast booth, and not on the field as a manager or coach!

Besides, WGN has the history of Chicago in its background – even that part of the history that occurred around 35th Street and Shields Avenue.

It was long-time Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse who actually was the voice we find on the recordings of that September 1959 night when the White Sox actually won the pennant (not that he’s to blame for the city officials who celebrated by sounding Chicago’s air raid alarm system).
Comiskey Park on Brickhouse statue

Maybe it should also be noted that the only time the legendary Chicago broadcaster got to do a World Series was that very same ’59 Go-Go Sox ball club that, sadly enough, lost in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

GOING ALONG WITH the tradition of the times, the World Series paired up the lead broadcasters for both ball clubs – creating a Vin Scully/Jack Brickhouse team that many baseball-minded people would regard as a broadcast fantasy pairing; both recipients of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Frick Award for broadcasters.

Besides, the Cubs have been off WGN radio for a few years now. The tie was already broken.
Nobody liked this image

It’s not like the ghost of Ron Santo is going to return from the Great Beyond to become the Voice of the White Sox, just as he spent the final years of his life adding to the image of Chicago Cubdom by being their radio voice.

Now as someone old enough to remember the sight of an aging Santo trying to play infield for the White Sox, that truly would be a dreadful thought. But it’s going to be the same sounds of Sox baseball – only at a different spot on the radio dial.


No comments: