In Sunday's Phillies-Braves game, Atlanta won 8-7 after a walkoff home run by Chipper Jones in the ninth inning. The reaction in Atlanta was pretty wild, but Braves radio play-by-play announcer Jim Powell seemed to portray the best reaction from the general fanbase in the call below.
Powell described the scene as Jones stepped into the box with unbridled enthusiasm, with almost an expectation that the retiring Braves legend would do something special. Sure enough, after Chipper whiffed on a fastball, he set the next one into the stratosphere… right where Powell said he had a huge gap in right center field.
As soon as Jones connected, Powell went into super ultra homer mode (which is acceptable in cases like this when your name isn't Hawk Harrelson). He managed to announce to listeners exactly what happened and conveyed the magnitude of the situation: a comeback from down six runs, topped off by the franchise legend. Then, he went silent and let the crowd take over, a talent that most broadcasters don't seem to possess.
Now, let's contrast Powell's call to the home and road TV feeds. Chip Caray's call was, quite frankly, the same as he always does. "SWING HIGH FLY BALL!" And considering how often he raises his voice during the course of a normal game, it didn't seem overly exciting for him. Like Powell, Caray let the crowd take over after his call.
And now, the Phillies call by Tom McCarthy. McCarthy almost seemed amused at the homer, and lamented the loss and Atlanta's second huge comeback against the Phillies this year. McCarthy and Chris Wheeler were silent for a few seconds then started to mumble about how "this game is crazy" and exhilirating, and humbling, and so on.
These three calls are a good comparison of emotion when calling an emotional walkoff such as this. You have Powell, who did his job fantastically with childish exuberence, Caray, who called it like nearly every other walkoff he's called, and McCarthy, the shellshocked victim of a crushing loss. Three faces of an emotional moment in the league.
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