It sounds like it might only be a matter of time before Joe Buck is calling Major League Baseball games again, but not for ESPN.
Last season, Buck admitted ESPN asked him to call a baseball game, but he declined, saying, “I don’t have that itch.” More recently, Buck admitted that he anticipates getting the itch eventually. And now, the renowned play-by-play voice admits he misses calling local MLB games.
Buck recently joined The Zone with Jason Anderson on Kansas City’s 810 WHB radio from the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. During the interview, Buck was asked whether he misses being an MLB play-by-play voice in the wake of departing Fox to lead ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth last year.
“You know what I miss? I miss how I started,” Buck told Anderson. “I miss doing local baseball. I miss putting on a headset and being the eyes and ears of Cardinal fans, Royal fans, Rangers fans, whatever. That’s more fun than being Switzerland and getting all the junk that comes with it.”
The “junk” was in reference to the groups of baseball fans who baselessly complained Buck hated their favorite team throughout his more than three decades as a national MLB broadcaster for Fox.
“I can say that because I’ve done 24 World Series, that’s enough for one person in a lifetime,” Buck continued. “That’s seven times more than I ever expected to do. I didn’t expect to do one. And to start and to do it when I was 27 and to finish when I was in my early 50s, I’m proud of all that and those moments and I didn’t blow it, really in any of those moments. But calling baseball and having fun, relaxing on the air, and having a partner that you can have fun with, and just taking it chill would be a blast. But I don’t miss the national stuff.”
Joe Buck wants to call baseball again? Great news for ESPN. Joe Buck having no interest in calling baseball nationally? Bad news for ESPN.
ESPN would have to be licking their chops at the idea of putting Buck in their Sunday Night Baseball booth. They have the best national MLB play-by-play voice under contract and a baseball broadcast booth that has been in flux for more than a decade. Unfortunately for ESPN, they can’t make the two ends meet.
Interestingly, Buck was presented with the opportunity to call a slate of local games with the St. Louis Cardinals this season. But Buck, a former Cardinals broadcaster and the son of iconic Cardinals play-by-play voice Jack Buck, declined the offer.
“It’s not the right time in my life,” Buck told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year regarding the Cardinals job. “I don’t think it’s fair to do just a few games, you have to be committed to this.”
Even though Buck didn’t feel he could fully commit to the job, it’s interesting to hear him openly admit to missing the gig that was recently offered to him. Regardless, Buck clearly has an interest in calling baseball again in the future, and baseball should always have mutual interest in Buck.