Joe Buck on Fox World Series coverage. Joe Buck on Fox World Series coverage.

An interesting element of Joe Buck’s move from Fox to ESPN last year was how it didn’t involve baseball. Buck had been Fox’s lead MLB voice since 1996, but his move to ESPN was only for football (and a few other things, such as an alternate broadcast for the 2022 PGA Championship). And he said in August “I’m pretty good with just calling football the rest of my life or the rest of my career,” and said in November that ESPN had asked him to call a MLB postseason game, but he’d declined, saying “I don’t have that itch.” But in a new interview with Matt Spiegel for Audacy’s The PBP: Voices of Baseball podcast, Buck said that itch may return (but specifically for a few local broadcasts rather than national ones). Here’s the key part of that conversation:

Some quotes from that and the full interview (which gets to the baseball discussion around the 10:45 mark):

“I think I will (do baseball again). I’ve never said that before. But I just feel like I’m 53, basically 54, I think it’s too early to say nevers at this point in my life. I think at some point, I’ll get the itch again.”

“It would be local. Doing a handful of games in St. Louis, doing a handful of games if we move to Denver, doing a handful of games in Minnesota… It’s not going to be ‘Hey, welcome to the World Series! This is my 25th.’ I’m done with that. That’s enough.”

Buck went on to say more about why he feels he’d enjoy local broadcasting, including the lessened need to be objective towards both teams. He said he liked watching what his father Jack (who called games on radio and TV for the St. Louis Cardinals for decades in addition to his national work) did on local broadcasts.

“The national stuff is more prestigious and it’s bigger and it comes with more money and it comes with more pressure. But the local guy is there representing the fan.”

“I just remember my dad’s thing was two on and nobody out, ‘We need a triple play!’ You don’t say that when you’re doing – We? ‘We’ means John Smoltz and me. ‘We’ means those of us at FOX. There is no ‘we’ in national broadcasting.”

It’s certainly interesting to hear Buck talking about missing baseball broadcasting. And that’s especially true after his comments in August on only looking to call football, and him saying in November he didn’t have that baseball itch (although he did say there “If someday I wanna go back and call a few games-maybe” and didn’t even fully reject ESPN’s idea of him calling a game or games for them, just saying “Let’s just give it some time”).

But it maybe makes more sense that Buck is considering this in particular when it comes to limited local fill-in work. He’s previously spoken about how he’s enjoyed the freedom to show his Cardinals’ fandom now he isn’t calling baseball nationally, and he’s previously talked about he doesn’t think there’s “unfinished business” with the World Series, which he doubles down on here. Some local baseball fill-in work might present a way for Buck scratch a different kind of baseball itch, if that itch does in fact return. And there are plenty of prominent people who like Buck and say they miss him on baseball, so he’d definitely draw some interest from teams if he did want to do that.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.