The voices of summer
Staff - Editor

Take Me To Post Comment Form

I don’t watch or listen to the Braves as much as I once did. When they were bad, perhaps the worst franchise in all of baseball and maybe all of professional sports, nothing could sway me from the TV, thanks to the trio of Ernie Johnson Sr., Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren.

There were a host of others filling the fourth chair through the years — Darrel Chaney, Billy Sample, John Sterling, i.e. — but the big three labored calling Braves games on TV and radio through some dark days and lots of bad, bad baseball.

Pete Van Wieren’s passing last week was a sad moment, and another chapter closing of a childhood and young adulthood spent knowing the Braves would always provide entertainment on another stuffy, insufferable summer night when it was just too oppressive to do anything else. The tributes and reminiscences of the Atlanta Braves’ original Big 3, long before Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine took to the mound, have been pouring in from all media corners in the last several days. Ernie Johnson is recalled for his genial humor and warmth and his tales of Vermont. Skip’s sharp-edged sense of humor and grasp of the absurd (and sometimes disdain for it) made watching and listening enjoyable. Pete’s appreciation for baseball and its history, and his incredible preparation, made sure at least you could learn something about the game, even if the Braves’ level of play was from the book of what not to do.

The Braves broadcasters also earned a tremendous amount of respect from their colleagues over the years. There were always plenty of inside jokes, especially when they would verbally poke such friends as Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame voice Marty Brennaman and his wingman, the late Joe Nuxhall, on the air.

And the great thing about Pete, and his Braves broadcasting brethren then and now, is they didn’t make the game about their calls. It wasn’t about them and whatever clever phrase they could concoct. It was about what was happening in front of them and how best they could convey it to the folks who weren’t there alongside.

Through years of bad baseball and a long-awaited run of winning and titles, I can’t imagine having anyone else bring the Braves into the house like they did.

Latest Activity: Aug 07, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Bookmark and Share
Forward This Blog
Print Blog
More Blogs by pdonahue
Send pdonahue a Message
Report Abuse

Blog has been viewed (1368) times.

Log In to post comments.

Previous blog entries by pdonahue
A lasting memory of Coach Frank Kerns
August 04, 2015
I was barely 22 years old, still plodding away toward graduation and covering the Georgia Southern College men’s basketball team. At the time, they were under the guidance of the acerbic Frank Kerns, possessor of a deep voice that often ripped out profanities like a .50-caliber machine gun on full ...
Read More »
Currington to take the field in Atlanta
July 29, 2015
Effingham County’s own Billy Currington will be playing at Turner Field next week. His songs, that is. Currington will perform following the Braves-Marlins game Aug. 6, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Admission to the postgame concert is included with the ticket price, and tickets are available from $8-$78. ...
Read More »
Prescription drug take back with RPD
September 15, 2014
The Rincon Police Department will be taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 27. People with unused prescription drugs can bring them to the Rincon Police Department on 107 W. 17th St. between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a ...
Read More »
Consolidation talk starts to heat up
September 08, 2014
With the Insurance Services Office, or ISO, consultant working with the various fire departments in the county, could a consolidation of some or all of the departments be in the works? As Springfield Fire Chief Travis Zitterour said to his city council members Tuesday night, a new ladder truck is ...
Read More »
News and notes
August 31, 2014
The Hilton Head Island Packet has reported that the town of Hardeeville across the river has appointed former Rincon city manager Mike Phillips as its interim city manager. And if you live in or visit Lost Plantation frequently, two street names are about to change. Dressler Road will become Dresler ...
Read More »
[View More Blogs...]

Powered by
Morris Technology