There are so many things I could say about Phillies’ radio play-by-play guy Scott Franzke. He has infinite patience with the Phillies themselves, as he’s had for the past three and a half years as they’ve traveled down to the basement, unloaded shovels, dug another 100 feet below that, and are now on their way back to up. He has a great rapport (and infinite patience) with his partner in the booth Larry Anderson. He even has infinite patience for random drunk idiots shouting at him at a nearly-empty late-season baseball game. He has a stable of familiar words and phrases he uses, but he’s never clichéd.
Best of all, his voice is friendly and familiar. His home run calls are excited, increasing in volume and animation as the ball gets closer and closer to leaving the park. He’s never shrill or piercing, and he never sounds like he’s sucking up all the oxygen in the room when he calls a homer. (AHEM, LIKE SOME OTHER BROADCASTER I COULD MENTION.)
You know what, why don’t I just mention him? Tom McCarthy seems like a nice dude, but I’d much rather him never, ever, ever call another Phillies game again and stick to football forever. (I think he’s good at that, actually.) And Ben Davis is a hot, steaming pile of incomprehensible garbage masquerading as a shitty broadcaster. He’s categorically, undeniably terrible.
(I have a soft spot for Matt Stairs, who I think is at least decent as a broadcaster, though he still does that mumbly-slurry thing when he talks too fast. To me, someone who grew up in Maine, the dulcet tones of his Canadian accent sound like my adolescence. But not everyone has the advantage of knowing how to understand that particular brand of talking.)
This is why I’m grateful for Scott Franzke. He’s so good at what he does, and I hope the Phillies never let him go. If you need proof of this, please take a moment to watch/listen to Franzke’s masterful call of Freddy Galvis’ go-ahead homer from Wednesday’s Braves game.
There’s this moment when he says “and the Phillies lead it!” where you can hear the legitimate excitement in his voice. It sounds like his call from Jimmy Rollins’ ninth inning double in the 2009 NLCS, Roy Halladay’s 2010 perfect game, his postseason no-hitter (oh god all the memories), and countless late-innings comebacks. Even after watching and calling nearly every single game the Phillies have played for years, I love that he still gets excited when the Phillies surprise him.