- Bob Greene: Baseball radio play-by-play is working commercials into the announcers' descriptions
- He says baseball on the radio is still special -- it's free and comforting commentary in summer
- At times, play-by-play can reach heights, as in description of Stan Musial's last at bat, Greene says
It shouldn't be surprising that this is happening. Baseball has always been a relentlessly and unapologetically revenue-seeking enterprise. Have you ever seen photos of the outfield walls in big-league ballparks in the early to mid-20th century? Even NASCAR's marketing strategists would have been envious of the don't-waste-an-inch commercial clutter.
"And baseball on the radio -- distinct even from baseball itself -- is durable and steady in ways that can't be easily spoiled. Baseball on the radio is one part of the sport that somehow, despite everything, still manages to feel good."
"How good can it get? For a gold-standard example from the history of the sport and of the medium, listen to the KMOX radio broadcast of Stan Musial's final at-bat for the St. Louis Cardinals before his retirement."
"Take a good look, fans. ... Take a good look. It's possible, on summer nights, to see most clearly with your eyes closed."