It’s understandable that it’s the players (and sometimes managers) that are remembered for memorable World Series moments. But commentators?
On Thursday night, the St. Louis Cardinals won one of the greatest games in the storied history of baseball’s World Series. Twice down to their last strike, the Cards somehow won when David Freese’s walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th beat the Texas Rangers 10-9, forcing the first game seven of the Fall Classic since 2002.
But in Fox’s commentary booth, history of another kind was repeating, making for one of those lovely bits of nuance that only baseball seems able to provide. Lead commentator Joe Buck used the words, “We will see you tomorrow night!” as Freese’s shot cleared the center field fence. He wasn’t merely stating a fact but also paying tribute to his late father, Jack, who uttered the line 20 years ago. What’s more, there was an uncanny similarity because on that day, Kirby Puckett’s homer won — you guessed it — Game 6 of the 1991 World Series for the Minnesota Twins. And what’s more, analyst Tim McCarver, a booth partner for both generations of Bucks, was present each time.
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Back then, of course, the likes of Twitter wasn’t even an apple in creator Jack Dorsey’s mind; but in 2011, the younger Buck’s call meant that a different Jack, his dad, became a trending topic.
And while it should be pointed out that Buck Jr. has used the line before (widely considered to be one of the greatest in baseball history) and even came up with a cool variation during the epic New York Yankees choke to the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS (“we’ll see you later tonight!”), only those with a heart of stone couldn’t fail to be moved by Buck’s words on Thursday. How about before game 7 this evening, we all go call our fathers and tell them we love them?