Swansong for Hall of Famer Kubek aired on MLB Net

After watching the New York Football Giants choke away a fine season on Sunday (I imagine there was much joy in New England), I happened upon a 1989 ALCS game featuring Oakland (with the Bash Brothers — Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire — and Rickey Henderson) going up against Toronto (with former Mets Mookie Wilson and Lee Mazzili). Honestly, I had forgotten that Mookie was traded from the Mets late in the 1989 season.
Bob Costas and Tony Kubek handled the call for NBC, and ex-Met Bobby Valentine was providing some sideline reports. In Game 4, Canseco blasted a 480-foot home run, into the upper deck of SkyDome, and the nattilly attired Valentine said, “Let me describe that in money terms: that was a $15 cab ride.”
The difference in telecast styles between 1989 on NBC and the current-day Fox Sports are dramatic. There are much less bells and whistles (and other sound effects) back then, and no constant scoreboard with balls and strikes. In fact, NBC would flash up the batter’s count using graphics with lettering so huge they were perfect for your grandparents.
MLB Network showed games 2 and 4 of the 1989 ALCS to feature Hall of Fame shoe-in Rickey Henderson, but it should be noted that these five games in the ALCS were the final national telecasts for Kubek, who joined NBC fresh off his retirement from the Yankees in Oct. 1965 and spent 24 years with the Peacock Network. Kubek called the 981st and final NBC Saturday Game of the Week telecast one week earlier, and had been teamed with Costas since 1983. Kubek spent his final five years behind the microphone (1990-94) calling Yankees games on MSG Network.
Kubek is being enshrined in the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year.

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    Ken McMillan

    Sports editor Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for the past 35 years. He reports on local college and high school. He also writes on TV/radio sports news, having ... Read Full
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