In the 67 years that Major League Baseball has aired national broadcasts on television and radio, there have been 196 announcers who have drawn the assignments. A total of 68 have appeared only on television, 89 have worked exclusively on radio and only 39 have performed in both mediums.
When ESPN presents Wednesday’s National League wild-card playoff between San Francisco and Pittsburgh, there will be two newcomers to the TV playoff ranks: Dan Shulman and John Kruk. Shulman is no stranger to the MLB playoffs, having called 35 different playoff series for ESPN Radio since 1998. Kruk, who has never called a playoff game, will also make his playoff radio debut on the Washington-wild card NL Division Series. Tom Verducci also makes his playoff booth debut for Fox, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network.
The reigning all-time champ is Tim McCarver, who worked 310 playoff games on ABC, CBS and Fox, from his 1985 debut on ABC’s World Series between the Royals and Cardinals, to his final national call on Fox’s 2013 World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals.
The active leader is Joe Buck, whose 221 broadcasts have all come on Fox. He will have the call of the National League Championship Series (for the 10th time) and the World Series (for the 15th consecutive year and 17th time overall).
With his call of Saturday’s NLDS game between Los Angeles and St. Louis, Bob Costas will move into a tie for fifth place at 86 telecasts with Bob Brenly. Working only for MLB Network, Costas will not likely reach the 100-game mark, which includes Joe Morgan (104) and the late Curt Gowdy (100).
The quick riser is Ron Darling, who has called 65 playoff telecasts on TBS since 2007. At age 54, Darling could reach the 100-game mark by 2017 or 2018.
All-time playoff games on national TV
310 – Tim McCarver
221 – Joe Buck
104 – Joe Morgan
100 – Curt Gowdy
86 – Bob Brenly
85 – Bob Costas
84 – Joe Garagiola
82 – Tony Kubek
79 – Vin Scully
73 – Al Michaels
65 – Ron Darling
63 – Mel Allen; Jim Palmer
61 – Thom Brennaman
50 – Steve Lyons
49 – Howard Cosell
48 – Jon Miller
45 – Buck Martinez
43 – Keith Jackson; Dick Stockton
41 – John Smoltz
37 – Bob Uecker
36 – Tom Seaver
34 – Brian Anderson
32 – Joe Simpson
30 – Ernie Johnson; Jim Kaat
29 – Chris Berman; Don Drysdale
28 – Don Orsillo
26 – Jim Simpson
25 – Sean McDonough
24 – Jack Buck; Chip Caray
23 – Dick Enberg; Rick Sutcliffe
17 – Tony Gwynn; Russ Hodges; Sandy Koufax; Cal Ripken Jr.
16 – Reggie Jackson
15 – Jim Britt; Earl Weaver
14 – Jack Brickhouse; Harry Caray; Al Leiter; Maury Wills
13 – Red Barber; Dave O’Brien
10 – Greg Gumbel; Josh Lewin; Monte Moore; Bob Prince
9 – Lou Piniella; Chuck Thompson
8 – Ray Knight
7 – Bret Boone; Luis Gonzalez; Al Helfer; Ray Scott
6 – Jeff Brantley; Lindsey Nelson
5 – Johnny Bench; Marty Brennaman; Rex Hudler; David Justice; Brent Musburger; Harold Reynolds; Victor Rojas; Gary Thorne
4 – Sparky Anderson; Gary Bender; Ken Coleman; Dennis Eckersley; Eric Karros; Wes Parker
3 – Rod Allen; Skip Caray; Larry Dierker; Tommy Hutton; George Kell; Tommy Lasorda; Billy Martin; Ned Martin; Mike Piazza; Ted Robinson; Bill Slater; Steve Stone; Don Sutton; Pete VanWieren
2 – Kenny Albert; Dave Campbell; Joe Carter; Bob Edge; Terry Francona; Orel Hershiser; Jim McIntyre; Bill O’Donnell; Steve Phillips; Kirby Puckett; Phil Rizzuto; Frank Robinson; Bob Stanton; Matt Vasgersian
1 – Jose Mota; Mel Proctor; Steve Zabriskie
NEW – Dan Shulman; John Kruk; Tom Verducci
Red names are 2014 announcers; Purple names are deceased