List of National League Championship Series broadcasters

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The following is a list of the national television and radio networks and announcers that have broadcast National League Championship Series games over the years. It does not include any announcers who may have appeared on local broadcasts produced by the participating teams.

Television[edit]

2010s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators Field reporters Pregame hosts Pregame analysts Trophy presentation
2013 TBS Ernie Johnson, Jr. Ron Darling and Cal Ripken, Jr. Craig Sager Keith Olbermann Pedro Martinez, Tom Verducci and Gary Sheffield Ernie Johnson, Jr.
2012 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver Ken Rosenthal, Erin Andrews (Game 1–4, 6–7) and Chris Myers (Game 5) Matt Vasgersian Harold Reynolds, Eric Karros and A.J. Pierzynski Erin Andrews
2011 TBS Brian Anderson Ron Darling and John Smoltz Craig Sager Matt Winer Cal Ripken, Jr., Dennis Eckersley and David Wells Matt Winer
2010 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver Ken Rosenthal Chris Rose Eric Karros and Mitch Williams Chris Rose

Notes[edit]

  • The 2010 NLCS did not air in some Philadelphia-area homes after Cablevision pulled local Fox station WTXF off its lineup on October 16 as the result of a carriage dispute with News Corporation, Fox's parent company.[1]
  • Brian Anderson took over for Ernie Johnson, Jr. as the de facto lead play-by-play man for TBS during the 2011 playoffs because Johnson had to care for his son Michael (who suffers from Muscular dystrophy and was placed in intensive care around the same time as the playoffs).[2]

2000s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators Field reporters Pregame hosts Pregame analysts Trophy presentation
2009 TBS Chip Caray Ron Darling and Buck Martinez Craig Sager Ernie Johnson, Jr. Cal Ripken, Jr., Dennis Eckersley, and David Wells Ernie Johnson, Jr.
2008 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver Ken Rosenthal and Chris Myers Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy, Mark Grace, and Eric Karros Chris Myers
2007 TBS Chip Caray Tony Gwynn and Bob Brenly Craig Sager Ernie Johnson, Jr. Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Thomas and Ron Darling Ernie Johnson, Jr.
2006 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver and Luis González Ken Rosenthal Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy and A. J. Pierzynski
2005 Fox Thom Brennaman Steve Lyons and Bob Brenly Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy
2004 Fox Thom Brennaman Steve Lyons and Bob Brenly Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy
2003 Fox Thom Brennaman Steve Lyons and Al Leiter Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy
2002 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy
2001 Fox Joe Buck (Games 1–2)
Thom Brennaman (Games 3–5)
Tim McCarver (Games 1–2)
Steve Lyons (Games 3–5)
Jeanne Zelasko Kevin Kennedy
2000 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver Keith Olbermann Steve Lyons Keith Olbermann

Notes[edit]

  • In 2002, Game 1 of the NLCS and Game 2 of the ALCS were split between Fox and Fox Sports Net. The regional split was done in order for Fox to avoid televising a weekday afternoon game.
  • In 2004, Game 1 of the NLCS and Game 2 of the ALCS were split between Fox and Fox Sports Net. Also in 2004, Game 5 of the ALCS ran way into the time slot of Game 5 of the NLCS. As a result, the first seven innings of the NLCS game were shown on FX Networks, except in the home markets of the teams competing in the NLCS, which saw the conclusion of the ALCS on FX and the NLCS on Fox.

1990s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators Field reporters
1999 NBC Bob Costas[4][5] Joe Morgan Jim Gray and Craig Sager
1998 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver and Bob Brenly
1997 NBC Bob Costas[6] Joe Morgan[7] and Bob Uecker[8] Jim Gray[9]
1996 Fox Joe Buck Tim McCarver and Bob Brenly
1995 ABC (Games 1–2[10][11])
NBC (Games 3–4)
Al Michaels (Games 1–2)
Greg Gumbel (Games 3–4)
Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver (Games 1–2)
Joe Morgan (Games 3–4)
Lesley Visser (Games 1–2)
1994 Canceled due to 1994 strike.
1993 CBS Sean McDonough[12] Tim McCarver[13][14] Jim Gray
1992 CBS[15] Sean McDonough[16] Tim McCarver[17][18] Jim Gray
1991 CBS Jack Buck[19] Tim McCarver[20] Andrea Joyce
1990 CBS Jack Buck[21] Tim McCarver Andrea Joyce

Notes[edit]

  • The 1990 postseason started on a Thursday, while World Series started on a Tuesday due to the brief lockout.
    • In 1990, Major League Baseball and CBS went with some rather unconventional scheduling during the LCS round, with two consecutive scheduled off-days[22] in the NLCS after Game 2.
  • In 1991, CBS didn't come on the air for baseball for weeknight LCS telecasts until 8:30 p.m. ET. Instead, they opted to show programming such as Rescue 911 at 8 p.m. rather than a baseball pregame show.[23]
  • The rather messy 1995 arrangement was courtesy of "The Baseball Network", which was Major League Baseball's in-house production facilities. ABC and NBC (who essentially, distributed the telecasts rather than produce them by themselves like in the past) shared the same on-air graphics and even the microphone “flags” had the "Baseball Network" logo on it with the respective network logo. In addition, the first four games of both of the 1995 League Championship Series were regionally televised.

1980s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1989 NBC[24] Vin Scully[25][26] (Games 1, 3–5)
Bob Costas[27] (Game 2)
Tom Seaver
1988 ABC Al Michaels[28][29] Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver[30]
1987 NBC Vin Scully[31] Joe Garagiola
1986 ABC[32] Keith Jackson[33] Tim McCarver[34]
1985 NBC Vin Scully[35] Joe Garagiola
1984 ABC Don Drysdale[36] Earl Weaver and Reggie Jackson[36]
1983 NBC Vin Scully[37] Joe Garagiola
1982 ABC Al Michaels Howard Cosell[38] and Tommy Lasorda
1981 NBC[39] Dick Enberg Tom Seaver
1980 ABC Keith Jackson Don Drysdale and Howard Cosell

Notes[edit]

  • Game 1 of the 1982 NLCS had to be played twice. In the first attempt (on October 6), the Atlanta Braves led against the St. Louis Cardinals 1–0 behind Phil Niekro. The game was three outs away becoming official when the umpire stopped it. When the rain did not subside, the game was canceled.[43] Game 1 began from the start the following night in a pitching match-up of Pascual Pérez for the Braves and longtime Cardinal starter Bob Forsch.
  • 1983 marked the last year that the local flagship television stations for the competing teams were allowed to produce their own League Championship Series broadcasts. In 1982, Major League Baseball recognized a problem with this due to the emergence of cable superstations such as WTBS in Atlanta and WGN-TV in Chicago. When TBS tried to petition for the right to do a "local" Braves broadcast of the 1982 NLCS,[46] Major League Baseball got a Philadelphia federal court[47][48] to ban[49] them on the grounds that as a cable superstation, TBS could not have a nationwide telecast competing with ABC's.
  • On Thursday, October 10, 1985, NBC didn't come on the air for Game 2[51] of the NLCS until 8:30 p.m. ET to avoid disrupting The Cosby Show at 8.[52] NBC would do the same thing for Thursday night games in subsequent postseasons. Dick Enberg hosted the 1985 NLCS pregame shows with Joe Morgan.[53] It was Enberg who broke the news to most of the nation that Vince Coleman was injured before Game 4. NBC even aired an interview with one of the few people who actually saw the incident, a Dodger batboy.
  • On October 15, 1986, Game 6 of the NLCS ran so long (lasting for 16 innings, 5 hours and 29 minutes), it bumped up against the start time of Game 7 of the ALCS (also on ABC).
    • Jack Whitaker[54] served as an essayist during ABC's coverage of the 1986 NLCS.
    • During Game 6 of the NLCS, ABC color commentator Tim McCarver left the booth during the bottom of the 16th, in order to cover the expected celebration in the New York Mets' clubhouse. As a result, play-by-play man Keith Jackson was on the air by himself for a short time. Eventually, McCarver rejoined the broadcast just before the end of the game, watching the action on a monitor in the Mets' clubhouse, then doing the postgame interviews with the Mets.
    • Corey McPherrin, a sports anchor with WABC (ABC's flagship station out of New York) interviewed Mike Scott when he was presented with the 1986 NLCS MVP award after Game 6.
  • NBC used Don Sutton as a pre and postgame analyst for their 1987 LCS coverage. Marv Albert went back-and-forth during both 1987 LCS.[55] He hosted the pregame for Game 1[56] of the NLCS with Joe Morgan,[57] and in fact had to read the lineups to the viewing audience. There was a problem with the St. Louis P.A. feed, so he ended up reading the script from the Cardinal dugout while the players were introduced to the crowd. He then went to Minnesota the next night to host the ALCS pregame with Don Sutton. Jimmy Cefalo hosted the pregame coverage for Game 5 of the NLCS, as Marv Albert was away on a boxing assignment for NBC.
  • NBC play-by-play man Vin Scully was unable to call Game 2 of the 1989 NLCS (on Wednesday, October 4) because he had come down with laryngitis.[27] Thus, number two play-by-play man, Bob Costas filled-in for him.[27] Interestingly, around the same time, Costas was assigned to call the American League Championship Series between Oakland and Toronto. Game 2 of the NLCS occurred on Thursday, October 5, which was an off day for the ALCS. NBC then decided to fly Costas from Toronto to Chicago to substitute for Scully on Thursday night. Afterwards, Costas flew back to Toronto, where he resumed work on the ALCS the next night.
    • NBC used Mike Schmidt as a guest analyst (Marv Albert served as the pregame host) for Game 1 of the NLCS. Schmidt subsequently, did on-field reporting throughout the series. Schmidt also provided periodic commentary (albeit, taped prior to the playoffs) for ABC during the 1988 NLCS.

1970s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1979 NBC Joe Garagiola Tony Kubek and Don Sutton[61]
1978 ABC Al Michaels Don Drysdale and Johnny Bench[62]
1977 NBC Joe Garagiola (Games 1–2)
Jim Simpson (Game 3)
Dick Enberg (Game 4)
Tony Kubek (Games 1–2)
Maury Wills (Game 3)
Don Drysdale (Game 4)
1976 ABC Al Michaels Warner Wolf and Tom Seaver
1975 NBC Joe Garagiola (Games 1–2)
Curt Gowdy (Game 3)
Maury Wills (Games 1–2)
Tony Kubek (Game 3)
1974 NBC Jim Simpson (Game 1)
Curt Gowdy (Games 3–4)
Maury Wills (Game 1)
Tony Kubek (Games 3–4)
1973 NBC Curt Gowdy (Games 1–2)
Jim Simpson (Games 3–5)
Tony Kubek (Games 1–2)
Maury Wills (Games 3–5)
1972 NBC Jim Simpson (Game 1)
Curt Gowdy (Games 3–5)
Sandy Koufax (Game 1)
Tony Kubek (Games 3–5)
1971 NBC[63] Curt Gowdy (Games 1–2)
Jim Simpson (Games 3–4)
Tony Kubek (Games 1–2)
Sandy Koufax (Games 3–4)
1970 NBC Curt Gowdy (Games 1–2)
Jim Simpson (Game 3)
Tony Kubek (Games 1–2)
Sandy Koufax (Game 3)

Notes[edit]

  • In 1970, NBC televised the second games of both League Championship Series on a regional basis. Some markets got the NLCS at 1 p.m. ET along with a 4 p.m. NFL game while other markets got the ALCS at 4 p.m. along with a 1 p.m. NFL game.
  • Except for Game 1 in both series, all games in 1975 were regionally televised. Game 3 of both League Championship Series were aired in prime time, the first time such an occurrence happened.
  • 1976 marked the first time that all LCS games were televised nationally.

1969[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1969 NBC Jim Simpson (Game 1)
Curt Gowdy (Games 2–3)
Sandy Koufax (Game 1)
Tony Kubek (Games 2–3)

Notes[edit]

  • In the early years of the League Championship Series, NBC typically televised a doubleheader on the opening Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday (because of NFL coverage). They then covered the weekday games with a 1.5 hour overlap, joining the second game in progress when the first one ended. NBC usually swapped announcer crews after Game 2.
  • The Major League Baseball television contract at the time allowed a local TV station in the market of each competing team to also carry the LCS games. So, for example, Mets fans in New York could choose to watch either the NBC telecast or Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner on WOR-TV.

Surviving telecasts[edit]

For all of the League Championship Series telecasts spanning from 1969-1975, only Game 2 of the 1972 American League Championship Series (Oakland vs. Detroit) is known to exist. However, the copy on the trade circuit of Game 2 of the 1972 ALCS is missing the Bert Campaneris-Lerrin LaGrow brawl. There are some instances where the only brief glimpse of telecast footage of an early LCS game can be seen in a surviving newscast from that night. For instance, the last out of the 1973 National League Championship Series as described by Jim Simpson was played on that night's NBC Nightly News, but other than that, the entire game is gone. On the day the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles wrapped up their respective League Championship Series in 1969, a feature story on the CBS Evening News showed telecast clips of the ALCS game (there's no original sound, just voiceover narration). This is all that likely remains of anything from that third game of the Orioles-Twins series. While all telecasts of World Series games starting with 1975 are accounted for and exist, the LCS is still a spotty situation through the late 1970s:

  • 1976 ALCS - Only Game 5 from the ABC vault is known to exist.
  • 1976 NLCS - An off-air recording of Game 3, taped in the Portland market is the only game that is known to exist. Apparently, this copy which makes the trade circuit is the only extant version because a second-hand story says that the ABC vault copy has no sound.
  • 1977 - Major League Baseball has in the vault, Game 3 of the NLCS (from the Philadelphia Phillies' local NBC affiliate) and apparently has all of Game 4 of the NLCS. Also, both the WPIX and NBC versions of Game 5 of the ALCS (both of which are also out there in terms of off-air recordings) are known to exist. Earlier games of the NLCS and ALCS have not surfaced and may not exist in the vault.
  • 1978 - Trade collectors have all four games of the ALCS (the ABC version) but only Game 4 of the NLCS (again, the source copies are those taped by those at home).

Radio[edit]

From 1969-1975, there was no official national radio network coverage of the League Championship Series. NBC only had the national radio rights to the All-Star Game and World Series during this period. Instead, national coverage was provided by local team radio broadcasts being syndicated nationally over ad hoc networks.

2010s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
2013 ESPN Dan Shulman Orel Hershiser
2012 ESPN Jon Sciambi Chris Singleton
2011 ESPN Jon Sciambi (Games 1–3, 6)
Dave O'Brien (Games 4–5)
Bobby Valentine (Games 1–4, 6)
Buck Martinez (Game 5)
2010 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell

Notes[edit]

2000s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
2009 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2008 ESPN Dan Shulman Steve Phillips (Games 1–2)
Orel Hershiser (Games 3–5)
2007 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2006 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2005 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2004 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2003 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2002 ESPN Dan Shulman Dave Campbell
2001 ESPN Charley Steiner Dave Campbell
2000 ESPN Charley Steiner Dave Campbell

1990s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1999 ESPN Charley Steiner Kevin Kennedy
1998 ESPN Charley Steiner Kevin Kennedy
1997 CBS Gary Cohen Jerry Coleman
1996 CBS Jim Hunter Jerry Coleman
1995 CBS Jim Hunter Jerry Coleman
1994 Canceled due to 1994 strike.
1993 CBS Jerry Coleman[66] Johnny Bench
1992 CBS John Rooney Jerry Coleman
1991 CBS John Rooney Jerry Coleman
1990 CBS John Rooney Jerry Coleman

1980s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1989 CBS John Rooney[67] Jerry Coleman
1988 CBS Brent Musburger Jerry Coleman[68]
1987 CBS Dick Stockton[31] Johnny Bench
1986 CBS Brent Musburger[69] Johnny Bench
1985 CBS Brent Musburger[70] Johnny Bench
1984 CBS Harry Kalas[71] Ross Porter
1983 CBS Jerry Coleman Duke Snider
1982 CBS Jack Buck[72] Jerry Coleman
1981 CBS Jack Buck Jerry Coleman
1980 CBS Jack Buck Jerry Coleman

1970s[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1979 CBS Jack Buck Jerry Coleman[73]
1978 CBS Ralph Kiner Jerry Coleman
1977 CBS Ralph Kiner Jerry Coleman
1976 CBS Ralph Kiner Jerry Coleman
1975 Ad hoc Ralph Kiner Red Schoendienst
1974 Ad hoc Marty Brennaman Bob Gibson
1973 Robert Wold Radio Vin Scully[74] Bob Gibson
1972 WLW Al Michaels Joe Nuxhall
1971 Ad hoc Vin Scully Bob Gibson
1970 Ad hoc Vin Scully Bob Gibson

Notes[edit]

1969[edit]

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentators
1969 Robert Wold Radio Bob Prince Gene Elston

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Sources[edit]

External links[edit]