This kinda jumped out at me after the "You do not cut off Ernie Harwell" conversation on Eschaton a couple of nights ago - NY Newsday columnist Steve Zipay muses about Curt Smith's book, "Ranking Baseball's 101 All-Time Best Announcers".
Based on 10 categories, such as voice, longevity, knowledge, linguistic creativity and network exposure (and including TV announcers and analysts), Smith ranks [Vin] Scully No. 1, followed by Mel Allen, Harwell, Jack Buck, Red Barber, Harry Caray, Bob Prince, Jack Brickhouse, Dizzy Dean and Lindsey Nelson.
Some other notables: Curt Gowdy (12), [Bob] Uecker (13), Jon Miller (14), Joe Garagiola (15), Tim McCarver (17), Bob Costas (18), Bob Murphy (20), Ned Martin (21), Al Michaels (22), Bob Woolf (23), Harry Kalas (25), Niehaus (26), Phil Rizzuto (27), Tony Kubek (36), Dick .Enberg (38), Joe Buck (39), [Denny] Matthews (47), Sean McDonough (52), Joe Morgan (60), DeWayne Staats (67), [Bill] King (72), Gary Thorne (77), Bill White (80).
XM's random survey of 2,547 fans, conducted by Harris Interactive, is more a barometer of popularity. The top 20: Caray, Scully, Uecker, Allen, Dean, Harwell, Garagiola, Rizzuto, Jack Buck, Gowdy, Barber, Brickhouse, Michaels, Chuck Thompson, Kalas, Murphy, Marlins voice Rafael "Felo" Ramirez, Nelson, Milo Hamilton and Russ Hodges.
I might quibble about the order, but it's tough to argue with a Top 4 of Vin Scully, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, and Jack Buck. Red Barber's before my time, and Harry Caray I just don't get (although the Will Ferrell version cracks me right up). I would put Bob Murphy, voice of the Mets from their inception until just a couple of years ago, up a lot higher - he truly had one of the great baseball voices of all time, like a brassier Mel Allen. And for non-baseball, Pittsburgh's own Myron Cope is one of the all-time greats.
Anyone else have any favorite or least favorite baseball (or other) announcers)? I personally can't stand John Madden, Dick Vitale, Chris Berman, Bill Raftery, Hubie Brown, or Lon Simmons (IIRC, he's the guy with the annoyingly mannered, trailing-off "Tell it goodbye..." home run call).