It’s always amazing to see veteran play-by-play broadcasters continue to call games into their 70’s and 80’s as if nothing has changed. In most professions, the retirement age is around 65. In the play-by-play business, we have seen the great Vin Scully call games until he was 89. Marv Albert is still going strong at 75.
And at 74, Dick Stockton is still at it, calling games, and now getting his 2017 on by hosting a podcast. Who doesn’t have a podcast these days? Stockton has joined the party with the “Stockton Podcast.” While Stockton is a nice get for my podcast, it doesn’t compare to Stockton’s debut guest on his show…Alex Rodriguez. The FOX broadcaster joined me on The Jake Brown Show on Play.it to talk about his debut episode.
“I think this man has grown up,” said Stockton. “I’m not saying he was immature before, but I think he admitted to me that he was always concerned with himself, his numbers, what he was achieving. He even said that the reason he took performance-enhancing drugs was the pressure on him to perform so much, get the big numbers, be the big star on the team and he told me during the year he had off that besides admitting to his daughters that he had made mistakes and to learn from them. He told me that he had become more of a team guy, that he wasn’t as concerned with being a selfish superstar, which so many of them are and more of a team guy and even when I talked to him about his work on FOX, he wanted to give credit to the other panelists. I think when he said to me the key words, I’m rounding first…can you imagine that from a guy who’s put up such fabulous numbers in 22 years in the big leagues only thinking now rounding first. He’s got a big future in front of him.”
At 74 years old, it begs the question…how much longer will Stockton be calling games?
“Every time I talk to Marv (Albert) and he mentions the fact that we went to Syracuse he would always joke, Dick used to take me around when I was a young kid at Syracuse University,” Stockton said. “He was one year ahead of me. I think he’s the best basketball announcer who has ever lived in television and I did the NBA for so many years, but Marv Albert was born to do the NBA. He’s tremendous and he’s a great friend. I’m gonna continue to do it as long as I enjoy it, I don’t think I wanna do many sports now. The NFL is the key for me and the role that I have at FOX being a mentor to young broadcasters coming out has really been rewarding to me. I broke in Troy Aikman and Darryl Johnston and John Lynch and Charles Davis, Ronde Barber, I take great pride in that and they have all done so well.”
There are so many great broadcasters in sports today. We know about the likes of Albert, Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Gary Cohen, and the list goes on and on. Who does Stockton think is the best young play-by-play guy today?
“The guy that I always thought was the best young play-by-play announcer and he’s still young but not that young is Joe Buck,” Stockton said. “To Joe Buck I think play-by-play was so effortless and is effortless to him that I could not believe how he does it.”
Jake Brown is the Digital Program Manager at CBS Sports Radio and a columnist for CBS Sports Radio, CBS Local Sports, and CBS Local. You can catch him on The Jake Brown Show on CBS Radio’s Play.it, iTunes, and Spotify. It’s a weekly sports show mixed in with a bit of entertainment and interviews as well every week. He occasionally hosts SportsTalk1240 on WGBB in Long Island, and formerly hosted Brown and Scoop, Brown and Troupe, and on ESPN Radio NH. Jake lives in Queens and being a Mets fan is finally paying off.