Joe Buck (born April 25, 1969) is an American sportscaster and the son of sportscaster Jack Buck. He has won numerous Sports Emmy Awards for his work with Fox Sports, including his roles as lead lead play-by-play announcer for the network's National Football League and Major League Baseball coverage. Since 1996, he has served as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series, each year, with the exceptions of 1997 and 1999.
Early life and education[edit | edit source]
Buck was born in St. Petersburg, Florida (where the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom his father broadcast, then conducted their spring training) and raised in the St. Louis area, where he attended St. Louis Country Day School. He began his broadcasting career in 1989 while he was an undergraduate at Indiana University Bloomington.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
From 1993 to 2011, Buck was married to Ann Archambault, with whom he had two children. He married NFL Network reporter and former Bronco cheerleader Michelle Beisner on April 12, 2014.
Career[edit | edit source]
Before Fox[edit | edit source]
Buck called play-by-play for the then-Louisville Redbirds, a minor league affiliate of the Cardinals, and was a reporter for ESPN's coverage of the Triple-A All-Star Game. In 1991, he did reporting for St Louis' CBS affiliate KMOV. Also, in 1991 Buck began broadcasting for the Cardinals on local television and KMOX Radio, filling in while his father was working on CBS telecasts. In the 1992–93 season, he was the play-by-play voice for University of Missouri basketball broadcasts.
Buck continued to call Cardinals games after being hired by Fox Sports, initially with his father on KMOX and later on FSN Midwest television. As his network duties increased, however, his local workload shrank, and prior to the 2008 season it was announced that he would no longer be calling Cardinals telecasts for FSN Midwest. This marked the first time since 1960 that a member of the Buck family was not part of the team's broadcasting crew.
Fox Sports[edit | edit source]
Hiring at Fox[edit | edit source]
In 1994, Buck was hired by Fox, and at the age of 25 became the youngest man ever to announce a regular slate of National Football League games on network television.
MLB on Fox (1996-present)[edit | edit source]
In 1996, he was named Fox's lead play-by-play voice for Major League Baseball, teaming with Tim McCarver, who had previously worked with his father on CBS. That year, he became the youngest man to do a national broadcast (for all nine innings and games, as a network employee as opposed to simply being a representative of one of the participating teams) for a World Series, surpassing Sean McDonough, who called the 1992 World Series for CBS at the age of 30. McDonough had replaced Jack Buck as CBS' lead baseball play-by-play man after he was fired in late 1991.
On September 8, 1998 Buck called Mark McGwire's 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris' single-season record. The game was nationally televised live in prime time on Fox. It was a rarity for a nationally televised regular season game to not be aired on cable since the end of the Monday/Thursday Night Baseball era on ABC in 1989.
During Fox's broadcast of the 2002 World Series, Buck paid implicit tribute to his father, who had died a few months earlier (he had read the eulogy at his father's funeral) by calling the final out of Game 6 (which tied the series at 3–3, and thus ensured there would be a Game 7 broadcast the next night) with the phrase, "We'll see you tomorrow night." This was the same phrase with which Jack Buck had famously called Kirby Puckett's home run off Braves pitcher Charlie Leibrandt which ended Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. Since then, Joe has continued to use this phrase at appropriate times, including Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, in which the Boston Red Sox famously rallied off of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the 9th inning to avoid elimination. When David Ortiz's walk-off home run finally won it for the Red Sox in the 12th inning, Buck uttered, "We'll see you later tonight," alluding to the fact that the game had extended into the early morning. He also used the phrase at the end of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series when the Cardinals' David Freese hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning against the Rangers to send the series to a seventh game (it was actually 20 years and a day since Kirby Puckett's home run). The similarity of both the call and the game situation resulted in mentions on national news broadcasts.
Another notable Red Sox game in the ALCS was in 2013, Game 2 against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. The Red Sox were trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, with the bases loaded with David Ortiz at-bat. Ortiz hit a game-tying grand slam off of Tigers' closer Joaquín Benoit. His call: "Hard hit into right, back at the wall," and then he calls, "TIE GAME!" as the ball flies over Torii Hunter, who flipped over the outfield wall.
Buck is currently paired with John Smoltz as his color analyst, and Ken Rosenthal and Erin Andrews (Buck's sideline reporter on NFL coverage) are the field reporters. Besides working with Tim McCarver for 18 seasons (1996-2013), Buck also worked with former MLB player and current MLB Network/Fox Sports analyst Harold Reynolds and baseball writer/insider Tom Verducci for 2 seasons (2014-2015). About a month or two after the 2015 World Series, Reynolds and Verducci were demoted to the #2 team and John Smoltz moved up from the #2 team (with Matt Vasgersian) in order to take Reynolds and Verducci's places.
Through 2016, Buck has called 18 World Series and 17 All-Star Games, the most of any play-by-play announcer on network television. (However, his former partner McCarver called more of each event as an analyst, 24 and 22 respectively.)
NFL on Fox (1994-present)[edit | edit source]
Soon after arriving at Fox, Buck became the play-by-play man on the network's #4 NFL broadcast team, with Tim Green as his color commentator. After three years, he stopped doing NFL games to concentrate on his baseball duties full-time. During the 2001 season, Buck occasionally filled in for Curt Menefee as the network's number-six play-by-play man.
Buck became Fox's top play-by-play man in 2002, replacing Pat Summerall. He is currently teamed with Troy Aikman as color commentator and Erin Andrews as the sideline reporter. (Buck also worked with Cris Collinsworth from 2002-2004, before the latter's move to Showtime, NFL Network, and NBC). Buck is only the third announcer to handle a television network's lead MLB and NFL coverage in the same year (following NBC's Curt Gowdy and ABC's Al Michaels). By 2002, his Fox duties forced him to cut his local Cardinals schedule to 25 games. (Eventually, Buck left the Cardinals altogether to join Fox Sports "full-time" in 2008.)