» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News

Forgot your password?
TDN Services
Research millions of people and properties [+]
Monitor any person, property or company [+]

Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 130 | NO. 197 | Friday, October 9, 2015
Don Wade

Don Wade

Even Joe Buck Knows Value Of a Cubs World Series

By Don Wade

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

Baseball needs the Chicago Cubs.

And Jake Arrieta, and Joe Maddon, and what Joe Buck, of all people, called “old-school ratings.”

Buck, the son of the late and legendary St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck, grew up with the birds on the bat.

Now, of course, he is a respected national broadcaster for Fox and he has called more than a dozen World Series and several Super Bowls. But in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, he shared his unfulfilled career dream: calling a Cubs World Series game.

Can’t imagine Dad, or Stan Musial, would have loved hearing that, but that’s a secondary point.

“If I could call Cubs games in the World Series, it would be the highlight of my career,” Buck said in Ed Sherman’s media column, adding, “I don’t want to do an NBA Finals or a Kentucky Derby or moderate a presidential debate, as if that would happen. I want to sit at Wrigley Field, look out and know that a World Series game is about to start. It would be the cherry on top.”

If you’re a Cardinals fan and that strikes you as sacrilegious, well, it’s understandable. But Joe Buck, even as he shares his personal career ambition, is also thinking big-picture.

Baseball is not in the same place it what was when little Joe was trailing behind his father at the ballpark. The NFL was overtaking baseball then, but the NBA was not. Everyone under 40 did not whine about baseball being boring and too slow. Attention spans were still capable of stretching beyond ESPN’s Top 10 plays.

Now attention spans have been shrunk to Instagram and Twitter size. Baseball, in the post-Chicks-Dig-the-Long-Ball Era – a line made famous in that 1998 Nike commercial featuring Hall-of-Fame pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux – has struggled to find its best marketing self.

Young stars such as outfielders Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have helped – filling a long-vacant poster-boy void – but the game needs a compelling postseason. One that blends tradition and history, which is still deep in baseball’s DNA, with new blood and captivating stars and personalities.

The Cubs, absent from the World Series since 1945 and last winners of it in 1908, deliver in every category.

As the Cubs and Cardinals begin their National League Division Series Friday, Oct. 9, at Busch Stadium, Arrieta is the game’s most dominating pitcher. Since the All-Star break, he has been on a hotter run than even Madison Bumgarner in 2014, who went 2-0 in the World Series and saved Game 7 in the San Francisco Giants’ triumph over the Kansas City Royals.

Maddon wisely stuck with Arrieta through the Cubs’ 4-0 Wild Card game victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates as the big right-hander struck out 11 and walked none – a playoff record.

“I saw Mr. Gibson out there tonight,” Maddon said, referencing the glaring Cardinals intimidator of yesteryear, Bob Gibson.

Not that Maddon always has been complimentary in his Cardinals references. After the Cubs and Cards took turns plunking each other’s batters late in the season, Maddon dropped a Tony Soprano reference into the mix – his way of suggesting St. Louis manager Mike Matheny had ordered a “hit” when Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was struck by a pitch after the Cubs had hit Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.

So there will be added spice to this series, which, believe it or not, has the Cubs and Cardinals meeting in the postseason for the first time. Obviously, the Cardinals have had much to do with there not being previous meetings. The Cardinals have been to three National League Championship Series just since Matheny took over from mentor Tony La Russa, who guided the Cardinals to World Series victories in 2006 and 2011.

The Cubs, meanwhile, had not won a postseason game since 2003 when fan Steve Bartman cued a Small Bears NLCS meltdown.

So Cubs-Cardinals should be fun. But Buck is right when he says a Cubs World Series would bring in viewers and create buzz like no other.

“It would be overwhelming,” he said.

And baseball, bless its old-school heart, could use a few days of overwhelming.

Don Wade’s column appears weekly in The Daily News and The Memphis News. Listen to Wade on “Middays with Greg & Eli” every Tuesday at noon on Sports 56 AM and 87.7 FM.

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220