07/14/09 1:41 AM ET
All-Star Game a special affair for FOX
For commentators, contest in St. Louis hits close to home
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Take the FOX Network's broadcast of the game. The TV festivities get under way at 8 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium and will be carried live on FOX.
Play-by-play man Joe Buck has one of the most revered last names in St. Louis baseball. He called Cardinals games himself for many years, and his father, Jack, remains one of the most beloved figures in the history of the Cardinals franchise. Color commentator Tim McCarver spent parts of 13 seasons as a catcher with the Cardinals, winning three pennants. Buck and McCarver will be joined by reporter Ken Rosenthal and hosts Chris Rose and Eric Karros.
FOX's home is in Los Angeles, but for the two men calling the game from the booth, St. Louis feels an awful lot like home.
"For about 13 years, I was part of the St. Louis baseball scene, and I was fortunate to be on teams that were very, very successful," McCarver said. "So you would get no argument from me in saying that St. Louis was the best baseball town in America. It's certainly among the top three. My experience there was nothing but terrific, and I know that's one of the great things about this All-Star Game -- Joe living in St. Louis and me going back to St. Louis. From a personal standpoint, it's very, very special for both of us."
Buck doesn't dispute McCarver's characterization. And he takes a little pride in that. Because it's widely believed that Jack Buck helped shape the character of baseball fandom in St. Louis.
"There's something that's instilled I think in you as a young person in St. Louis, that you respect the game and you respect the opposition, and you applaud effort," Buck said. "And it's not always self-serving. It's not always, are the Cardinals winning and did my guy make a great play. You could make argument that of all the ballparks that you sit in, there's not a crowd anywhere across the country that applauds a great effort by the opposition more than what happens in St. Louis."
FOX, of course, won't just be looking back. In fact, the network will mostly be looking forward with its broadcast of Tuesday night's game.
The network will employ 21 HD cameras and 80 field and crowd microphones, as well as approximately 20 microphones for players, coaches and umpires to wear. And during the FOX broadcast, the on-air team will interact with viewers via Twitter. FOX's personalities will tweet at www.twitter.com/MLBonFOX, and Rosenthal will respond to viewer tweets as well.
One other highlight of the broadcast will be a very special one -- President Obama's ceremonial first pitch. As of late in the week, FOX representatives did not yet know whether Obama would be available for an on-air interview, but they were certainly hoping for the opportunity.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.