Marilu Henner on her nationally syndicated radio show I thought I'd keep the radio theme going.
Yesterday I wrote about a radio prank I pulled. And that reminded me of another one. This one was the brainchild of the great (Hall of Fame) baseball announcer, Jon Miller. In addition to everything else, he has a wicked sense of humor.
Jon and I broadcast Baltimore Orioles baseball in 1991. The following year I moved on to the Seattle Mariners. Less humidity. We came into Baltimore the play the O’s in mid May. Jon asked what innings I called for the M’s. The 3rd, 6th, and 7th. He said, would I mind coming over and doing the 4th inning of the Orioles broadcast? I said I’d be delighted to.
But there was a catch.
Jon said, "Let’s do it as if you’ve always been here." We'd make no acknowledgement that I was just guesting. I of course, was all too happy to play along. This is the kind of wacky shit Jon and I would do when we were partners.
So when it came time for my triumphant return, Jon opened the mic and said, “Let’s go to the 4th and here’s Ken.” “Thank you, Jon,” I said and then just started calling the play-by-play. I read the Esskay Out-of-town scoreboard as I always did, paused for station identification on the "Baltimore Orioles Radio Network", talked about how much I was looking forward to the upcoming series with the Yankees, commented that the Orioles pitcher looked much sharper than the last few times I saw him pitch, etc. When the next inning began I said, “On to the 5th, and once again here’s Jon.” “Thanks, Ken” he said and that was it. Nothing was ever mentioned.
Apparently the phones at the station went crazy. People were completely confused. Was I still there? What happened to the new guy? Was I back? Did they hear this correctly? Jon and I got a good laugh out of it, although I wonder how many irate people were calling to say, “I thought we had gotten rid of that guy!”
I must say, I did get my payback though. Later that game, when I was back doing the Mariners' broadcast I paused for station identification on the "Baltimore Orioles Radio Network." Oops.