MLB fans are going to have to retune their ears a bit during this year’s World Series.
Joe Buck, the iconic voice of FOX’s World Series broadcast, won’t be joining John Smoltz, Tom Verducci, Ken Rosenthal, and the rest of FOX’s production crew this year. He left FOX to become the voice of “Monday Night Football” with Troy Aikman. Which means MLB fans will have a new voice on the call.
Enter Joe Davis. Davis called the NLCS alongside Smoltz. The voice of the Dodgers has expanded his repertoire, and he seems to be having a lot of fun doing it.
Indeed, Davis already arguably has the call of the postseason: The go-ahead two-run homer off the bat off Bryce Harper in Game 5 of the NLCS.
BRYCE HARPER ARE YOU SERIOUS?! #Postseason pic.twitter.com/NKRTeNLJMl
— MLB (@MLB) October 23, 2022
Why did Joe Buck leave Fox?
Buck had been doing MLB broadcasting on FOX since 1996, and he called 23 World Series in that time. But the NFL audience began to associate Buck with big-time football. Having worked his way up to the network’s NFL A-Team alongside Aikman, Buck’s voice became synonymous with not only October baseball, but 4:25 primetime football.
He did “America’s Game of the Week” and “Thursday Night Football,” along with six Super Bowls. Despite occasionally being polarizing, his popularity grew overtime, and he managed to overcome his infamously unenthusiastic helmet catch call.
Because of the raise in prestige, ESPN, trying to find some continuity in its “Monday Night Football” booth, sought Buck and Aikman out for its flagship NFL Game of the Week. It managed to get them in March.
“My earliest memories of walking around football stadiums are tagging along with my dad (Jack Buck) as he called ‘Monday Night Football’ on radio,” Buck said in March, per CNBC. “To return to the stadium on Monday nights with Troy — who I have the utmost comfort with and confidence in — and begin a new chapter, for us and ESPN, has me excited about this season and our future.”
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Because of Buck’s network move, FOX had to adjust. While it isn’t unheard of for networks to share broadcasters, landing a primetime duo like Buck and Aikman undoubtedly led to some exclusivity for ESPN.
Who is replacing Joe Buck?
There’s still going to be a Joe in the broadcast booth.
34-year-old Joe Davis is going to be calling games for FOX in this year’s World Series. With seven years in the booth for the Dodgers, he’s no stranger to big game experience.
Davis continued to work with the Dodgers on SportsNet LA during the regular season. He’s used to filling big shoes. Indeed, he took over for Vin Scully once one of the titans of MLB broadcasting shut off the mic.
Davis past his first test in the NLCS. Now the big stage sets in. Plenty of people will be tuning in for the first time in months to watch the World Series. When they wonder where Buck’s voice has gone, Davis will undoubtedly be hoping they’re also asking who the new star is on the call.