I’m sure it’s subjective, but it’s always seemed to me that baseball, more so than other sports, possesses an aesthetic beauty that approaches the most pleasing pieces of visual art. From the unique design of a stadium to the subtle movement of the game’s participants between every pitch in the batter/pitcher conflict, it’s a very good looking sport. It’s one that benefits perhaps more than others from the accessibility of high definition broadcasts.
The standard bearer for baseball broadcasts is ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Yes, it’s highly mockable to many of us, but every sports broadcast, in its pursuit of catering to the demographic of everybody, is highly mockable. However, it’s also innovative, and it tries for something beyond what baseball fans might might receive from their local broadcasts. This translates into exceptional camera work, access to advanced metrics and graphics that actually inform an audience, rather than describe factual information that doesn’t require visual representation.
Perhaps the most impressive element of a Sunday Night Baseball broadcast is the booth that includes Dan Shulman doing play-by-play, Orel Hershiser providing analysis, and John Kruk creating an outlet for those who enjoy getting frustrated at dumb things said on television. Shulman and Hershiser were quick to form commentary cohesion when they began working together on television in 2011 after some time as partners for the radio version of the broadcast, and the strength of that bond has been tested with a different third man in the booth in each of the three seasons since the contracts of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan weren’t renewed.
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