Gaslamp Ball Book Club: Dick Enberg is pissed off and pissed on


This is the most successful Gaslamp Ball Book Club yet.  In case you're just joining us, we are reading Dick Enberg: Oh My! in hopes that we can better understand our new TV voice of the Padres.  We just finished Chapter 6 last night where Enberg talks about doing the Radio Broadcasts for the California Angels.

Enberg told Ted Williams to his surprise that broadcasting baseball on the radio is the toughest duty for a broadcaster.  There are so many games, they are so long and there is so much time to fill, especially if the team is playing poorly in the dog days.

When Enberg was offered the lead broadcasting job for the Angels, he felt bitterness towards him from the #2 broadcaster who thought the position was rightfully his.  Enberg tried to explain to him that he didn't want any hard feelings between them, but it wasn't that simple.  There was a time when the #2 broadcaster insulted Enberg on the air and it almost caused him to quit.  It's interesting to see Enberg's thought process when he takes a job from an existing broadcaster, we can hypothesize how he might have discussed the situation with Mark Neely after replacing him as the play by play voice of the Padres.

I had two favorite parts from this chapter.  The first was Enberg's claim that he was not only a broadcaster but an inventor.  His inspiration came when he accidentally sat on his lapel mic:

"It was a technological first.  I had created the rectal microphone."

The second moment was when Enberg was allowed to suit up with the Angels and shag fly balls during batting practice.

Afterward I was in the shower, all soaped up with my eyes closed when I felt something hitting my leg.  Then I heard a moronic giggle.  I opened my eyes, and outfielder Roger Ropez was urinating on my leg.

Ah the age old hazing ritual used by ball players.  Remember when Maddux brought it to the Padres locker room?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did a little bit of Enberg like the fact that he was urinated on by a big league ball player?  Did it make him feel like he finally belonged, now that a big leaguer had marked him as his territory?  Was this his yellow badge of acceptance?
  2. From what we learned of Enberg's past experience with stealing a fellow broadcasters job, how do you think his interaction with Mark Neely has gone?
  3. When Enberg caused the Angels to be fined for breaking curfew, did part of you hope the team would follow through on their threat to take $200 dollars out of his voice?  Me too.
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