Joe Buck has been the lead FOX MLB play-by-play man since FOX Sports got in the baseball business in 1996 … Where were the rest of the 2020 FOX MLB on-air team in 1996?
Adam Amin – In 1996, Amin was a 3rd grade honor student, an unaccomplished catcher for his defending champion little league team and, according to his mother, the best nine-year-old violin player at Fullerton Elementary School in Addison, Ill. He joined FOX Sports this summer for his first season of MLB on FOX.
Kevin Burkhardt – In 1996, Burkhardt was a senior at William Paterson College – on his way to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He joined FOX Sports in 2013 and has won back-to-back Sports Emmys with the network’s MLB Postseason studio team.
Joe Davis – In 1996, Joe was a 2nd grader at St. Mary’s in Charlotte, MI. The self-proclaimed chatterbox was getting his reps in on the diamond while accompanying his Dad, a longtime high school football coach, to practices.
Aaron Goldsmith – In 1996 Aaron was in 6th grade, co-captain of the Brookwood Elementary debate team in Kansas City. When he wasn’t eating corn dogs, Aaron was dominating Nintendo 64, rocking an Indiana Pacers Starter jacket, and preparing to sell his Mark Gubicza rookie card to jumpstart his college savings plan. He joined FOX Sports in 2014.
Eric Karros – Playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996, the 1992 NL Rookie of the Year, batted .260 with 34 home runs, 111 RBI and 84 runs. Karros joined FOX Sports West in 2002 and moved to FOX Sports in 2004.
Chris Myers – In 1996, Chris Myers was the host of “Up Close,” where he interviewed high-profile sports names including Charles Barkley, Mike Tyson and others. Myers also covered the Olympics in Atlanta as a reporter. He gained wide recognition as the only on-scene reporter to stay on the air through the night broadcasting after the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. The Emmy Award-winning broadcaster joined FOX Sports in 1998.
David Ortiz – In 1996, David Ortiz was promoted to the Seattle Mariners’ Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He established himself as one of the Mariners’ top hitting prospects, batting .322 with 18 home runs and 93 RBI. Toward the end of the year, Ortiz was traded to the Minnesota Twins as “the player to be named later.” He officially joined FOX Sports in 2017.
AJ Pierzynski – In 1996, just a couple of years removed from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla., Pierzynski was playing minor league A ball for the Ft. Wayne Wizards (Minnesota Twins), where he batted .274 with 7 home runs, 70 RBI and 48 runs scored. He made is MLB debut for the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 9, 1998. Pierzynski joined FOX Sports in 2017.
Alex Rodriguez – In 1996, Alex Rodriguez had taken over as the starting shortstop for the Seattle Mariners. He led the American League in runs (141), total bases (379) and doubles (54) with the top batting average of .358 – earning him a Silver Slugger Award and a trip to the MLB All-Star Game. The wunderkind finished second to Juan González in balloting for the AL Most Valuable Player Award. He joined FOX Sports in 2017 as a fulltime analyst.
Ken Rosenthal – In 1996, Rosenthal was a baseball writer and columnist for the Baltimore Sun, where he was named Maryland Sportswriter of the Year five times during his tenure. He simultaneously contributed to Sports Illustrated. He joined FOX Sports in 2005 and has won multiple Sports Emmys.
John Smoltz – 1996 was the best of Smoltz’s career. He went 24–8 with a 2.94 ERA and 276 strikeouts, including winning a franchise-record 14 straight decisions from April 9 to June 19. He continued to pitch brilliantly in the post-season, winning a game in the Division Series, two more in the League Championship Series, and somehow ending up only 1-1 in the World Series despite a 0.64 ERA, losing Game 5 1-0 on an unearned run. He won the NL Cy Young Award with 26 of the 28 first-place votes. He joined FOX Sports in 2014.
Nick Swisher – A three-sport star at Parkersburg (W.Va.) High School (football, baseball and basketball), Swish was a high school sophomore in 1996, and went on to be named to three first-team all-state baseball teams, while also chalking up two first-team all-state honors in football and lettering in basketball. He joined FOX Sports in 2017.
Frank Thomas – Playing for the Chicago White Sox in 1996, the now Hall of Famer, recorded a .349 with 40 home runs and 134 RBI. “The Big Hurt” had also earned himself a 4th trip to the MLB All-Star Game. He joined FOX Sports in 2014.
Tom Verducci – In 1996, Verducci was, and still is, an award-winning writer for Sports Illustrated. The four-time Sports Emmy-Award winner has covered baseball for more than 30 years in a variety of roles ranging from beat writer to columnist, feature writer, author, reporter, studio analyst and game analyst. He joined FOX Sports in 2012.
Dontrelle Willis – In 1996, “D-Train” was a freshman at Encinal High School in Alameda, Calif. In his senior year (2000), Willis had a .070 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 70 innings and was named the California Player of the Year. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 2000 MLB Draft. He joined FOX Sports in 2015.