Off the Ice: Mike “Doc” Emrick to call Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Games

We know NHL on NBC lead play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick is good at calling hockey games. But he did call other sports, like the NFL in the early 1990s, water polo at the Olympics, and even figure skating during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. Now Doc gets his hand to call something different: call selected Spring Training games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s no surprise he loves the Pittsburgh Pirates, but surprisingly, the 2008 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award has called a baseball game only once, while he was in college at Kent State. To prepare for this, Doc has spent the last few weeks at the Pirates’ Spring Training home in Bradenton, Florida, getting to know the team, and calling a simulated game with Root Sports Pittsburgh lead announcer Greg Brown. Take it from NHL/PBC on NBC/NFL/MLB on FOX play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, who filled in for Doc calling NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry games the last few weeks: transitioning from sport to sport is not that easy. The NHL is fast-paced, whereas MLB is much slower than the NHL and usually has filler-material between pitches and at-bats. And that’s where Doc fits in. Not only is he a great play-by-play announcer, but a great storyteller. He talked about the time former Pirates closer Kent Tekulve dropped the puck at a Penguins game just days after he had heart surgery. So in the words of Greg Brown, clear the deck — Doc is coming.

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