Meet Joe Block
As Brewers fans, we're blessed to have had one of the all-time great broadcasters call the games for decades. Bob Uecker is the man in Milwaukee.
I would also say that Uke has been blessed with some GREAT sidekicks. In the late 80s and early 90s it was current Cubs play-by-play man Pat Hughes. Later it was Jim Powell who sat in the booth with Uke from 1996 through the end of the 2008 season when he left for Atlanta. Cory Provus took over after Powell left and the broadcast never skipped a beat.
All three were knowledgeable about the game and had personalities that meshed well with Uecker. After three years in Milwaukee, Provus was offered the job in Minnesota and moved on. So who fills that spot?
The Milwaukee Brewers believe they found their man in one Joe Block. Joe popped up on my Twitter feed shortly after the announcement was made that he would be joining the Brewers. In usual fashion, I tweeted him explaining who I was and what I do and Joe tweeted that he'd be happy to help.
Spring training games will begin soon and I thought I'd introduce Joe to both of my readers. Without further ado, meet Joe Block...
There are countless 8-year-old boys out there who have mimicked the announcers' calls while listening to a baseball game on the radio. Few take the time to record their version so they can play it back, but thatís how new Brewers play-by-play man Joe Block started his broadcasting career. Itís a young broadcasting career that includes calling more than 900 games, as well as being the answer to the trivia question "Who called the last two seasons of major-league baseball in Montreal?"
Joe joins the Brewers organization after working with the L.A. Dodgers, where last year he was co-host of "Dodger Talk," a baseball show on KABC radio in Los Angeles. He also hosted the Dodgers' post-game show last season.
Joe is a busy man these days, moving his family to the great state of Wisconsin and preparing for spring training, but he recently spared me some time to answer a few questions. Let's get to know Mr. Baseballís new play-by-play partner:
Me: So where did you grow up, or more importantly, who did you grow up listening to on the radio?
JB: I grew up just outside Detroit in Roseville, Mich. I watched George Kell and Al Kaline, listened to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey. All great.
Me: How old were you when you decided calling baseball was what you wanted to do?
JB: I was about 8 when I thought I'd like to call MLB games. I used to talk into a tape recorder as if I were on the air.
Me: Thatís how Neil Young started too! You are aware I hope, that Mr. Uecker's main goal will be to get you to crack up on air. How does your sense of humor work?
JB: Uke will get me to laugh, early and often. Iím not going to try to avoid it. That's like using a cocktail umbrella to stay dry in a monsoon.
Me: Good point! Can you tell me your thought process, or the excitement, of going from one legendary broadcaster to another??
JB: I didn't work closely with Vin (Scully), but he's great as you'd imagine. I'm eager to be alongside Uke everyday. We're going to have a lot of fun.
Me: Without using Google, can you tell me what George Owens' occupation was? And bonus points for naming 2 of his 3 children!
JB: George Owens' occupation: Sportswriter? Kids: Kevin, Heather and Wesley. Wife studied for the bar. I watched "Mr Belvedere" a lot.
Me: I had a feeling youíd know! What are you most looking forward to about coming to Wisconsin? Will you please update and confirm at some point, which state has happier cows?
JB: I bet happier cows come from states that don't eat meat, so Cali might win LOL. We liked the fun culture in N.O. so can't wait to be in Wisconsin!
Me: Trick question. Happy cows make better cheese and we obviously win that. Are you any good on the baseball field yourself?
JB: I was a terrible baseball player, though I'm not un-athletic. I actually asked kids to "pinch-kick" for me in grade school recess kickball.
Me: Haha. So what does an off season Sunday look like for the Block family?
JB: Off-season Sunday these days is preparing to move LOL... But my wife and I are football people. She is a Steelers fan and I love the Lions
Me: Last question. If there was one album that you had to have on repeat for the entire baseball season, what is your pick?
JB: Album would be Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest!
Me: I REALLY appreciate your time man. Good luck this year and have fun. Good luck with the move too!
JB: Thanks for the opportunity to be in your blog!