The whole Top 50 ASA list, from Scully to Collins and beyond

UPDATED: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.


Following up to our post over the weekend (linked here) about the Top 50 sportscasters, as voted by the American Sportscasters Association, we now have the complete list picked by members and a special committee.

Again, there seems to be no delineation as to whether the person was a play-by-play man, analyst or studio type, although some obviously did or do more than one role over the years. Give one a microphone, and they’ve qualified for voting consideration, apparently.

The Dodgers finally caught wind of this list and sent out a press release Monday afternoon. As for Vin Scully being named No. 1, he emailed to us: “The sportscasters’ vote is news to me. I never voted but I am humbled to be in front of Mel Allen, Red Barber and Curt Gowdy. The longevity part must have been the decider.”

Dick Enberg, who made the top 10 and is also the Chairman of the Board for ASA, also emailed back before heading out to Melbourne to cover the Australia Open tennis championships starting next week on ESPN: “Frankly, there’s plenty of room for argument, which is common with any of the suspect ‘Best of All-Time’ lists. It never helps your chances if deceased. (Check: Husing, Brickhouse, Dunphy, Stern, and of course, Chick Hearn.) With the exception of yours truly, the top 10 is pretty solid.”

Here’s the rundown, with others who appeared to have received votes as well, but not enough to crack the top 50 (yes, Berman is somehow at No. 35)

1. Vin Scully
2. Mel Allen
3. Red Barber
4. Curt Gowdy
5. Howard Cosell
6. Bob Costas
7. Jim McKay
8. Keith Jackson
9. Al Michaels
10. Dick Enberg

11. Jack Buck
12. Ted Husing
13. Jack Brickhouse
14. Don Dunphy
15. Graham McNamee
16. Ernie Harwell
17. Marv Albert
18. Harry Caray
19. Jon Miller
20. Bill Stern


21. Chick Hearn
22. Marty Glickman
23. Jack Whitaker
24. Jim Nantz
25. Chris Schenkel
26. Lindsey Nelson
27. Russ Hodges
28. Ray Scott
29. John Madden
30. Bob Prince

31. Joe Buck
32. Milo Hamilton
33. Bob Wolff
34. Chuck Thompson
35. Chris Berman
36. Phil Rizzuto
37. Marty Brennaman
38. Clem McCarthy
39. Bill Walton
40. Foster Hewitt

41. Harry Kalas
42. Johnny Most
43. Bob Elson
44. Brent Musberger
45. Pat Summerall
46. Merle Harmon
47. Dick Vitale
48. Dick Stockton
49. Tony Kubek
50. Bud Collins


Runners up: Terry Bradshaw, James Brown, Andres Cantor, Skip Caray, Gary Cohen, Don Criqui, Jimmy Dudley, Joe Garagiola, Frank Gifford, Greg Gumbel, Tom Hammond, Sonny Hill, Ned Jarrett, Jaime Jarrin (pictured right), Charlie Jones, Bill King, Jim Lampley, Cawood Ledford, Verne Lundquist, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Bob Murphy, Van Patrick, Herb Score, Jim Simpson, Bob Uecker and Ken Venturi.

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  • John Lamberson

    “Best of” lists are inherently controversial, and I generally ignore them, but…Bill King doesn’t make the Top 50? Lon Simmons not even mentioned? My immediate reaction was East Coast Bias, but Scully & Hearn made the list, so I can only conclude that these are some of the same people who left Rickey Henderson off their HOF ballots.

    Isn’t it a bit strange that arguably the most famous member of the ASA, Vin Scully, wasn’t even aware of the vote? Wouldn’t that to some degree call the entire process into question?

    Thanks for the venting opportunity, I feel so much better now.

  • Ron V.

    Nice to see the wonderful Ernie Harwell break into the top 20 at # 16 after so many national syndicated sportcasters.
    One glaring omission is the late great play by play announcer for the Boston Celtics. Johnny Most was the greatest play by play basketball announcer all time.

  • Ron V.

    Yikes, my eyes!! Still though, Johnny Most at #42 is way too low in the rankings.

  • in Jacksonville

    I can’t imagine not have Pat Summerall in the top 5…he was the voice of football while I was growing up and I think others would agree. His partnerships with Madden and Brookshire made for GREAT commentary and his style – minimalist – is one that others working in the field today should do more often! This was clearly a “bust” by the folks doing the rankings. Otherwise, pretty god list and many I haven’t thought if in some time.

  • TheBigChet

    Joe Buck anywhere on this list (31) impeaches most of its credibility. Any sucess Joe Buck has enjoyed is the result of an ever decreasing attention span of the average American viewer, the ignorance of all that is great in a sporting event, and the tolerance for redundancy. Without Fox’s attention span degenerating montage “MTV” style to everything, Joe Buck and his phenomenonally sized head would be banned to radio. The absence of Harry Kalas from this list further minimizes any credibility.

  • JoanCee

    If never hear Joe Buck again, I will be happy!

  • ZaneKing

    Chris Berman and Bill Walton ahead of Brent Musberger and Pat Summerall, you have got to be kidding me, that is a disgrace. Musberger can do pro football, CFB, baseball and pro or college basketball.

    Walton does color for pro basketball, that’s it.

    Berman, who knows what he does except speak loud and irritate everyone.