More from Enberg: On the Padres’ smartness, a lesson he learned from the old KMPC, and why he wants to touch ‘em all

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Dick Enberg, as an assistant baseball coach at San Fernando Valley State, back in 1962.
Photo from Cal State Northridge archives

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We went a whole media column (linked here) and a previous blog post about Dick Enberg and didn’t state the obvious?

Oh, my.

More quick stuff from the San Diego Padres’ TV play-by-play man and how he thinks some day, he could be doing baseball-only work:

== On broadcasting games for a team with two Ivy League players (Wil Venable and Chris Young, both out of Princeton) and a former college academic All-American (David Eckstein, at the University of Florida):

“Eckstein is really the posterchild for this team. Going back to his days with the Angels, he just know how to win — he’s always in the middle of everything. Just the night before, no one out, he gets hit by a pitch, it leads to a three-run inning. I think he’ll be a great manager.

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“Chris Young, second game of the season, we’re in Arizona, April 6. He didn’t allow a run. The team won the first game of the season. I went to the clubhouse afterward, and he came up to me with a sanitary sock and pulled out a baseball. He said he got everyone to sign it for me because it was my first win with the team ‘and we want you to remember it.’ How great did that make me feel? It’s so much of these little things, not the walk-off grand slams, that make this team and this season so nice.

“Even Bud Black (the Padres’ manager). I call him ‘The Dean’ and the rest of the coaches are ‘The Faculty’ because they’re all such great teachers.”

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== On adjusting his calls to accomodate the home team:

“I was scolded early on by trying to be ‘too network,’ and I understood that I could adjust my calls. A home run didn’t have to be ‘touch ‘em all!’ for both teams. It didn’t affect my journalistic integrity. So now when the Padres hit a homer, it’s ‘touch ‘em all!’ but when the other team does it, I’ll say, ‘It’s gone.’ It’s a smaller, more provincial area and I have an investment in the fans and San Diego, which has become my home my whole adult life. I’ve had to alter some things, and I think I’ve satisfied everyone — I’ve satisfied myself.

“It think it goes back to my KMPC days doing the Angels. Stan Spero, the program director and a huge baseball fan, called me in during the middle of my first season (1969) and said, ‘I just want to emphasize to you, Enberg, how important you are to our radio station. You consider that other than Vin Scully – and maybe more than Vin Scully – your voice is going to be on the Los Angeles’ ears more than anyone else to the millions of people in this city. So your influence and your voice is important to us. No matter if the team wins or loses, when people turn off their radio at night, they’ll turn it back on in the morning — and they’ll have it on KMPC.

“I thought of that when the Padres approached me. I like being an ambassador to San Diego, and to bring in from time to time, duck in a moment about a famous artist who may be appearing at the San Diego Symphony or something going on at Coronodo island so we can take a shot of the beautiful bridge and bring it into the broadcast. I like that part, being more than calling balls and strikes and 6-4-3.”

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== On perhaps doing baseball on radio again:

“Here, we have two different teams and don’t cross over. I think we have such a great resource in Jerry Coleman, I think sometimes he should be on TV, just so I could pick his brain. But he’s radio. It would be fun to do radio again. That’s the real art form. On TV, we’re just pointing and adding shades of color and tone, but the picture tells the story.

“On radio, you paint the canvas. It’s more challenging. The plan isn’t for me to go to radio if the Padres make the playoffs. That would be tough. I’d be stepping on toes and I don’t want to do that. I’d be open to it, but only if I could be sure it would be incorporating me and not replacing someone else.”

== On his schedule:

“Originally, it was set up like Vin’s — all west coast road games and all home games (about 120 a year). Back in 1985, when the Angels had their 25th anniversary season and they asked me to come back and do 40 games, I was in Rancho Santa Fe, so I had to drive up there and it was a significant round trip. But I tried to keep track of the season by clipping box scores. So if I were doing a game and had to refer back to one I didn’t do, I’d go back to the box score and it would say, ‘Robinson, 0-for-4′ but I don’t know if that was four strikeouts or what. So I’d be home keeping scores of games I wasn’t at anyway. My wife said, ‘If you’re doing that, you might as well do them all.’ So as long as they let me off for tennis (five weeks at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open combined), I wanted to do the rest of them. And it’s really been like a honeymoon here. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for.”

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