The Importance of Sound and Baseball
The weather’s getting warmer, your NHL and NBA teams are either out of the playoffs or clear favorites, BBQ invitations are starting to roll in and every one of your friends is graduating from something. That can mean only one thing: Baseball season has begun.
I love baseball. Wait, let me correct that. I love going to baseball games. And I don’t think I am alone in this sentiment. Baseball, more than any other sport differs greatly from the stadium to the screen. It’s all about being there. The reason for this? Its sound.
There are so many iconic sounds to a baseball stadium, that can’t be transferred to the silver screen. The walking vendors screaming “Peanuts!” and “Miller Lite”, the crack of a wooden bat or the booming operatic strike out calls of the umpires. What other sport puts this much emphasis on its organ player?! The organ is a staple of the game. Even the sound of being surrounded by thousands of people on all angles focusing on a small 3×3 foot radius of action is enough to transcend you. The sounds are an important part of any experience, but especially to baseball. It’s something so universal that we often forget about it as a part of the game that’s as equally important as the players, the umpires, and the audience.
But how exactly does sound make baseball so impactful?
Sounds are an important part of any game, but why are the sounds of baseball so important and so impactful? What makes it so special and so unique, other then the specific sounds themselves?
1. The sound of a Baseball game is accessible.
I encourage everyone to read this incredible article written by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. For blind baseball fans like Mark and Peggy LoRusso, hearing the crack of the bat takes them back home — nestled near a radio in 1965 — as well as to home plate at Coors Field, 50 years later. If you think of a baseball game as a story, you can see (and hear) why it is so successful when told just through sound. At any moment in the game, you are focused on one, maybe two players. Without the craziness of several players to watch, analyze and check in on, baseball fans have the ability to follow the game without ever seeing a pitch. It’s consolidated action, which makes the storytelling of a game hyper focused.
2. The sound of a baseball announcer.
What other sport has immortalized such iconic broadcast announcers? I’m talking Harry Carey, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Ernie Harwell. When you hear these voices, you think baseball. These voices are synonymous with the game. Why? Because the timbre of their voices are a massive part of the experience.
Baseball has more regular season games than any other professional American sport. So when you watch (or listen) to so many games throughout the week, month or year, these guys start to feel like family. Sitting down and turning on the radio to hear Vin Scully’s iconic Dodgers opening is like sitting down with a good friend to catch up. These announcers are famous because of their ability to accurately report the play on field, but also their ability to connect so deeply with their listeners. Sound is incredibly powerful this way, it has the ability to connect us on both a personal and emotional level. No one more than a Baseball broadcaster has a the ability to tap into this potential.
3. The sound of a game is natural and filled with moments of silence.
Many people escape within a baseball game. For some, sitting in a stadium is like plopping down on a park bench in central park to soak it all in. At a game there’s the benefit of being outside (sometimes even during the day) and the ability to roam about the stadium. Most parks have nature areas, dining concourses and patios. All of this factors into the sound of a game and how the fans engage with the stadium. Even better, there are moments of pure methodical silence. Something you won’t find at an NHL, NFL or NBA game. It’s relaxing and not a constant assault to our eardrums. It’s a sonic environment unique only to baseball.
At Hooke Audio, we are huge fans of the sounds of baseball. We want to preserve it, celebrate it and learn from it. In our ears, the sound of a baseball game is something that can’t be replicated or reproduced. It can only be captured, preserved and remembered. We are very excited to be aiding in capturing the beautiful sounds of America’s pastime in its most pure and realistic form.
Baseball itself and its sounds are an important part of life, and American culture, and one I’m glad to partake in and preserve myself.
From One Ear To Another,
Hooke Audio Founder and CEO