(Shul)Man of THE moment

Dan Shulman. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Dan Shulman.
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Dan Shulman, ESPN’s lead MLB play-by-play commentator, is no stranger to describing memorable events during a baseball game.

During ESPN’s May 1, 2011 edition of Sunday Night Baseball, Shulman famously announced the news that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been compromised.

But, from a pure baseball standpoint, last night’s wild Toronto Blue Jays Game 5 victory over the Texas Rangers, took the cake.

Shulman, who was describing the action for ESPN Radio, alongside analyst Rick Sutcliffe, provided another unforgettable call as Jose Bautista launched a go-ahead home run in the 7th inning – an inning which is widely being called one of the most memorable single innings of baseball, ever.

The kicker? Last night’s classic game came exactly 12 years to the day after Shulman was in the ESPN Radio booth for the unforgettable “Steve Bartman game” between the Chicago Cubs and then-Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Shulman, a native Torontian who also appeared on today’s Outside the Lines, provides Front Row with some insight as to how he approaches these big moments:

What is your primary focus when calling a significant moment as it unfolds?
The most important thing in my mind is to just keep it simple and “say what you see.” Whether it’s something controversial, the dugouts clearing, a huge home run, etc., I just try to lock in on the moment, not overdo it, and let the natural drama of the event take over.

How does your approach differ in a positive moment for the home team (Bautista) versus a negative moment (Bartman)?
It’s actually not much different for me. Both are moments of huge significance, and although one ballpark went eerily silent, and the other erupted, the moments were both huge, and I tried to treat them the same way. The only real difference is when something goes well for the home team and you’ve got so much crazy noise in the ballpark, I tend to lie out a little more and let the viewer/listener soak in the atmosphere as much as possible.

Shulman will be joined by analyst Aaron Boone for ESPN Radio’s coverage of the 2015 American League Championship Series – Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals – beginning Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. ET. The duo will also call the World Series on ESPN Radio.

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