Five years ago, 1983-1994 Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser resigned from the front office of the Texas Rangers. Now here he is, providing color commentary on ESPN Radio for a World Series that involves his former managerial posting.
Hershiser and play-by-play partner Dan Shulman are a relatively recent ESPN TV-radio pairing; for the 2011 Cardinals-Rangers showdown, they are joined once again by ex-manager Bobby Valentine. At the close of a Dodgers season of despair, it really has been a pleasure to be reminded during the ALCS and World Series of Hershiser’s very high baseball IQ.
Many color commentators are occasionally guilty of stretching or padding. Not so with Hershisher. Much like the pinpoint control that he used to wield from the pitching mound, this guy is dialed into the game with unerring, clear-eyed precision. In just a few years, he has become one of radio’s most commanding baseball experts.
The highest compliment FishbowlLA can pay Shulman and Hershiser (pictured, left to right) is that they bring back memories of listening to Dave Van Horne and late Dodger great Duke Snider on CFCF-AM Radio in Montreal. From 1973 through 1986, Snider was an equally astute and golden voiced color commentator, observing an Expos team that at points was (almost) as snake-bit as the 2011 LA Dodgers.