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Tim Kurkjian: Hardest Part Of Hall Of Fame Weekend Was Being Center of Attention

“That was one of those moments where you went ‘how can this be happening to me?”

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Tim Kurkjian

Tim Kirkjian’s head is obviously spinning from the weekend. The longtime baseball writer-turned broadcaster was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame over the weekend and judging by his appearance on the Baseball Tonight Podcast with Buster Olney, this memory isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Olney congratulated Kurkjian and then with little hesitation, the newly enshrined Hall of Famer told his first story from the weekend.

“I’m sitting on the bus from the hotel to the ceremony and this guy comes up to me on the bus and says ‘Can I sit next to you?’ and it was Sandy Koufax. So I sat next to Sandy Koufax and talked to him for fifteen minutes.”

Kurkjian told another great story from the weekend.

“At the party on Friday night, Johnny Bench walks near my table where all my family is and I say ‘Johnny, could you come over and meet my brothers,” Kurkjian began. “He goes, ‘Sure, let’s get some pictures.’ So I assumed that meant we were going to gather around him and have someone take our picture with Johnny Bench and instead, he pulled out his own camera and started taking pictures of my entire family.”

Kurkjian couldn’t believe it. “Here’s Johnny Bench, the photographer, taking pictures of my family. We said ‘Johnny we need a picture with you, you’re the greatest catcher ever’. He gets in with us, he hands the camera to somebody else who takes the picture of us and that person was Paul Molitor, who got more hits than Willie Mays. That was one of those moments where you went ‘how can this be happening to me?'”

Olney also asked how difficult the weekend was for Kurkjian considering how he had worked so hard in his career to never be the story and this weekend, he absolutely was the story.

“That was one of the hardest things I ever had to go thru because this is not supposed to be about me,” he said. “It’s never been about me. This weekend it was. Cooperstown got me thru it. In other words, a bunch of my family and friends had never been to Cooperstown… People went to the museum, they had never been there before. They had never walked down Main Street. They had never been to an induction ceremony… This is like a bucket-list trip for some people… It was way more than let’s go watch Tim talk for sixteen minutes, it was let’s go visit a place that we’ve never been before and it was just breathtaking for them.”

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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