Before he signs off, he had some advice for the next generation of broadcasters.
Will Middlebrooks, former Red Sox third baseman asked for his recommendations of how to handle the transition from playing to commenting on the game. And according to Awful Announcing, Eckersley said you can’t be afraid to tell the truth:
“Not being afraid to say what needs to be said,” Eckersley answered. “That’s probably one of the hardest things to do coming out of the dugout. Once you leave the dugout, you’re not in the dugout anymore. Players have a hard time with it, because this game is not easy and then we get up here and it looks a lot easier up here.”
He continued: “Be who you are and it’s scary because if you are who you are, you can’t be afraid to be who you are. Sometimes you feel a little naked up here because, I don’t know, it’s falling off a cliff sometimes. Because you never know, it’s live.”
Eckersley also said the nerves you can get around a live broadcast are similar to when you’re actively playing and preparing each day.
Eckersley Was Named To The Baseball Hall Of Fame In 2004
Broadcasting is certainly a different challenge than actively competing against some of the world’s finest athletes. But it does require skills that not everyone possesses. Apple TV+ baseball broadcasts are proof of that.
The advice to be yourself and not be scared to say what needs to be said is certainly valid and useful advice. Especially for those who will be the next generation of baseball broadcasters.
But it also requires a feel for the moment, the ability to make instant decisions on word choice and tone, as well as creativity.
Eckersley is one of the great ones. And hopefully his advice will help create more like him.