Baseball inspired Al Michaels
But his unique skill behind a microphone with a baseball diamond laid out in front of him will bring him to the Village of Cooperstown in the summer – because he’s now been recognized with the profession’s most prestigious honor.
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Michaels’ only time in Cooperstown came when he accompanied the Giants when the team was to face the Red Sox in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Monday, Aug. 18, 1975.
“What I remember about that is we played a Sunday game at Shea Stadium against the Mets and we had a Tuesday game in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. So we flew up to Cooperstown after the Sunday game in New York,” he recalled.
Michaels then remembered a story from his visit to Cooperstown that involved a pair of pitchers on that Giants team.
“Those two pitchers and Art Eckman, who was my broadcast partner, we’re having dinner at whatever hotel we’re staying at in the dining room,” Michaels said. “And I started to talk about how there is nothing more exciting in baseball than a no-hitter. And I got them excited about it.
“Fast forward later that season one of those pitchers, Ed Halicki, pitched a no-hitter at Candlestick Park against the Mets on Aug. 24 (six days after Michaels’ dinner in Cooperstown). The other pitcher sitting at the table was John ‘The Count’ Montefusco, who pitched a no-hitter on Sept. 29, 1976 against the Braves. You talk about unbelievable occurrences. There you have it.”
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum