ThePostGame caught up with Fox's lead MLB and NFL announcer as he prepares to take the microphone for his 15th World Series.
ThePostGame: You've called so many memorable World Series moments -- the Red Sox breaking the curse in 2004, David Freese's home run in Game 6 last year -- does any one stick out as extra special?
JOE BUCK: I think the Freese home run, as far as a moment in a game. I could look at it personally and say the first World Series when I was 27 in 1996 was unforgettable because I had never done anything at that level, and doing it in New York made it extra intense and more rewarding probably.
Yeah, the Red Sox winning in 2004, the World Series after 9/11 in 2001 that went seven games. And then last year. You know, I’ve done three Super Bowls, a bunch of playoff games and All-Star Games and all that, but as far as any one singular game in any sport -- maybe in anything I’ve watched -- that Game 6, it was backed up by them winning it in Game 7, was I think right at the top of the list.
TPG: You've called both the Tigers and the Giants in the World Series. What do you remember from the atmosphere in Detroit in 2006 and San Francisco in 2010?
BUCK: Detroit was great. I think in 2006 I was taken by the way they got there in beating Oakland. Just watching it on television -- I was doing the NLCS at the time -- it was incredible the way it was so important to that city with everything they had been through with the automobile industry. I think it still carries on to this day, but that team was so loved in that city that you can't help but feel it, even in the booth, the emotion that in the park.
And then San Francisco, I was here two years ago when they won it all, but I've never, ever heard a baseball crowd as loud as we've experienced this postseason in San Francisco. It’s been unbelievable. It's been a challenge to get heard over the loudness of the crowd. In baseball sometimes you don't get that. But it makes our job easier. When our camera positions are shaking because the crowd is going that crazy, it's just really special. I think these are going to be two fun cities to be in with great atmospheres.
TPG: In regards to San Francisco, what do you think has prompted such a high level of intensity?
BUCK: In 2010 they didn’t get to clinch any of their series at home in front of their home fans, even when they won it all they won in Texas. I think what they've been able to do, to come back in the division series down 2-0, and then become the third team in the history of the NLCS to come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cardinals, I just think they have something special here.
It starts with [manager Bruce] Bochy, and they’ve had unbelievable production from the second baseman they got in July, [Marco] Scutaro. Now they're riding that wave of momentum into this World Series against a team that's got all this rest that's lined up with the best pitcher in the game going tonight, and who knows how many times in this World Series, trying to win it all.
TPG: 2007 was the first year of Taco Bell’s "Steal A Base, Steal A Taco" promotion, where if a player steals a base, everyone in the country has a chance to win a free taco. That year, there were a record number of stolen bases in that World Series (14). The contest is back this year; do you think we can expect any more steals?
BUCK: I think we’ll get at least a handful of stolen bases. I think Taco Bell does this because they want to give out the tacos. This isn’t like you hit a home run into a basket in the upper deck. This is a pretty easy one to accomplish.
These are two teams that don’t run a ton, but I think these are two managers that are aggressive. The Giants are coming off an NLCS where they didn’t steal a base, I think that’s going to change in this series. I think a lot of that had to do with [St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier] Molina behind the plate.
You look at guys like Austin Jackson, Angel Pagan, Omar Infante, even Gregor Blanco. Guys like that that are really good base stealers, it will happen at some point.
TPG: You covered the World Series and Super Bowl multiple times, in addition to tons of historic regular and postseason games. Is there any sporting event that you haven't had the opportunity to work on that you would like to call?
BUCK: If there's one event that I enjoy to watch as a fan, and this is kind of off the board, but I'm a big hockey fan. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, if you have a rooting interest, that’s as good as sports can get.
I'm lucky to get to call Super Bowls and I'm lucky to get to call World Series. When you compare those two, Super Bowls are great, but in the World Series when you're building over the month of October, and you're building within a series -- hopefully seven games -- if you get a Game 7 in the World Series, I don't think there's anything like it in sports.
It's what we hope for every year. People say, "Who are you rooting for? Why do you hate my team?" All that stuff. The only thing I will plead guilty to is rooting for seven games in a best-of-7 series, because that's when the sport is at its best.
TPG: Do you think we'll see hockey anytime soon?
BUCK: God, I hope so. It's the one sport that I go to with my daughters where we just sit and enjoy the heck out of it. I live in St. Louis and I've got season tickets right behind the net, and it's one of the most fun things that we do as a family.
Hopefully there's progress made [with the NHL lockout]. I know they cancelled the first three weeks and I'm sure more to come, but I don't think we're going to lose the year. If we do, I think it's a huge setback for that sport. Because it seems to be really picking up steam.
TPG: We couldn't let you go without asking about Indiana basketball. Were you in Bloomington for the 1987 national championship?
BUCK: My freshman year was 1987, but they had won in the spring and I showed up in the fall for my first year. I knew that was going to be my school, and I was watching Keith Smart hit that shot from the baseline, but I wasn't a student at that point.
TPG: Do you get to follow the team during the season?
BUCK: I took my oldest daughter and her cousin to IU for the Indiana-Illinois game last year, and I've had a chance to be around Tom Crean a couple of times, and he's a special guy. He seems to be the right person at the right time for that school. I know they have another great class, and it's exciting to be a fan again. It always was when Bobby Knight was there, when I was a student I had tickets and went all the time. But it's good to want to find them on TV again, I went through a stretch where I didn't even bother looking.