The 2012 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers will be Joe Buck's 15th time calling the Fall Classic, but this one is different.
A year ago Buck was at the tail end of recovery from a nerve virus that devastated the one thing he could not do without -- his voice. It was a trying period for Buck, Fox’s lead announcer for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, and one that has given him a new perspective on the only job he’s ever done.
"I think it’s probably the most important thing that's happened to me, maybe in my personal life and my professional life," Buck told ThePostGame. "I think you take your health for granted until it’s not right, and then it dominates your life."
Buck developed the virus in the laryngeal nerve of his left vocal cord shortly after the 2011 Super Bowl. Doctors told him it might be as long as a year before his voice fully recovered, which was troublesome seeing as he was gearing up for an MLB season just a few months away. But luckily for Buck, he had a short break between the Super Bowl and the beginning of the baseball season in April.
Buck saw doctors, speech pathologists and even a vocalist as he tried to speed up the recovery process. By the time Opening Day rolled around, Buck’s voice was still far from where he wanted it to be. But he refused to put down the microphone, and he fought through most of the summer and the beginning of football season with less-than-perfect pipes. Even after the virus was eliminated, Buck had an arduous recovery process.
Knowing that the condition of his voice was not getting worse by continuing to go on air, Buck resigned himself to the fact that he would have to be more cautious.
"I went through the doubts," Buck says. "And I was proud of myself that I kept going and I was proud of myself that I weathered that storm."
By the time of the 2011 World Series, Buck says he felt back to normal. And as if he had any doubts, he says they were erased a few weeks ago, on Oct. 14, when he pulled off a rare football-baseball doubleheader. Buck called the San Francisco 49ers-New York Giants game in the afternoon and then raced to AT&T Park to call Game 1 of the NLCS between the Giants and the Cardinals.
"At no point in my life have I ever had to do something like that," Buck says. "So that lets me know [my voice] is back. It’s really not something I worry about anymore, except that I appreciate having gone through it."