Monday, March 19, 2012

Jack Buck

Jack Buck and Harry Caray were institutions in St. Louis long before I ever dreamed of getting there. All those long hot summer nights as a kid on the farm listening to them on the crackling far away AM signal. This is what we did when the sun went down back on the farm in the summer. My sister and I would take turns holding on to the antenna just to be able to hear the game. Splendid youth.

I met Mr. Buck in 1987 at Busch Stadium during a playoff game.

We got on the same elevator at the ballpark. The door closed and I knew I had just a few seconds to let him know how I felt about him.
"Mr. Buck?"
"Yeah, kid?
"Sir, my name is Randy Raley and I do the afternoon show on KSHE 95 and I just wanted to let you know how much you influenced me to get into radio", I said, sounding like a nine year old kid.

The thing about Mr. Buck is when he talked, he almost growled.

"That's nice, kid, but don't blame me..!" he growled back and winked at me.
"Anyway, sir, I just wanted to say thank you for everything."
"What did you say your name was, where do you work?"
"Randy Raley, sir and I do the afternoon show on KSHE."
"KSHE, huh? Well, you must be doing a good job, cause my kids listen to that God awful, God damned shit all the time. Play some better music will ya?"
With that he stuck out his hand.
"Thank you, Mr. Buck", I said.
"My name's Jack."

He was out of the elevator and gone. I really don't think he had any idea he could thrill a 31 year old man almost to giddiness.

Thank you, Mr. Buck

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