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Len Kasper Is All I Want For Christmas…?

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Len Kasper, voice of the Chicago Cubs since the beginning of the 2005 season, stunned baseball fans all around the Windy City Wednesday, when he announced that he was leaving the TV booth on the North Side to take over the radio booth for the White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago offers the following explanation, including Kasper’s main motivation:

“I want this to be crystal clear,” Kasper said. “If Cub games were still on WGN or NBC Sports Chicago or Channel 7, I would still be doing this. I was treated like a king with the Cubs. This is 100 percent about a moment in time during which I could not pass up the opportunity of a lifetime.”

There is no doubt the move has been met in different ways by fans of both Chi-Town clubs. Having spent 16 years with the Cubs, he became a fixture for a team that has just experienced a six-year window for contention for the NL pennant. That tends to endear personalities to a fan base who, for many years, has supported a team affectionately known as the Lovable Losers.

https://twitter.com/LenKasper/status/1334894496597876749?s=20

North Siders generally enjoyed his broadcasts of their team. and Len Kasper seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about them as well. Len Kasper is knowledgeable about the game, and a professional broadcaster in every sense of the word. His enthusiasm is apparent in the clips below:

It is hard to imagine any die-hard Cubs fan not enjoying Kasper’s calls of many memorable events on the North Side.

Len Kasper and the South Siders

The response on the South Side, however, has been more mixed. Incredibly, in spite of the rise of the Sox in 2020, and their upward trend, some fans still hate the Cubs. So, for them, a Cub’s announcer just won’t do. No matter how well Len Kasper does, he can never do enough to please these passionate Cub- haters.

Other Sox fans are able to forgive Kasper his ‘Cubbiness‘, and see him for the professional he is. Objective Sox fans seem to be okay with the move, for the most part. They also realize that, at the end of the day, announcers do not generally win or lose games. As long as the Sox continue on the path they are traversing, even a former Cub will not dim their anticipated joy.

Len Kasper’s move does add a little fuel to the rivalry that exists in Chicago. How much it adds, in the long run, remains to be seen. However, that is something that will be talked about in Windy City baseball circles for a while. When people do discuss Len Kasper’s move to the South Side, they may likely reflect back to earlier days, when first, Bob Elson, Milo Hamilton, Harry Caray, and then, Steve Stone switched their broadcasting allegiances. So, look at this as just another chapter in the long history of baseball broadcasting in the City of Big Shoulders.

What about the actual impact on the field? Len Kasper has stated that he would love to broadcast a World Series winner, something he was unable to do in his TV role with the Cubs. However, his presence does nothing to enhance the roster that will take the field in 2021 and beyond. So, the White Sox still have much to do if they are to seriously contend for a World Series championship.

Sox fans have their Christmas wish lists. While there are several variations, the gifts many fans long for include starting pitching, some form of closer, a backup catcher, a right fielder, and a designated hitter. Oh, yeah, and Santa, could you please make sure that at least one of those position guys bats lefthanded? We’ve been good all year! And we promise that we will only ask for a sled and BB gun. Promise!

Note to Jerry Reinsdorf- while we appreciate you finding us a new radio guy, we really have our hearts set on much more. We really, really hope that you prove all your detractors wrong (well, at least most of them), and not be a ‘Mr. Potter‘ this year. We have been ‘George Baileys‘ long enough, If all we get for Christmas this year is Len Kasper, you will never get milk and cookies from us ever again!

Have a baseball lover that you need to get a gift for? Check out our partner at Dugout Mugs! Create a personalized mug made out of the barrel of a bat. Great for any baseball fan, or, let’s be honest, yourself!

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!