Jon Miller, in his 18th season as ESPN's play-by-play announcer on
Sunday Night Baseball
, is following the game's most compelling story daily.
Miller, 55, is also an announcer for the San Francisco Giants, so he gets to watch Barry Bonds in his pursuit of Hank Aaron's career record of 755 home runs. Miller, however, may not be able to make the call when Bonds delivers the record-breaking homer.
He already has missed calling several of Bonds' memorable home runs. Miller witnessed Bonds' 700th but didn't make the call.
"When Barry hit 700, I was there, and it was a radio night for me, but it wasn't my inning," Miller said in a recent telephone interview. "I do six innings, and Dave Flemming does the other three."
When Bonds hit No. 714 to tie Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list and added No. 715, Miller missed both because of ESPN commitments.
"He hit No. 714 and No. 715 on consecutive Sundays," said Miller, who announced Sunday's 8-5 Phillies win over the Giants on ESPN.
It wouldn't have mattered if Miller had been there for No. 715. Flemming made the call on radio, but the only other person who heard it was his announcing partner, Greg Papa.
"His mike went out in the middle of the call," Miller said.
Even though Miller may miss part of history, he wouldn't give up his role as ESPN's lead baseball announcer.
At ESPN, he has called memorable games. Just last month, Miller was behind the microphone when the Boston Red Sox hit four consecutive home runs in a 7-6 win over the New York Yankees.
Miller said he had never worked a game in which a team hit four straight homers. He was, however, a Red Sox broadcaster in 1980 when Boston hit three in a row against Mike Caldwell and the Milwaukee Brewers.
"The Red Sox hit six home runs that game and still lost, 19-8," he recalled.
For Miller, the only drawback is the constant travel. Being with a team every day means a lot of it, but leaving for the ESPN games makes it even more difficult. Even so, Miller can find a light moment in almost any situation.
"It's funny when you go through airport security and they want to run your bag a second time, open everything up, and while they are doing it they are saying to me, 'The Giants need bullpen help,' " Miller said, laughing.
He has never been at a loss for baseball anecdotes when announcing on ESPN. He and analyst Joe Morgan, who have been partners in the booth for all 18 seasons, have good chemistry.
Morgan offers plenty of insight, and Miller is always prodding the Hall of Fame second baseman for more.
"I want to know what Joe knows," Miller said. "The great thing for us is that we try to bring the game to the viewer."
But he isn't afraid to disagree with Morgan.
"We are like a couple of guys watching the game in their basement and commenting on it," Miller said. "Joe was always the thinking man's player and I learn a lot from listening to him, and I know the viewers do the same."