Andy Musser, Ultimate Pro
Still numbed by the loss of Joe Paterno, more sad news came today when we learned that friend Andy Musser had also passed away on Sunday.
Andy grew up in the Harrisburg area and was a big Phillies fan as kid, listening to the games on the radio. By Saam was the Phillies No. 1 broadcaster back then. Andy would write to By for advice and always received an answer.
In 1976, By Saam retired and was replaced in the radio booth by Andy Musser. The pupil replaced the professor. Very fitting.
By Saam was the ultimate professional baseball announcer and Andy followed in the same shoes. Neither got too high during good times or too low during the tough times. While Harry and Whitey got all the acclaim on TV, Andy rolled along for 25 years in the radio booth. He knew and accepted his role.
Wherever there was a radio, Andy was there every game every season for 25 years. He unplugged his microphone after the 2001 season.
In the summer of 2008, I wrote a Phillies Magazine story on Andy. I asked him for his five favorite moments behind the Phillies microphone:
**“He buried it. He buried it,” was his most famous call. It came on October 4, 1980, when Mike Schmidt hit a game-winning home run in Montreal to clinch the Eastern Division title. “I had never used that expression before. It just came out and I don’t think I ever used it again.”
**Calling Schmidt’s 500th home run in Pittsburgh, April 18, 1987. “That was special to be able to broadcast that. It not only was a historic blast, but a dramatic ninth-inning game-winner.”
**Black Friday. “[October 7,] 1977, the night we had a lead against the Dodgers going into the ninth at Veterans Stadium and we lost. It was the most painful loss.”
**NLCS Game 5 in Houston (October 12, 1980). “That entire series was a nail-biter. It was so exciting to finally advance to the World Series. Not only was it exciting but draining.”
**World Series parade. “What a thrill. To see the happy faces of so many fans lined up Broad Street and then at JFK Stadium. Nothing will ever top that parade, I don’t care how many more there will be and I hope there are a lot.”