Meet Joe Buck. His dad, Hall of Fame baseball and football
broadcaster Jack Buck, you already know. His mother, Carol, who
in her bachelorette days portrayed sexpot secretary Hedy LaRue on
Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, you
may not. "She had an acting class with Al Pacino," says her son,
"who used to hit on her, with no luck. Some eye for talent, my

Joe Buck is only 31. On Saturday he will begin calling his third
World Series, with partner Tim McCarver, for Fox. With his
network having just purchased the exclusive rights to postseason
games through 2006, Buck is poised to become the game's
preeminent voice. You may consider him the mere legacy of his
father, 76, who has been a Cardinals broadcaster since 1954. You
may wonder whether it was an eye for talent that led Fox four
Octobers ago to make him the youngest announcer to call a Series
since Vin Scully did so in 1955 at age 25. You may wonder whether
Joe Buck has succeeded without really trying. "I'm a member of
broadcasting's Lucky Sperm Club," admits Buck, citing other
play-by-play family dynasties such as the Alberts and Carays,
"and I'd be the first to agree that it got me in the door."

However, Buck's professional bona fides are genuine. Born in St.
Petersburg during Cardinals spring training, Buck had visited
every big league park by age 13. As an adolescent he would
accompany his father to Busch Stadium, sit in a vacant booth and
call games into a tape recorder. "My dad and I would listen to my
version as we drove home," says Buck, "and he would offer me

As down-to-earth as home plate, Buck launched his career in 1989
while an undergraduate at Indiana. His first assignment was doing
play-by-play at Triple A Louisville, then a Cardinals affiliate.
Two years later he graduated to the parent club, joining his dad.
Fox hired him for its NFL coverage in 1994, and two years after
that he was calling his--and Fox's--first World Series, Braves
versus Yankees.

As a senior at St. Louis Country Day, Buck, a righthander, tossed
a no-hitter. "I was a decent pitcher," he says. "The truth is, I
always wanted to be a player." Wanted to be? Joe Buck has a
standing date with the Fall Classic for the next six years. On
the major league stage, he is a player.


COLOR PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA Joe (left) received Jack's genes, as well as his play-by-play wisdom during rides home from the ballpark.

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