The Louisville Baseball team will play in its 9thth Super Regional this Friday evening. Standing directly in its path of making the school’s 6th trip to the College World Series will be the number 5 nationally seeded Texas A&M Aggies and its rowdy fanbase. But the apprehension normally associated with the daunting task such as ascending onto College Station and winning a 3-game series has been somewhat lessened leading up to game one due in large part to the theatrics from this past Monday when Cameron Masterson hit his already iconic two -run four bagger to end Michigan’s season.
Deservedly so, Masterman was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 4-team Regional. Many of his teammates were terrific as well. Levi Usher was lights out at the plate and in CF. Dalton Rushing played long ball in multiple games. The list could go on into the night. But the top overall performance by anyone associated with Louisville Baseball was that of Louisville’s well known radio announcer, Sean Moth, who made his case for being the Regional’s Most Outstanding Performer.
Any Louisville fan with a pulse over the past 20+ years knows exactly who Sean Moth is and is familiar with his work. For two decades he did the unthinkable of not only filling the shoes of the legendary John Tong but carving out his own legacy on the mic and becoming a true fan favorite. Aside from basketball, he was most notably the PA announcer for the Louisville Football and Women’s Louisville Basketball program as well. But the list of UofL sports that Moth announced for or worked with during his tenure at UofL by no means ended there. In fact, he ended up being a part of 20 of the 21 varsity sports that UofL offers with cross country being the lone program he did not work with. That, folks, is what you call well rounded and connected.
Moth who is arguably one of the humblest individuals I have ever met, came to the University of Louisville in 1999. He put his faith in then AD Tom Jurich and left his home state of Colorado and the job of being the PA announcer for the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche and brought his family to the Bluegrass State. I remember his arrival on campus vividly as I was a student at UofL at the time and interning in the Sports Information Department under Kenny Klein and Kathy Tronzo. The first time I met Sean in person he had a full head full of hair, but his kind approach and genuine demeanor was the same then as it is today.
As for Moth’s connection to Louisville Baseball, it began with him taking over as SID in 2000. He spent countless hours in Old Cardinal Stadium announcing games to sparse crowds in the stands and worked diligently week to week trying to find willing bodies who would keep the scoreboard and perform other odd jobs. I could only imagine the satisfaction he felt when the team moved its games in 2005 to the newly built Jim Patterson Stadium. No more gingerly walking along skinny catwalks to get to roof suspended, outdated press boxes – a walk that at one time would even cause Moth to injure his leg after missing a step when leaving the ballpark due to the stadium lights being turned out.
Long story short, Sean Moth paid his dues early on. He was ever present when the Louisville Baseball program wasn’t exactly one that many folks cared about. And, it’s Moth’s true long-term dedication to Louisville Baseball and his craft of live play by play radio announcing that’s exactly why he’s currently a hot topic amongst UofL fans and likely other college baseball fanbases. His live call of Cam Masterson’s unforgettable bomb on Monday highlighted by his patented “Grass… .track… ..wall” call became an overnight classic and a must listen for any Card fan. If radio calls were an actual physical work of art, then it would be rightfully placed in The Louvre.
And as memorable and great as Moth’s call was on Monday, Louisville fans who have listened to him before via radio probably weren’t overly surprised. You see, it’s not unusual to hear Louisville Baseball fans talk about the fact that they prefer listening to games as opposed to watching them. Think about that for a second.
Another common theme one might hear is that Card fans will watch games but only if they can nail the timing and appropriately sync Moth’s voice to the action on the screen. Count me in that group.
If any of the above sounds crazy in the least, then you simply haven’t been listening. Recently I overheard Moth live on air discussing the greatness of the Hall of Famer Vin Scully and how Dodger fans would insist that anyone around with a speaker on gameday turn his or her volume UP and not down so Scully’s melodic voice could be heard more easily. I don’t think it’s far fetched when I say that Sean Moth has entered Scully territory. Fans WANT to hear his voice, no matter his or her surroundings.
Moth’s live game repertoire of puns, jokes and metaphors go hand in hand with his deep understanding of the game of baseball itself. In addition, Moth is a master at using cadence, pitch and volume to perfectly illustrate what’s taking place between the lines. But between the lines certainly isn’t his cutoff in terms of bringing things to life. Listen long enough to a Louisville game and you’ll more than likely find out which train is currently passing by Jim Patterson Stadium. You’re also apt to hear when a UPS jet has flown over. As for uniforms, you need not worry if you can’t see them with your own eyes as Moth will eloquently describe them to the point that you’ll feel like you’re wearing one.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Moth is an expert at making fans feel like they are a true part of the action. If you send him an in-game message or tweet, you can rest assured he’ll do everything within his power to read it aloud on the air.
Not sure where a ball in the outfield might’ve landed when the Cards are batting? No worries, as Moth will quickly notify you that “There’s a cat loose in the alley” and extra bases are up for grabs. Curious if an opposing batter strikes out looking or swinging? Moth has that covered too, as any opponent who takes strike three is described as having been “Caught looking like he’s standing in line at the DMV.”
Writer Robin Sharma once said, “Greatness begins beyond your comfort zone.”
Sean Moth embodies said quote. And as fans we need to bottle up the gift of Moth’s talent and the time we have been given. I could have never imagined NOT hearing Moth’s voice over the PA in the Yum Center with his patented “Threeeeeeeee Hancock” or at Cardinal Stadium leading the fans with a “And that’s good, for another_________”. But alas, that time has come and gone. So don’t let the present-day awesomeness that’s spilling out onto the Louisville Baseball radio airwaves pass you by. Tune in and hear for yourself. And although he may be miles away in a press box at College Station, I’m certain Moth will “see you at the ballpark.”