Joseph Francis Buck (born April 25, 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida) is an American sportscaster, and the son of Hall of Fame sportscaster Jack Buck. He has won numerous Sports Emmy Awards for his work with Fox Sports television.
Buck's broadcasting career began in 1989, while he was an undergraduate at Indiana University. When Buck graduated from Indiana two years later, he received a B.A. in English and a minor in telecommunications.
He did baseball play-by-play for the then-Louisville Redbirds, a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, and was a reporter for ESPN's coverage of the Triple-A All-Star Game. In 1991, Buck followed in his father's footsteps by broadcasting for the Cardinals on local television and radio.
In 1994, Buck was hired by Fox, and at the age of 25 became the youngest man ever to announce a regular slate of National Football League games on network television. Legend has it that Buck got his job at Fox in part because of a recommendation from his mother Carole. While at the Super Bowl, Carole Buck apparently collared Fox Sports head Ed Goren and told him "If you're putting together football, you can't do it without Joe!"
In 1996, he was named Fox's lead play-by-play voice for Major League Baseball, teaming with Tim McCarver, who had previously worked with Joe's father Jack on CBS. That year, he became the youngest man to do a national broadcast for a World Series, surpassing Sean McDonough, who called the 1992 World Series for CBS at the age of 30. McDonough had replaced Jack Buck as CBS' lead baseball play-by-play man after the elder Buck was fired in late 1991.
On September 8, 1998, Joe Buck called Mark McGwire's 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris' single-season record. The game was nationally televised live in prime time on Fox. It was a rarity for a nationally televised regular season game to not be aired on cable since the end of the Monday Night Baseball era in 1989. While doing a post-game interview with McGwire and his parents, Buck asked for and received a hug from McGwire.
Buck became Fox Sports' lead NFL play-by-play man in 2002 (taking over for Pat Summerall), teaming with Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth. Buck is only the third announcer to handle a television network's lead MLB and NFL coverage in the same year (following NBC's Curt Gowdy and ABC's Al Michaels). By 2002, Buck's Fox duties forced him to cut his local Cardinal schedule to 25 games. Whenever Joe Buck has been on a postseason Major League Baseball assignment, Dick Stockton, who coincidentally was the back-up announcer behind Jack Buck for CBS' baseball telecasts in the early 1990s, would fill-in for him.
Beginning in 2004, Buck appeared in a series of television commercials for Budweiser beer; one of them featured the catch phrase "Slam-A-Lama-Ding-Dong!" The ads generally featured Buck as the foil to a vain multi-sport athlete named Leon. Also in 2004, Joe Buck narrated an episode of Fox Sports Net's Beyond the Glory series. The episode focused on the 1988 World Series, in which his father made his famous "I don't believe what I just saw" call after Kirk Gibson hit a game-winning home run in Game 1.
In January 2005, Buck drew fire from Vikings owner Red McCombs for his on-air comments during a NFL playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. After Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss simulated mooning the Green Bay crowd in the end zone, Buck called it a "disgusting act." McCombs asked Fox to prevent Buck from broadcasting other Viking playoff games, a request Fox declined.
On February 6, 2005, Buck called his first Super Bowl, as the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles for their third championship in four years. His father called 17 Super Bowls for CBS television and radio in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.