The first time I heard national announcers accused of bias by fans of participating teams was during the 1986 World Series, when Mets fans insisted Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola had it in for their team.
Naturally, Red Sox fans said the same thing.
As a media columnist I now know this has gone on since the chariot races at the Panhellenic Games. But it was neat to find a column by Newsday’s Stan Isaacs on Oct. 25, 1986 – the day of Game 6 – in which the NBC announcers addressed the matter, including the fact they had heard it all before.
Garagiola said the wives of both owners accused him of bias during the 1980 World Series. He needed police protection in Milwaukee in 1982, because fans figured he was from St. Louis and a Cardinals fan.
In ’84, Padres fans thought he was rooting for Detroit because his son Steve was a broadcaster there; in Detroit, they wondered why he couldn’t be more supportive of the Tigers, like his son.
“Like beauty,’’ Scully said, “it’s in the ear of the fan.’’