Originally published on the 'Kyle Cooper: Sportscaster' Facebook page, 18 September 2014
It's a recurring topic among baseball announcers: "Jinxing" a no-hitter. To me, it's a recurring waste of time.
Some announcers go great lengths to avoid getting anywhere near saying a pitcher has a potential no-no going. Others don't feel the need to be circumspect. Put me in the latter category.
At its essence, calling a baseball game is the purest form of reporting (especially on the radio). It's the announcer's job to pass along events as they happen, in real time. That includes putting the action into context -- the game's pace allows plenty of time for it -- which may involve mentioning if a pitcher is on the verge of making history. You're doing the listeners an absolute disservice by not bringing it up.
You may also come off as clueless. A Major League pitcher getting near a no-hitter would be all over social media (especially Twitter); pretending not to know it would call into question an announcer's cognitive abilities.
To put it another way: In 2013, I was fortunate enough to call a game in which a player (Missoula Osprey catcher Jose Queliz) hit for the cycle. When Jose made his last plate appearance needing a single, it would have been ludicrous for me not to mention it. So I did. A lot. And he went out and bounced a base hit up the middle. He wasn't jinxed.
To put it another another way: In 2009, I was fortunate enough to call a no-hitter -- a 7-inning gem thrown by Danville's Cory Rasmus, at Princeton, on August 11. The D-Braves were on their way to a 13-0 blowout, so Rasmus' no-hit bid was the only drama left.
When he got to the last inning with the no-hit bid intact, I made it very clear what he was trying to accomplish, and reminded everyone as he got the first out, then the second. Then he closed it out. He wasn't jinxed.
Would an NBA announcer not mention if a player was getting close to breaking Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point record? Would an NFL announcer not mention if a player had a chance to tie or break the Gale Sayers/Ernie Nevers/Dub Jones record of six touchdowns in a game?
They would not.
Nor would anyone criticize them for bringing it up.