Phillies Announcer Scott Franzke on How to Call Your Family Wiffle Ball Game Like a Pro

Miss watching the Phils play? Add some drama to your next game with these tips.

phillies announcer

Phillies announcer Scott Franzke shares his tips for your next backyard ball game. Illustration by James Boyle

A friendly game of wiffle ball with the fam might be the closest you’ll come to seeing in-person baseball for a while. So do it up right: Grill some hot dogs and let them sit under a desk lamp. Eat ice cream out of a tiny helmet. Paint yourself green and run around pants-less, dumping popcorn on everybody. And to really amuse the kiddos, try calling the game like a real play-by-play pro. We asked actual Phillies announcer Scott Franzke for some pointers.

“Go way over the top with it,” suggests Franzke. That means getting loud and loopy. Do your best Harry Kalas “That ball is outta here,” even if the little ones don’t know who the hell Harry was. Let the dog run wild on the field. Encourage trick plays and fancy bat flips. “And absolutely play up the family drama.”

Okay, but what if somebody breaks a window? “The first responsibility of a play-by-play announcer is to describe the action. So definitely continue on with the call,” Franzke says. “Worry about getting the broom and the dustpan and calling the glass-replacement person later.”

Most importantly, just enjoy yourself. “One of the things about doing play-by-play,” Franzke says, “is that you can’t go back. You just kind of have to say it, let it go out over the air, and not worry too much.”

What if somebody hits one onto the roof and it was your only ball? “It’s an automatic walk-off home run,” says Franzke. “So get your walk-off call going.”

Published as “Call Play-by-Play of Your Family Wiffle Ball Game Like a Pro” in the Summer Starts Now guide in the June/July 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.