The Cubs are still searching for a replacement for long-time voice Len Kasper.
For 16 beautiful seasons, Len Kasper spoiled Cubs fans with spectacular television play-by-play commentary. His decision to leave for a radio opportunity with the White Sox was not something anyone had been anticipating.
Hearing the news was bittersweet. Kasper is someone who cannot be despised by fans of the North Side baseball club. Year in and year out, he set the tone for how things should be handled in the booth.
The man entered the organization as a 34-year-old babyface and left as one of the greatest personalities in franchise history. His position, however, is not an easy one to fill given the talents who paved the way for Cubs broadcasters.
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A few names including Harry Caray, Ron Santo, Jack Brickhouse, Chip Caray, and of course, Milo Hamilton. Knowing the reasoning behind his departure is understandable – always chase your dream.
It is never too late to do what you love, and you shouldn’t feel bad for making these kinds of decisions in order to make that happen. Kasper’s career change will not prevent his dad, Joe Kasper, from rooting for the Cubs.
Still part of the beautiful city of Chicago, surely, Kasper will keep a close eye on his former employer. Especially when it is time for these two clubs to go head-to-head during the regular season.
"“I’m challenging myself to do something I dreamed as a kid,” he told the Daily Herald. “And having very deep conversations with close friends, I have found that some of them are thinking differently about it, even envious about it.”"
As a kid, Kasper and his father listened to Detroit Tigers baseball on the radio. The now 49-year-old recalled his early teen years in which he’d cling to every word that had left Ernie Harwell’s mouth.
An inspiration that led him to the same booths that Harwell had made his calls from as well. Now, Kasper’s journey takes him to somewhat familiar territory, just in what we consider ‘enemy territory’.
"“In your career, you tend to make bad choices when at a bad place, but I was in a good place and because of those relationships with the Cubs and Marquee — and before that WGN — were so good, I was able to ask them to let me go. They did not have to let me out of my deal.”"
Whether it had been the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, or even Green Bay Packers; Kasper will forever be loved by Cubs fans all over the world.
There will be shoes to fill for whoever is hired next to take Kasper’s place. Currently, Jim Deshaies is the only man hired to work the television booth. Could we quite possibly see a Cubs great make their full-time television play-by-play debut?
Maybe Ryan Dempster or Ben Zobrist get some air time. Or perhaps we’ll see more players mic’d up – including Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo working their magic on the microphone while playing throughout the season. We’ll see.