Larry Anderson was a mediocre relief pitcher with one of the legendary senses of humor in the history of the game. If there is a Mount Rushmore of utility player/middle relievers with hall of fame senses of humor, I believe that Larry Anderson and former Phillies’ coconspirator Jay Johnstone occupy two of those giant, bouldery heads. I specifically remember in one of the Phillies’ annual videos there was a locker room bit where Larry Anderson took a Hair in a Can gimmick and gave himself one of the most horrendous heads of hair ever. It had a little 50 Cent style low-hairline and a lot of Eddie Munster’s Widow’s Peak out of Hair in a Can.
After retiring from baseball, LA became an announcer for the Phillies. It’s difficult being a Phillies announcer because so many of us grew up with Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn. There were guys that we chased out of the booth (or attempted to), just because of how precious those two men were. Chris Wheeler could have been the second coming of Vin Scully, but he’s sitting there taking up precious time that we could be listening to Harry and Whitey. It would have been like if Groucho Marx had tried to sit in on Abbot & Costello’s Who’s on First. Sure, Groucho’s funny, but this is Bud & Lou’s bit, kick rocks, Groucho.
So what I’m saying is that being a Phillies announcer isn’t a great gig. But Larry Anderson got paired with a young guy named Scott Franzke for the radio broadcast team and they have done a terriic job together. They have recaptured what was great about Harry & Whitey. It’s two guys who love baseball, one a pure announcer and one a retired player. They tell stories, they have fun, the game sometimes is almost incidental to the whole evening.