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Mets Booth: Individual strengths of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Former Major League Baseball first baseman Keith Hernandez gets readt to throw out the first pitch prior to game one of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field on October 17, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Former Major League Baseball first baseman Keith Hernandez gets readt to throw out the first pitch prior to game one of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field on October 17, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – MARCH 08: A New York Mets batting helmet in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Anyone who has watched a New York Mets game knows the broadcast booth has some amazing talent. Let’s run down the strength of each member from the faction known as “GKR.”

Over the past two decades, there have been very few constants in the world of the New York Mets. Players have come and gone, managers have been hired and fired, and the Wilpons have, unfortunately, stuck around.

But since the inception of SNY in 2006, the Mets’ TV booth has consisted of three men: Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling. They have become absolutely beloved fixtures in the Mets organization, spawning everything from t-shirts, to social media accounts, to this incredible moment when a 25-4 loss to the Nationals prompted Gary to ignore the game action entirely and start reading the media guide.

The Mets booth, affectionately known as “GKR,” is clearly one of the best TV crews in all of baseball. When all three are in the booth together, magic happens. But I’d like to dig a little deeper into what makes each member of the booth so strong by examining their individual strengths as announcers, beginning with “Gare Bear” himself.

Gary Cohen

Gary Cohen has been announcing the Mets in some form or other since 1989 when he joined the radio broadcast team. He now sits as the main play-by-play man in the Mets’ TV booth, calling every play as it unfurls and narrating the memorable (and sometimes infamous) moments that come with every Mets season.

When I began watching baseball regularly in 2006, I was struck by how much time there was for conversation during a baseball game. I noticed how Cohen filled the airtime beautifully with interesting anecdotes about the players, both teams, or even just the state of baseball in general. He inspired me to chatter throughout the games as if I were announcing the game myself, much to the entertainment (and chagrin) of my family watching with me.

Cohen also continually sprinkles in stories about growing up as a Mets fan and random Mets trivia that he’s picked up throughout his life. His incredible knowledge of Mets history, and baseball history in general, makes every Mets game feel like an informative three-hour baseball podcast.

But Cohen also has a knack for calling the actual game in just the right way, every play, every time. His voice rises with enthusiasm when Mets fans are rising from their seats in excitement over a home run or a game-saving catch. He (and the rest of the booth) also has no problem calling out the Amazins for questionable in-game decisions, whether they are pitching changes, pinch hitters, or baserunning blunders.

Cohen has acquired many “signatures” over the years, including pen slams, the classic “a very pleasant good evening everyone,” and his famous “it’s outta here!” for home run calls. He has become as integral to the Mets as any announcer they’ve ever had, and hopefully spends many, many more years calling games on SNY.

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