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Buck set for fifth straight All-Star Game

Buck set for fifth straight All-Star Game

DETROIT -- He had some Major League advantages growing up the son of Cardinals broadcasting great Jack Buck, but Joe Buck grew up watching the All-Star Game on television like everyone else.

Being on the other end of the broadcast as the voice of the All-Star Game remains a midsummer treat for him, one that even after seven years in the booth doing the game for Fox Sports still humbles him.

"I recall All-Star Games better from when I was a kid than I recall actually doing them," Buck said as he began preparations for Tuesday night's All-Star Game at Comerica Park. "The message there is it makes a mark on you as a young baseball fan.

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"You just hope you're doing it justice. Myself, I generally feel completely inadequate compared to the greats before me. I just do my thing my own way and hope it's good enough."

With Tuesday's 8 p.m. ET start, Buck and partner Tim McCarver will be broadcasting their fifth consecutive Midsummer Classic, their seventh overall as the broadcast team bringing the showcase of the game's elite to fans.

"That's surprising to me," Buck said. "It doesn't seem like I've done that many."

Actually, Buck hasn't done nearly as many as his partner. McCarver is broadcasting his 14th All-Star Game, more than anybody else in the history of the game. Curt Gowdy and Joe Garagiola each did 13.

The seven Buck-McCarver partnerships match the NBC duo of Gowdy and Tony Kubek, who did the game together from 1969-75.

This edition of the All-Star Game on Fox will begin with a new twist -- the Red Carpet Show that will show players being driven into the ballpark with a Hollywood atmosphere.

All-Star Game 2005

In addition to dozens of cameras and microphones, this game also will see the return of "FOX Diamond-Cams," small cameras at the plate and on the mound which were introduced during last year's All-Star game in Houston.

The biggest difference for Buck and McCarver is actually something that's been going on the last few years. The game determining the home-field advantage for the World Series not only has turned up the intensity on the field but in the broadcast booth as well.

"It used to be the most difficult game to do," McCarver said. "It still has its moments of being difficult because of all the substitutions, so it's hard sometimes to establish storylines because you can't build a story on a player's four at-bats through the course of a game.

"What's been different from my standpoint is that there's a little bit more strategy involved and it's more important. It used to be that strategy was non-existent."

Buck also sees a difference.

"You can debate all you want about whether the All-Star Game should determine home field for the World Series, but I don't think you can debate that it has changed the atmosphere and the intensity of the game," Buck said.

John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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