Kuiper, Krukow have special interest in WS

Giants broadcasters started playing careers with Cubs, Indians

Kuiper, Krukow have special interest in WS

SAN FRANCISCO -- Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are synonymous with the Giants. But during the World Series, the popular broadcasters will identify closely with the teams that brought them to the Majors: Kuiper with the Indians and Krukow with the Cubs.

"As much as those organizations have struggled over the years, it's who we are. It's who we were for a very long time," Kuiper said Friday. "Those organizations just do not get out of your blood."

Kuiper spent his first 10 professional seasons in the Indians organization, including 1974-81 in the Majors as a second baseman. None of those teams finished higher than fourth in the powerful American League East.

So when the Indians reached the World Series against Atlanta in 1995 -- their first appearance in the Fall Classic since '54 -- Kuiper felt compelled to attend Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland.

"The years that I played there, we were hit over the head about the Indians not having been involved in a world championship for 'X' amount of years," Kuiper said. "So I thought, you know what? If they're gonna go, I'm gonna go. That was the itch that needed to be scratched, and I was good after that."

Krukow likened the Cubs' success to that of an individual player who never makes the All-Star team until late in his career. This was the case with him. The right-hander was named an All-Star as a member of the Giants in 1986, his 10th season in the Majors.

That followed a five-year stint with the Cubs (1977-81) during which they finished last twice and no higher than third in any other year during that span.

"If you're not in [the All-Star Game], you want to be there badly," Krukow said. "And I think, to a degree, it is a parallel with cities that watch the World Series every year and their team's not in it. Now, imagine what that's like and magnify it by 100.

"Or 108, you know?" Krukow added, referring to the Cubs' last Series title in 1908. Cubs fans, he said, "are going to have fun with it, they are going to embrace it and they are going to enjoy every second as if they're not going to have another one for 108 more years."

Kuiper and Krukow, who are extremely close friends, have made a handful of wagers on the Series result. Krukow sounded as if he won't mind if he loses his bets.

"You have to enjoy this," he said. "This is great for America."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.