Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters of adoration.
Today's love letter goes out to a special guy, Cubs TV announcer Len Kasper. Since 2005, Len's been on the air announcing Cubs games. With 16 years of experience, he's now been around nearly as long as Harry Caray. Unfortunately, he's a bit underrated at times by portions of the Cubs fanbase. So as typical, my heart goes out to him in appreciation for what he's meant to the franchise.
You are a fantastic baseball announcer. You call a great game, balancing homerisms with facts and excellent play by play. It's smooth sounding, and always a pleasure to listen to.
Now I have to be honest, I didn't always feel that way about your announcing. I liked Chip Caray, and was bummed when he left. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with your announcing, it just didn't stand out to me. But over time that changed. Over the years, I heard more and more other baseball announcers. There'd be the Fox Game of the Week guys, and other announcers for playoffs, and so on and so forth. When I had MLB.TV I thought it'd be fun to listen to other announcers just to get an opposition's view.
I discovered that.. most other baseball announcers are terrible! It's either boorish homerish, or most often just plain dull. Other announcers had little character or personality. No funny stories or trivia. Not as much insight or in depth analysis. Just straight unenthusiastic play calls. It was boring!
After going through that phase, it made me appreciate your style so much more. You call plays well in a way that is aurally pleasing. You sprinkle in trivia that's always interesting. Analysis comes natural as well. You are clearly very knowledgeable, but also know how to make the game accessible to those who don't know as much as you. You are enthusiastic, but not so over the top that it gets annoying. And that's what a good announcer is. A good mix of several traits. Not too much of one or the other.
You've also got a great sense of humor. Your "AHHH A TALKING MUFFIN!" joke still makes me chortle to this day. Your jokes are the right proportions of both clever and corny. I appreciate a good sense of humor, and you've got a great one.
You are also a great follow on Twitter. I don't always agree with your opinions, but they are always well thought out. You don't pretend to be overly important, and maintain a humble yet educated persona. Just another thing I appreciate.
Finally, the ladies of Cubs DNA appreciate your good looks. I don't want to embarrass them by exposing their locker room talk about you, but I will say they have a nickname for you: "Hot Daddy Len." They often debate whether you look better with glasses or without, and love your bass playing skills.