It's been three years in the making but "Legends from the Booth" featuring Vin Scully, Mel Allen, and Ernie Harwell is now complete. This website article:
rates them #1 thru 3 as the best baseball announcers of all-time. All members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of the Ford Frick Award; Mel Allen was the first to receive the award in 1978 (along with the pioneer of broadcasting, Red Barber). Vin Scully was next in 1982 and Ernie Harwell received his in 1991. Vin Scully is generally regarded as the best baseball broadcaster of all-time, regarded so by his peers and Ernie Harwell even said as much in his Audio Scrapbook. Nobody will forget Mel Allen’s “How about that!” or Harwell’s “He stood like a house by the side of the road… and watched it go by”. Legends from the Booth celebrates the work these men did during their careers. Except for Vin Scully, these announcers are no longer with us. Ernie passed just last year and luckily Mel Allen provided the source for many of these audio clips right before he passed in 1996. However, you can relive those baseball moments and calls, and most important seemingly bring them back to life with this mod.
Although I have "completed" the mod, I do not mean for this to be the final version by any means. With the help of the MVP community, we can continue to work on this to improve it and work out the bugs.
If you are expecting perfection from this mod then you will probably be disappointed. It was very difficult to find an exact match for many of the sound calls especially with the Krukow color. There will be some oddities like one voice doing the introduction for a player but then another announcer actually says the name. You might even think there are "too many cooks in the kitchen". However, without finding the sound calls from all of the resources available, this
mod would not be nearly as complete if I only used the Vin Scully calls. Using all three announcers made it possible to fill in many blank spots. The transitions between announcers isn't as smooth as I would have liked but judging from early feedback, I think most folks will be happy with it. Now that it is complete, the transitions have smoothed out quite a bit. The best way to enjoy this mod is to simply allow the classic voices of these announcers soak in, taking you back to a time when their voices were the average fan's connection to the game before television.
Along with the benefits of the classic Play-by-Play, this mod is also the most ambitious project of including as many players from the history of baseball as possible. There are about 9650 player audio calls in this mod. This last summer, I spent some time compiling the audio indices of all the Total Classics mods as well as the single season mods after 2005. My mission was to create one common index that would be as compatible as possible with all the Total Classics releases and anything left over would come from the modern single season mods. The result of my efforts is included in the spreadsheet “LegendsIDS”. I have made it so the mod will be completely compatible with the original MVP05 and most of Total Classics. It should be about 80% compatible with Total Classics seasons mods but in cases where the name index might be different against Total Classics, the season mod may differ. Right out of the box, you will be able to plug in my mod with just about any season mod and be able to hear mostly accurate audio. The index works first from Totte’s original audio list to Total Classics and then the single season mods. I have made my own additions after starting from that framework. Most of the important, famous players are included.
The PA audio has also been expanded with this mod for many classic players and for historic players that I have added. As a minor addition, this mod also includes my Bob Sheppard announces the Yankees PA announcer mod. For Yankees fans, Sheppard will always announce their favorite all-timers in this mod. I hope to expand on this aspect in the future if we can ever get a library of Bob Sheppard announcements or if they develop some voice morphing software that can closely mimic his voice.
In case anybody is curious, here is the final distribution of the play by play calls by the Legendary Announcers:
Mel Allen: 2840
Vin Scully: 5465
Ernie Harwell: 2870
Vin Scully is appropriately the primary announcer with Mel Allen doing additional play by play and Ernie adding some color commentary. Ernie also does some play-by-play where neither Vin nor Mel has the call in their repertoire. All in all, the mod plays out pretty seamlessly as you get a nice blend of all of these classic announcers.
Note on full classic names: Full players names for modern players are announced by Vin Scully. For classics, Vin Scully tries to say most of the starting pitchers full names regardless of whether they are modern or classic. Mel Allen introduces pitchers coming out of the bullpen so he says many of the reliever’s full names instead of Vin sometimes. Mel Allen says most of the full batter players names for the classic players although Vin says many as well. Classic full player (batter) names are split about 50/50. Vin says more Dodger players and Mel says more Yankee players. Mel simply has more classic names in his database and I think an original classic name pronounced by Mel sounds better than a spliced together name by Vin. Most last names are announced by Vin, classic last names by Mel only if the Mel last name sounded way better than a created Vin Scully last name.
Although you may install this audio mod into any of your existing mods, it assumes you are currently using the stock audio files from a clean installation. Specifically, you need to have the original stadium headers as well as team name headers in order for these to come out correctly. Check with the mod’s author to see about making it Legends from the Booth compatible. I have already spoken to a few mod creator’s and they are already on their way to making this happen.
As a bonus, I am including my special "Oldtime" between innings audio (bdcstdat) in this mod. It just adds a nifty classic feel to the game as well as Ernie Harwell calling the "Voice of the Turtle" in the intro background before the national anthem.
I recommend using the following volume settings:
Broadcast Announcer = 5
Music = 4
Crowd = 3
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
Compared to audio in some other baseball games, the MVP PBP has a lot more variation. Some calls unfortunately had to be repeated since the replacements simply don't have as much variation.
These are the files included in the mod in case you want to back them up before installation:
pnamehdr.big --> to be copied to: MVP Baseball 2005\data\audio\spch_pbp\
pbpdat.big --> copy to \program files\ea sports\mvp baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\spch_pbp\
pnamedat.big --> copy to \program files\ea sports\mvp baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\spch_pbp\
stdnmdat.big --> copy to \program files\ea sports\mvp baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\spch_pbp\
tnamedat.big --> copy to \program files\ea sports\mvp baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\spch_pbp\
All four will be copied to: MVP Baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\spch_pbp\
Note: These file names are exactly the same as the pbp player names except that they go into the spch_pa directory. These files are also significantly smaller than the pbp files.
In between innings music: bdcstdat.big
bdcstdat.big --> copy to \program files\ea sports\mvp baseball 2005\data\audio\cd\bdcst_mx\
If you have an existing mod where stadiums and team names have been moved around, you might just want to copy the pbpdat.big and the pname files.
Here’s a brief summary of what some of these files do:
pnamedat.big - this file stores audio for player names.
pbpdat.big - this file is the big daddy. It contains the actual PBP commentary with Krukow blanked out.
stdnmdat.big - if you want Vin and Mel to announce the stadiums in the game intro, then copy this file into your game folders.
tnamedat.big - if you want Vin and Mel to announce the major league teams in the game intro, then copy this file. Ernie Harwell will announce many of the minor league teams.
If you decide to use either pnamedat, stdnmdat, or tnamedat, then you must also use the corresponding pnamehdr, stdnmhdr, and tnamehdr file into \data\audio\spch_pbp\
Acknowledgements and Thanks to:
AlexTony (the original TotalClassics audio guru) for his hardwork with the Vin Scully names and Eddieel for his work with Mel Allen. Special thanks to Hory for teaching me how to resample wave files into condensed .asf and .mus format. This project would have sounded like crap if he had not taught me the key switches in the SX program. HardcoreLegend for originally coming up with the concept of using Vin Scully to replace the default announcers. TyWiggins for the program that was able to extract the Vin Scully sound clips. Stecropper for inviting me over to MVPmods initially. Pohdna, the mission is accomplished. We converted the Mel Allen mod to MVP and made it better with Vin and Ernie. Thanks to the entire Total Classics team especially the founders (Frank, Jim825, AlexTony, and Stecropper) whose work on the classic concept have kept my own vision alive and kicking. I don’t think I could have done this without following the road they already paved. There have been a few others along the way and if I ommitted, I apologize. There was a forum member early on in the process who taught me how to use Audacity to split the name sound clips but his name escapes me right now and I don’t think he’s around anymore. If you’re out there, let me know. More recently, Redeck and the prolific DennisJames have provided some much needed energy and support. Future thanks to Jim825 who is working on putting these files in an easy to use installer. If you prefer to use a packaged installer to implement this mod, just keep an eye out for it in a couple of days.
Finally, this project is a continuation of a project I originally did for High Heat in the early 2000’s. Back then, it was just a Mel Allen/Ernie Harwell project with Curt Gowdy doing PA. I eventually finished it and then merged in Vin Scully when those sound clips became available. It wasn’t until the MVP version of the project that I was able to unlock and extract the Harwell sounds but that just made it that much better.
This project is free on MVPmods. The only payment I ask in return is that SeanO, Rolie, and DennisJames get together and build me San Francisco Seals Stadium
So those of you waiting for me to release this mod before re-releasing your own conversion mods, I give you my blessings. Go for it. You can now include this with your own mods along with whatever tweaks you need to make it work.
Finally, I can leave my cave and join the rest of the world. Hope you all enjoy.
*** VERSION HISTORY ***
- Updated stadium announcements. More variety and "colorful" announcements.
- Updates/Fixes/Additions to many player names
- Updated Play-by-Play calls. A year's worth of fixes.
- Found about 100 dynasty game calls that were inexplicably missed, that Ernie Harwell now calls..
Repackaged with Jim825's easy-to-use installer.