Friday, February 23, 2007

Denny Matthews

What can you say about Denny Matthews?

Denny has been the voice of the Kansas City Royals since their inception in 1969. He's called nearly every pitch in the history of the Royals.

He's missed a few games in recent years. Matthews has taken a few road trips off the last few years, a luxury that he certainly deserves.

But other than those few games, he's been there. Night after night, game after game, pitch after pitch.

I was two years old when Denny began broadcasting Royals games. Needless to say, I grew up listening to Denny. My summers are defined by the sound of Denny's voice.

When I was growing up, the Royals were on. We had an old transistor radio in our kitchen, and Denny's voice flowed out of that radio in a sweet baseball melody.

Denny Matthews is not a flashy broadcaster. His quiet, elegant style fits baseball perfectly. Baseball has no shot clock, and does not involve huge, hulking men crashing into one another. Baseball is a slow paced, flowing game. It is three hours of pleasantness.

Denny's style of broadcasting is like baseball itself. It's a quiet, understated flow of words that perfectly describe the game. Denny is very knowledgeable about baseball. You can learn a lot about baseball when you listen to Denny broadcast a game.

He has no catch phrase. (Personally, I want to hang myself when I hear the "Hawk" scream "HE-GONE!")

He simply describes the game in a comforting voice that makes you feel like all is good in the world. He has a wry humor that makes you smile in between pitches. And occasionally, he will tell one of his many stories that he's accumulated over the years. It goes without saying that a great baseball announcer is also a great story teller.

He is radio's equivalent to comfort food. He's there, in the car and on the porch. He's there, as a child and as an adult. He's there, with your parents and with your kids. He's there, while you work and while you play.

And now, Denny Matthews is there. Matthews was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, winning the Ford Frick Award. Congratulations, Denny. You certainly deserve this great honor.

And thank you.

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