A Standing O for Denny Matthews

I love it when an opportunity to brag about the home town comes along. This is most likely due to a contaminent in the water–Kansas Citians, in general, are very self-conscious about their place in the world. We’re not sure if we want to be a big city, a small town, a suburban wasteland, a thriving urban center…. Well, I know what I want for KC, but that certainty must bring along some hidden baggage.

That’s why it was my great pleasure to hear that Denny Matthews, the Voice of the Royals, is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as the
Ford C. Frick Award winner for excellence in broadcasting. Denny has been calling Royals games on the radio since the team came into existence in 1969. Everyone who has ever been a Royals fan, and especially those of us who grew up as Royals fans, hears Denny in their heads. He IS Royals baseball.

He’s also the consumate professional. I really enjoy his work, his craft, and the respect he puts into what he does. There are a lot of screamers and hyped-up / hopped-up announcers out there. They come and go, making a splash and almost always sinking to the bottoom of the pond, spent and cold. Not Denny. He respects the game; deep down, he KNOWS what baseball is about and he allows the game to speak for itself. Interestingly, he has gotten a lot of complaints over the years–people wanting him to shout more, to yell and scream and use corny catch phrases and the like. Shame on them.

There is a decorum about certain events in life that should be observed. There’s a reason you don’t show up at the symphony in ripped jeans, a reason why your waiter at Bohanan’s on Houston doesn’t have an earing, a reason that you’re escorted from the theatre when your cell-phone rings…. In this age of SportsCenter “boo-yahs”, wearing blue jeans to the steak house, talking about speeding up games we don’t “have time” to watch, and general malaisse of etiquette, we have a hard time remembering how to act like decent people.

Denny Matthews hasn’t forgotten. And 162 times a year, he makes it a little easier for us to remember, too.

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6 Comments

Filed under Baseball, Kansas City Royals, Social Behaviour

6 responses to “A Standing O for Denny Matthews

  1. Wyoming

    Well said! Denny has aired baseball so that we could play the game in our head. I am a bit surprised that someone in your profession appreciates the low-key, mellow presentation of Denny Matthews. He doesn’t put on a show. I hadn’t caught the fact he was selected so thanks for the info.

  2. Wyoming, blipey is quite the interesting person. There are many facets to him, as I’ve learned since I met him, and he’s anything but one-dimensional.

    How I’d love to just sit down with him for a few hours and explore his…

    …personality!

    🙂

  3. The actors that I love to watch and those that I love to work with are th ones that are in it for the show. Actors who are consistently good are much like successful team sport athletes, in my opinion. The teams that win championships often have 1 or 2 great players who can take over a game. However, these players know how to get everyone involved so that the team plays a good game night in and night out.

    Denny is about a good show. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about a game. And there’s nothing wrong with letting the game speak for itself. Both techniques should be used as the show calls for each.

  4. Wyoming

    Would that be that they are stars because they are able to bring out the best in others? A Denny Matthews is a star because he let others’ shine.

  5. Hmmm. I don’t know if he’s a “star” as society generally defines the term now-a-days. This doesn’t mean he isn’t great or shouldn’t be seen as a star. The conotation of “star” is that of individual greatness or having a comparatively greater luminosity.

    Yes, I think that bringing out the best in others should make you a star, but in today’s society I’m not sure if that is true. I think over the course of time, these types of people will always be seen ad great. In their own times, however, they are often overlooked. That’s what makes me particularly happy about this recognition for Denny–it happened when he was alive and not postumously, as is the case for many greats.

  6. Wyoming

    Interesting comments about what makes a star. I would have to agree that the “here and now” is a big factor in what makes a star – at least by those with today’s “live in the present” generation. I was amazed that people believed Presidents such as Clinton, Reagan, and even young George Bush are more admired as leaders of this nation than George Washington. I think the adage goes something like – Out of the headlines, out of consciousness.

    On a different note. What makes an athlete? Would you say that the 1000+ dogs starting up the trail tomorrow are well conditioned athletes or. . .? What are the factors that make an athlete? Rather than make you lead with an answer to a person who hasn’t stated his beliefs – they’re great athletes.

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