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.