Eighties Night and Greg Schulte’s Milestone

I cringe just a little whenever I see ‘80’s Night listed on the promotional schedule for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I guess that comes from the fact that I lived through the 80’s and the last thing I wanted was to rehash a decade of big hair and bigger shoulder pads. And there is just only so much spandex a guy can stomach.

Tonight’s Diamondbacks game was not just about turning the clock back a decade before either the Arizona Diamondbacks or the Florida Marlins were even a team. It was also about celebrating a broadcasting milestone.

Tonight marked Arizona Diamondbacks radio announcer Greg Schulte’s 2000th broadcast for the team. Back in the early days of baseball, a fan’s one connection to a team was through the radio. In a admission of how old I really am, I remember taking a transistor radio to bed and on a clear summer night being able to pick up a baseball game on a station hundreds of miles away. There I was lay on the grass and close my eyes.

The announcer’s voice would paint a tapestry of visions to the game and I could almost imagine sitting in a seat watching the boys of summer as they played the game I loved. These were rare memories to a boy growing up in rural Idaho. Major League Baseball seemed like it was on another planet. Those memories had an indelible effect on me. They provided me with a love of the national pastime.

When the Arizona Diamondbacks were awarded a team on March 9, 1995 I thought back to all of those nights as a child when I dreamed of having a local team I could root for. I was now married and had kids of my own and I wanted them to experience baseball the way I never could.

Times and technology had changed. Radio broadcasts had made way to television and the Internet. Rather than accept that things had changed I made it a priority to gather my kids together to listen to a game via the radio. I wanted them to appreciate the gift these audio announcers had and how important they were to the fabric of baseball.

The Diamondbacks were fortunate in that they found a rare announcer that can bridge the generational gaps between old timers such as myself and the newer generation of fans that are growing up with the game.

Greg Schulte calls a masterful game blending the action on the field with the color and pageantry that only exists at the ballpark. He works wonderfully with his broadcasting partner Tom Candiotti who brings his own flavor to the game.

My children have grown up with Schulte’s calls of the game and can all do a rather accurate reproduction of his home run call of “Warning track, wall, you can touch them all!”

And who could forget the excitement in Schulte’s voice as he called the game-winning hit by Luis Gonzalez in the 2001 World Series. I still get chills whenever I hear that audio. He has become an icon to his listening audience and no one could ever imagine anyone else being the radio voice of the Diamondbacks.

Congratulations Greg Schulte on broadcasting 2000 games. Here’s hoping you have as much or more success on your next 2000. As for me, I’ll be listening and remembering all the Diamondbacks memories he brought to life each and every game.


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