If you’re tuning into Royals radio broadcasts this season, you’re going to get a slightly different lineup than you may have been used to over the years. Two announcements over the last two days will reshape the makeup of the broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows.
News came out on Wednesday that Robert Ford would be leaving 610 Sports in Kansas City to take over the primary play by play position of the Houston Astros. He’ll be replacing Milo Hamilton who had been in the position since 1985 and entered the Baseball Hall of Fame as the Ford Frick Award winner in 1992. Big shoes to fill, indeed.
Ford had been with 610 since 2009 doing pre-game segments, leading the post-game conference and taking calls. He’s called minor league games before, but this is his first big league play by play job.
Another voice will be leaving the booth as Bob Davis announced on Thursday that he would be retiring from Royals coverage. Davis has also been a broadcaster for University of Kansas football and basketball games and he’ll continue in that role. He’d been with the Royals broadcast since 1997.
Many will note that Davis’s skills are more suited to football and basketball, games with more constant movement and less time between events and he’s not everyone’s favorite broadcaster for baseball games. The running joke, though, is that some of his calls involved over-reactions to popups where his initial reaction suggested that it could be a warning track shot. Generally, though, I think he did alright if you could tolerate the sudden outbursts that turned into nothing. A little game developed on Twitter about such calls.
Craig Brown noted his frequent use of phrases like “Boy, the Royals could really use a run here” and I’m reminded of numerous times where he’d build up a moment where the Royals were just about to do something, only to hear the crush of defeat in his voice when they didn’t put a run on the board. It’s nearly impossible to convey in text, but you could hear his voice rising, waiting to make the big call as the game-changing hit occurs, but then it’s a grounder to second to end the inning and Davis saying, dejectedly, something like “and the Tigers are gonna get out of the inning”.
Davis loves his sports and he’s still doing fine on football and basketball broadcasts, in my opinion. The Royals official blog had a nice, brief discussion about his time with the Royals, noting his proclivity to refer to old radio shows at times.
The rest of the broadcast team will remain. Denny Mathews will return, as will Steve Stewart, Steve Physioc and Ryan Lefebvre.