My number ten top Wilmington Blue Rocks moment is…
Legendary PA announcer John McAdams.
Or Johnny Mac as those around the ballpark knew him. If you lived in the Philadelphia area and enjoyed sports, then you most likely knew his voice.
Johnny Mac was a legend at Frawley Stadium, as he served as the public address announcer for the Blue Rocks since the inaugural Opening Day in 1993. Before and after every game, he always had people wanting to talk to him at his pressbox window.
He loved kids as much as he loved sports and started the Johnny Mac School Supply Drive in 1999, which partnered with the Blue Rocks. The school supplies went to kids from first through fifth grade in New Castle County elementary schools. During the announcement of the 2004 school supply drive, Johnny Mac stated:
“We want to make sure that the playing field is level.”
Johnny Mac was the PA announcer for many Delaware Stadium Corporation events and was the voice of Big Five basketball at the Palestra (at the University of Pennsylvania). He served as the basketball PA announcer for the University of Penn, St. Joseph’s University, La Salle University, and Drexel University. He was recognized as the best PA announcer in college basketball by Sporting News in 2001. He also served as the official scorer for the Philadelphia Phillies and their Double-A farm team in Reading. He was also the press box announcer for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sadly, on Thursday, June 16, 2005, Johnny Mac died at the age of 64. To honor him, the Blue Rocks did not have a PA announcer during Friday night’s game. It was a very sad and quiet night. Prior to Saturday night’s game, the organization held a ceremony honoring Johnny Mac, with Phillies PA announcer Dan Baker and former LaSalle head coach Speedy Morris addressing the crowd.
Johnny Mac has a billboard-type remembrance above the centerfield wall at Frawley Stadium (similar to how retired numbers are placed). He is just the third member inducted into the Blue Rocks Wall of Fame (along with Mike Sweeney and Robin Roberts). A bobblehead depicting Johnny Mac was given out by the Blue Rocks on the one-year anniversary of his death (June 16, 2006), affectionately called “Johnny Mac Day”.