Steve Klauke, the only voice in Salt Lake franchise history, is set to call his 2,500th game as the team's play-by-play broadcaster on Tuesday, April 26. Klauke joins legendary Utah Jazz broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley (2,645) as the only two play-by-play broadcasters to call 2,500 games with one Utah team. He also becomes just the fourth current Pacific Coast League team broadcaster to reach the 2,500 games-called mark with one PCL team. Currently in his 18th season with the Bees, Klauke can be heard live on 1320 KFAN and at slbees.com.
Klauke will be recognized during a pregame presentation on Tuesday, April 26, while audio highlights of his more notable calls will be played throughout the game.
"This is an exceptional accomplishment for Steve and we are extremely proud to call him our own," said Randy Rigby, president of the Salt Lake Bees and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. "Few broadcasters reach such a significant career milestone, especially while missing only nine games in 18 seasons. Our organization would like to congratulate Steve and thank him for all of his hard work and dedication to the Bees and baseball in Utah."
Entering tonight's game, Klauke has been at the mic for 2,495 of the club's 2,504 regular season and postseason games dating back to Salt Lake's first game on April 9, 1994 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Klauke's distinctive voice, unique game-calling ability and encyclopedia-like memory have made him well-known throughout all of professional baseball.
A native of Winnetka, Ill., Klauke grew up idolizing the late Jack Brickhouse, longtime Chicago Cubs and White Sox broadcaster. He prepped for his broadcast career at New Trier West High School just north of Chicago, sharing the same alma mater as Brad Sham, voice of the Dallas Cowboys, and John Stossel of Fox News. Klauke called football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey games for his high school's radio station and, following in the footsteps of broadcast legends Chick Hearn and Joe Tait, Klauke spent time in the broadcast booth at WMRO in Aurora, Ill.
After stints in Illinois, South Carolina and Wisconsin, Klauke came to Salt Lake City from Aurora in 1991 to be a part of the daily sports talk program on KISN 570 as well as Jazz Talk before and after every Utah Jazz basketball game. In a vote of his peers, he was named the 1995 Utah Sportscaster of the Year. He was a part of the worldwide radio broadcast of the 1996 Triple-A All-Star Game at Spring Mobile Ballpark and in 1997, Klauke was inducted into the Utah Softball Hall of Fame for his hundreds of broadcasts of men's fastpitch softball.
Making his major league play-by-play debut in September 2004, Klauke worked with former Salt Lake Gulls broadcaster Jerry Howarth on a pair of Toronto Blue Jays games at Anaheim. He subbed for Hundley on Jazz broadcasts on four occasions and also broadcast a road game in 2005 for the New Orleans Hornets radio network. Klauke filled in on KLAA AM 830, the flagship station of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for his first broadcast for the Angels on March 21, 2009. Over the last few years, he has also filled in on play-by-play for several Weber State University football and basketball games. This past fall, Klauke substituted on play-by-play for four University of Utah men's basketball games.
Klauke has also called over three dozen Utah Grizzlies hockey games and over 1,500 Illinois, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Utah high school, junior college and NCAA Division III football, basketball and baseball games. Since 2007-08, he has broadcast several high school football and basketball games on KJZZ-TV. For the team's first two seasons (2007-09), Klauke handled the play-by-play duties on the NBA Futurecasts for the Development League's Utah Flash home games.
Steve and his wife, Sue, reside in Sandy, Utah and are the parents of two children, Adam, a 2010 graduate of the University of Utah, and Lisa, who is currently a student there.
The Salt Lake Bees conclude a four-game road series tonight against the Las Vegas 51s at 8:05 p.m. The team returns home tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, to take on the Tacoma Rainiers at 6:35 p.m. at Spring Mobile Ballpark with a postgame fireworks show. For more information about Bees season tickets, which start as low as $8 per game, call (801) 325-BASE or visit slbees.com.