SURPRISE, Ariz. — One of the seminal voices in Kansas City broadcasting is exiting the booth on Royals’ broadcasts after 16 years.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Bob Davis called his departure, confirmed Thursday morning by the Royals, a “mutual decision.” Davis, 68, plans to continue in his role as the radio voice for the University of Kansas in football and basketball.
“I’m not going to drop off the face of the earth,” said Davis, who is in his 29th year on KU broadcasts. “I kind of cut back last year (with the Royals). They’ve got a lot of broadcasters. I’m pleased that I was able to do it as long as I did.”
FoxSportsKansasCity.com first reported Davis’ departure.
The move will provide Davis with a true offseason for the first time in years and permit him to spend more time with his family. His wife, Linda, is battling Parkinson’s disease.
The Royals plan to compensate for Davis' departure by shifting Steve Stewart to radio play-by-play duties when Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Matthews doesn't accompany the club on some road trips.
Davis filled that role last year after the Royals shook up their TV and radio crews by hiring Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler following the decision by FSKC not to retain analyst Frank White.
“From a professional background, I don't think there's anybody who brought more excitement to the booth than Bob Davis,” said Mike Swanson, the Royals' vice president for communications and broadcasting.
“In the active sports, like basketball and football that he calls for Kansas, the excitement is already there on the field. In baseball, it takes a while to get excited. It's not every play that has that. But Bob could make the routine sound very exciting.”
Davis said he intends to continue tracking the Royals.
“Oh, I’ll miss it,” he said. “I’m already thinking about lineups and who is going to be the fifth starter. There will be road games where I’ll be thinking of where I would have eaten that day.
“My heroes have always been sportscasters,” he said. “It’s like that song (My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys). I got to meet a lot of great sportscasters over the last 16 years.”
The Royals plan for Ryan Lefebvre and Physioc to split play-by-play duties on TV and radio for the second year.
Lefebvre will do 90 TV games and 72 radio broadcasts. Physioc will do the remaining 50 TV games and 90 radio broadcasts. Matthews and Stewart will split time as the club's other radio voice.