Pat Hughes doesn’t need to moonlight.
As the radio voice of the Chicago Cubs, Hughes has a pretty good gig. The Cubs are positioned to be the favorites in the National League next season, right?
Nevertheless, Hughes has produced the “Baseball Voices — Hall of Fame Series” CDs for the last decade.
Hughes listened to commemorative records and CDs of baseball announcers, but felt something was missing.
“They were all OK,” Hughes said. “But they had never been produced by somebody who actually had done play-by-play. I thought, ‘These are OK, but I know I can do better.’ Maybe that’s my vanity speaking there, but I thought let me give this a try.”
Hughes’ first CD was of legendary Cardinals broadcaster, Jack Buck. Since then, he’s done more than a dozen recordings, including tributes to Mel Allen, Red Barber, Harry Caray and Harry Kalas.
The newest addition to the line: Denny Matthews, the Hall of Famer announcer for the Royals.
“Denny is a guy I’ve known and enjoyed,” Hughes said. “He’s been a friend since I was in the worked in the American League.
“He’s somebody that I admired and liked.”
The CD includes interviews with Matthews about his interesting start in radio in Illinois and playoff calls he has made for the Royals starting back in 1976. That includes clips from the last two seasons.
“It happily coincided with this great World Series run that they just had,” Hughes said. “People say did you do Denny because you thought they were going to win? No, but that’s kind of the way it worked out. If people are in a good mood and they feel like to being receptive to anything about the Royals, well that’s OK with me too.”
Sure it’s what he does for a living, but Hughes is passionate about the impact announcers can have. He believes baseball moments can last a lifetime for fans.
“Baseball is about memories very much,” he said. “Memories of your favorite players, teams, broadcasters, ballgames, but really I think the most special memory of all is you, of yourself. The memory you have of yourself when you listen a certain game or a certain play. I think the announcer’s voice will immediately spark pleasant memories.”