After 50 ‘fairytale’ years, Dan Baker reveals his favorite player names to announce – Phillies Nation

Dan Baker is the PA announcer for the Phillies. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Dan Baker has been Citizens Bank Park’s public announcer for a generation. Prior to that, he was the veteran stadium PA announcer for a generation.

The Philadelphia Phillies honored Baker for 50 years of service as the franchise’s PA announcer on Friday in a ceremony where he — unsurprisingly to anyone who’s ever met him — spoke so much about his love for his family and the team than for himself. .

In the same way that many middle-aged people grew up saying the names of Phillies stars in a Harry Kalas-esque voice, if you’ve watched the team over the past half-century, it’s impossible not to think about how Baker presented them. as they headed for the plate.

“The names I like to say the most are polysyllabic words, multiple syllables that lend themselves to more melodic interpretation,” Baker said after the pregame ceremony.

The 75-year-old, just as he would if they were walking to the plate, sounded off some of his most iconic player intros.

“Now at bat for the Phillies, #12, second baseman, Mickey Morandini!”

“Now at bat for the Phillies, #53, right fielder, Bobby Abreu!”

“Now at bat for the Phillies, #19, left fielder, Greg Luzunski!”

Baker says he understands he’s one of three PA announcers in MLB history to work 50 or more years for a franchise. Pat Piper has held the record for 59 years at Wrigley Field. Bob Sheppard has been the voice of Yankee Stadium for 56 years. Baker even had the chance to shadow Sheppard — considered by many to be the GOAT of AP announcers — early in his career.

On how long he wants to continue being the voice at Citizens Bank Park, Baker says he wants to stay as long as the Phillies have him, but will step down if he feels he’s doing himself a disservice. himself or the team.

He continued to perform at a high level until the mid-1970s, although he struggled with significant health issues.

Baker had his right cheekbone removed in August 2020 in a procedure in which a cancerous tumor was removed from his sinus. At the time, doctors replaced his cheekbone with bone and tissue from the lower half of his left leg. In the end, Baker says it didn’t take well and he got infected.

He missed the final homestand at Citizens Bank Park because he had to have the infected bone drilled out and replaced with skin from his left arm. Doctors think they were able to get rid of most of the infection. Between that and the daily antibiotics he receives intravenously in his right arm, the hope is that the infection will be completely cleared up.

Despite all the health hurdles he faces, Baker looks like someone who thinks he’s turned the corner and is excited about the future, one of which he believes will include quite a bit of time spent. at Citizens Bank Park.

“The Phillies have motivated me so much. “Man, I have to come back here, I have a job to do.” I can do someone good, you know? If you have like a mission in life, it really helps to motivate you and you can put aside aches and pains or health problems. And rather than lamenting what could have been or what should have been or woe to me, it’s ‘What chance do I have of doing that?’ I’ve felt that all my life. It’s almost like a fairy tale existence. And I still ride!

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