Legendary D-backs radio broadcaster Greg Schulte to retire after 2023 season
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Most professional baseball players grew up dreaming about making the big leagues. Greg Schulte’s dream was to be a play-by-play announcer.” I wanted to be a major league baseball broadcaster when I was eight years old,” said Schulte. “Growing up listening to Harry Carey and Jack Buck call Cardinals games.”
Schulte’s dream came true when he was hired to be the radio voice of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the franchise’s first season in 1998. Twenty-five years later, the legendary broadcaster is still going strong. “Al McCoy and I are very close, and I learned from Al,” said Schulte. “You have to be very thoughtful to the other team; you have to give the other team credit. You don’t try to be a ‘homer,’ but let’s face it, I’m broadcasting D-backs baseball. I’m not cheering for the Dodgers when they come in, or the Giants, Washington Nationals, or Cleveland Guardians. I’m cheering for the D-backs.”
Over the years, Schulte’s calm, comforting voice has brought joy to many baseball fans. Team President Derrick Hall said Schulte feels like family to many fans, who won’t watch a game without him. “I’ve talked to so many season ticket holders who still bring their headphones, or bring a radio,” said Hall. “Even an old school transistor radio, so they can hear Greg Schulte do play-by-play on the broadcast because they love his voice.”
One of the things Schulte is best known for is his home run call. “Deep drive left field, back to the warning track, to the wall, you can touch ‘em all, Christian Walker home run.”
The 71-year-old announcer said the home run catchphrase came about by chance during the team’s first spring training in Tucson. His radio partner heard the call during a game and said, “hey, you should use that,” and the rest is history. “When they are seeing through my eyes the ballgame played on the field, and I can translate that to them and they’re enjoying it, I think that’s the biggest compliment a broadcaster can get,” said Schulte.
During his 25-plus years in the D-backs’ radio booth, Schulte has called six no-hitters, a perfect game, and four home run game by J.D. Martinez at Dodger Stadium. His biggest highlight was calling Luis Gonzalez’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Yankees to give the Diamondbacks their one and only World Series title in 2001. “That’s the one moment where I probably get more excited than I’ve ever gotten excited for the D-backs,” said Schulte. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Schulte is excited about the upcoming season, his 26th in the D-backs’ radio booth, but it’s also bittersweet. The legendary broadcaster recently announced he’s retiring after this season. A battle with cancer limited the number of games Schulte called last season, and this year he’ll be doing mostly home games.
He said he’s feeling good, but it’s time to step away. “I don’t want to lose any of what I still feel like I have,” said Schulte. “I still wanted to go out on top of my game. I feel like I’m doing that now. It’s time to settle down.” Schulte’s voice and love of the game will be missed.
Copyright 2023 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.