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Salt Lake Bees: Broadcaster Steve Klauke hits milestone as Bees win

Published: Friday, April 20 2012 10:49 p.m. MDT

Steve Klauke, "The Vin Scully of Salt Lake," has broadcast 2,641 games for the Salt Lake Bees.

Lee Benson, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — It was a record-tying night at Spring Mobile Ballpark. Salt Lake's 10-2 win over Las Vegas marked the 2,641st time that Steve Klauke provided radio play-by-play for the Triple-A baseball franchise — equaling legendary Utah Jazz broadcaster "Hot Rod" Hundley for the most games called for one team in the state of Utah.

The Bees acknowledged the milestone by having Klauke throw out a ceremonial first pitch and lead singing of "Take me out to the ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. Earlier in the game, Klauke was honored on the field by Bees general manager Marc Amicone and Chris Baum, vice-president of broadcast operations for Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment.

Although appreciative of the recognition, Klauke joked that it's just special from the standpoint that he's been able to keep his job for so long. He's been with the franchise throughout its 19-year history in Salt Lake City.

Klauke has only missed nine games in that time and he remembers the circumstances of each absence, including two when he filled in for Hundley on Utah Jazz broadcasts.

Hundley's accomplishments are held in high esteem by Klauke, who noted that the record holders reached the mark in completely different ways. Hundley held his post for more years, he explained, and broadcast at a higher level of professional sports.

Klauke describes himself as "a minor leaguer just going to the ballpark every day."

Being with the team since the very first pitch in 1994, though, is something he acknowledges as being special.

"To see it from the beginning and see it develop over the years has been a lot of fun," said Klauke, who is scheduled to take sole possession of the broadcast record Saturday night in Tucson.

"To be quite honest, I don't mean to be flippant or sound like Jerry Sloan, but to me it's just another game," he noted. "Each game, to me, is it's own play with its own acts."

Never knowing what's going to happen in a game is what Klauke enjoys most.

Bees manager Keith Johnson, however, notes that the broadcaster has just about seen it all.

"He has a lot of information," said Johnson, who appreciates all the facts and stories that Klauke shares. "It's been a joy and I'm proud of him and I'm happy for him."

So, too, was Randy Rigby. The president and chief operating officer of LHM Sports & Entertainment hired Klauke in August of 1991 to assist with Jazz radio coverage.

"This is a big milestone for Steve Klauke," Rigby said while noting that the recognition the broadcaster received Friday was "well deserved."

NOTEBOOK: Utah Jazz swingman Josh Howard also threw out a ceremonial first pitch . . . The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have sent relief pitcher Bobby Cassevah to Salt Lake for a major league injury rehab assignment. The right-hander, who was 1-1 with a 2.72 ERA over 30 appearances with the Angels last season, was placed on the disabled list April 4 with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He pitched in the eighth inning — allowing two hits, one walk and no runs . . . The attendance was 5,655.

email: dirk@desnews.com

twitter: @DirkFacer

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