SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – On Wednesday night, Steve Klauke, the voice of the Salt Lake Bees, called his 4,177th game.
On Sunday, he will call his last Bees game, as he heads into retirement.
“Yeah, a couple of games left, getting close to the end of what’s been a fun road to travel,” Klauke said.
And Steve Klauke has traveled the road a lot. He’s been the only voice of the Bees since the franchise started back in 1994. But he says he and his wife decided its time to go.
“I’ve not had a summer free since 1993,” Klauke said. “She’s like to do a few things, I’d like to do a few things with her, so we all decided this was going to be the last year.”
It’s been a fun farewell tour for him, visiting the cities for the final time.
“I miss those trips to Memphis and Nashville and Des Moine and even Omaha,” he said. “Some more than others. Tacoma probably the most emotional of them all because it’s the only park, other than this one, that’s still around from when I first started. It’s really been wonderful the reaction from these other teams, besides my own.”
His own team, the Salt Lake Bees, are having a Steve Klauke Bobble Head Night for him on Saturday.
“I know, although the kids disagree with the shape of the bobble head,” Klauke said. “They think it’s too buff.”
At Smith’s Ballpark, everyone has been stopping by the booth to say goodbye.
“It’s been great, you and Craig Bolerjack came by,” he said. “It was great to see you and have you guys on the air with me.”
“Great career, and I want all the fans to know that you are one of the most prepared broadcasters in any sport I know.,” said Bolerjack, the longtime voice of the Utah Jazz. “I mean that from the heart.”
“I tell my kids, I do more homework now than when I was a kid, which might explain my grades back then,” Klauke said. “Really, if you’re doing a baseball game, obviously there’s dead time between pitches, and if you’re not prepared and have the information or the stories to fill that time, you’re in a world of hurt. The fans are going to see it and they’re going to recognize you as a fraud.”
Steve Klauke is no fraud. He’s the real deal, a great broadcaster, and a good egg.
What will will he miss the most?
“The people, whether it be the players, the coaching staff, the other broadcasters, the fans of course, the ushers, just everyone around the game,” he said. “The people and the relationships that I’ve been able to grow throughout the years, that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”
And how does he want to be remembered? Well, it’s pretty simple.
“As a guy that came to work every day and did his job.”