Chicago Cubs’ Pat Hughes being challenged everyday in radio
The Chicago Cubs’ Pat Hughes is being challenged. Why? Even with being away, they’re home from Wrigley Field doing the broadcast from a monitor.
I have to admit, the Chicago Cubs’ Pat Hughes is a favorite in my book. In his 25th year in the Cubs booth (That makes me 16 years old when he started announcing for the Cubs), and his 38th year and a major-league broadcaster–he’s done it all. Well, not all.
In his 38th year being a major-league broadcaster, he’s doing it from a monitor set up in Wrigley Field–home and away. This is the first time he’s done it. In his hometown of San Jose, California, nearly 40 years ago, the small production team decided to take on a track and field event. Let’s just say it did not go well. But they condensed it in two hours and did a voice-over.
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Hughes is a ‘working man.’ And the Cubs broadcast is second to none. If there’s a Cubs game on and he’s healthy? He’ll be there. There’s a little bit of a setback, though. When he is away from home? It’s dark–at least until it’s twilight out. The Score crew of Hughes, Ron Coomer and Zach Zaidman look onto a shadowy field once that sun goes away.
"“And yet out of habit, I find myself constantly looking at the field because that’s what I’ve done for over 6,000 big-league games,” Hughes said. “It’s like an automatic reflex for me, and I keep wondering why there are no players on the field. ‘Oh, that’s right, they’re not here.’ So it’s odd in that regard.” h/t Jeff Agrest, Chicago-Sun Times"
Still, it’s hard for them. They aren’t tested for COVID-19. Coomer, Hughes and the crew get their temperature taken and are asked questions about their health. A friend says Hughes’s age is an ‘underlying condition.’ He’s 65–not 80. My father walked 80 miles a week. He has bone and prostate cancer. He was diagnosed at the same time that I was and he’s lasted two years. He’s 83 years old and still kicking.
"“You’re going to make mistakes even under the best of conditions when you’re right there at the park where the game is being played. You try your best to keep them at an absolute minimum, and you try to make it as much like a normal baseball broadcast as you possibly can because that’s what the audience really needs.”"
Hughes and Coomer are doing an excellent job under the circumstances. Do they mess up sometimes? Sure. Everybody does it. But what they are doing is good for baseball, with or without fans, beer vendors or Cracker Jacks sales.
It’s good for the game.