The Pat Hughes Interview revisited

Last spring, Pat Hughes was kind enough to do an interview with me for With opening day looming, I think it’s worth re-visiting the interview again this year…

Just as the Cubs opened spring training camp 2009, Pat Hughes, the Voice of the Chicago Cubs on WGN Radio was kind enough to take some time for a exclusive interview with

In part one, Pat talks about his Baseball Voices series of “commemorative audio tribute” CDs spotlighting the careers of such broadcasting luminaries as Bob Uecker, Harry Kalas, Jack Buck, Marty Brennaman, and of course, Harry Caray. Pat talks about his inspiration to create the series, and reveals that his next installment may feature New York broadcasting legend Red Barber, as well as discussion of other potential future installments.

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Regarding whether baseball Hall of Famer Jack Brickhouse will get a slot in the Baseball Voices series, Pat says he may at some point do a video DVD retrospective of Brick’s long career in Chicago. But Jack was primarily a television broadcaster and not much radio tape exists of Brickhouse. Interestingly, the only television broadcasters in the hall of fame are Jack Brickhouse, Joe Garagiola, and Tony Kubek who will be inducted this summer.

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Pat says the present day dean of baseball broadcasting, Vin Scully prefers to wait until his career is over for such a retrospective. I might be wrong, but I get the feeling Mr. Scully plans to never voluntarily retire.

In part two, Pat discusses the teams he followed as a youth in Northern California, his biggest broadcasting influence, and his musical preferences.

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Here is what we learned… While born in Tucson, he grew up in Northern California following the Oakland Raiders, Oakland A’s, and Golden State Warriors. The play by play man for these teams was Bill King (audio sample and related stories here), an apparent legend in the Bay Area, although he is not in the baseball hall of fame.

Pat does not visit fan blogs or websites, read fan comments, or own an iPod. He carrys CDs with him, his favorites being Van Morrison, Diana Krall, Bob Seger, and Jimmy Buffett among others.

In the third and final installment of our exclusive interview with Pat Hughes, the Voice of the Chicago Cubs, we cover a range of topics. The first clip begins with Pat’s favorite visitor to the broadcast booth: Jimmy Buffett. Then he goes into keeping the broadcast interesting in spite of the many bad teams he’s broadcasted between Milwaukee and the North Side. He touches on the “Pat & Ron Show” and his special chemistry with Ronnie.

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In the final clip, Pat discusses his broadcast partners including Ron Santo, Harry Caray, Bob Uecker, and even Al McGuire on Marquette basketball broadcasts. We learn Bob Uecker is an individual performer and Ron Santo hates doing play by play – no surprise there.

Virgil Patrick Hughes continues with the development of Andy Masur and Corey Provus from Cubs fill-in announcers to getting their own gigs in San Diego and Milwaukee respectively. This interview took place just before Provus officially accepted the Brewers job, but Pat shares some advice for Corey when he gets the chair next to Uecker. Again, Bob Uecker is The Man in his broadcast and is not to be upstaged!

Pat goes into life on the road, food he likes and his thoughts on the upcoming 2009 Chicago Cubs. Oh, and he has no fear of Milton Bradley charging the broadcast booth to complain about any commentary!

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I have to tell you Pat Hughes was most gracious and generous with his time. I am not a professional reporter or journalist – I have a small pulpit here on CubHub, but I felt Pat was as fully engaged with little ol’ me as he might have been talking to a major market drive time radio personality. My sincere thanks to Pat for participating in this exclusive interview. And again, check out his Baseball Voices series as well as Harry Caray the Voice of the Fans book, co-written with Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.

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    April 1, 2010  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: game of baseball, interview, observations, the media, tradition

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