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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dan Baker is a Philadelphia treasure.
If you have grown up a Philadelphia sports fan, you have grown up knowing Dan Baker’s voice. Baker, the PA announcer for the Phillies for over 40 years, and Eagles for over 25 years, is a staple of live Philadelphia sports. His voice is distinctive and inviting, and it would be difficult to imagine hearing anyone else do the job.
When I think back to every Phillies and Eagles game I’ve been to in my 36 years, and there have been many, I can’t remember hearing Baker make even the smallest mistake. There must have been one or two, but there hasn’t been anything that’s stood out.
There is one mistake however, that Baker remembers very clearly. He didn’t just mispronounce the name in this case either, he identified the wrong player completely.
“In the mid 70′s one time,” Baker laughed as he began to tell Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show the story of his greatest mistake . “I’ve got the lineups right in front of me, I just read from there. But WIllie Montanez was coming to bat, and I said, ‘now batting for the Phillies number 27, first baseman, Willie McCovey!’”
“And Willie Montanez stood in the left-hand batter’s box and looked up,” Baker said. “Before the next game, going over lineups and pregame announcements, and he walked behind me and he said, ‘Montanez! Montanez!’ But he was just kidding, he was a great guy. He gave me a big hug. I said, ‘I’m sorry!’”
As it turns out, Baker is not perfect, but it’s hard to imagine anyone would change a thing about about him.