PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the past half century, Phillies fans have heard one voice at the ballpark. That voice belongs to Dan Baker.
Eyewitness News sat down with the team’s longtime public address announcer to talk about how he recently overcame cancer and reclaimed the microphone for his 50th Phillies season.READ MORE: Former Giants CB James Bradberry Agrees To Terms On 1-Year Deal With Philadelphia Eagles
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The Philadelphia Phillies welcome you to Citizens Bank Park,” Baker says before every home game.
Baker’s voice spans multiple sports and stadiums in South Philadelphia.
On Friday, the Phillies host the Oakland Athletics in interleague baseball in their home opener.
From The Vet to The Linc to The Bank, Baker has served as the public address announcer for the Phillies and Eagles for nearly 70 combined seasons.
“Joy,” Baker said. “It makes me so happy to be at the ballpark. I’ve always felt that way about coming here. I’ve felt that way since I was a kid.”
This year will be Baker’s 50th with the Phillies, but for a time in 2020 he wasn’t sure he’d make it to that milestone. A cancerous tumor in his cheek put his career and his health at risk, something he thought about often on his road to recovery.Pennsylvania US Senate Race Between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Too Close To Call
“It’s kind of a way of life,” Baker said. “It provides me with so much enjoyment. And you’re right, Ross, it’s a motivating factor that keeps me going. It energizes me to be here.”
Baker had the franchise’s full support. The Phillies offered him the right to reclaim the role he’s had since 1972 when he was ready.
“As long as I can talk well, as long as god blesses me with good health, as long as the Phillies will have me, I would like to continue doing the PA announcing.”
Opening Day has Baker excited. Not just because he gets to see newcomers Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos hit the field.
But because even after 50 years, he’s as fiery as any fan and says there’s always room for another ring.
“I don’t intend to walk away before we win a couple more World Series,” Baker said. “You know, this isn’t the last one of these that I want to get you know if the Phillies will be so kind as to consider me for one for future championships.”
Baker told CBS3 he has no plans to retire any time soon. He says he hopes to continue as the team’s public address announcer for another 10 years.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Acting AG Matthew J. Platkin To Make Law Enforcement Announcement
And if he does, it would make him the longest tenured public address announcer in MLB history.