From his perch in the press box at Security Service Field, Dan Karcher has described just about every Colorado Springs Sky Sox moment for more than two decades.
His silky smooth voice delivers play-by-play over the airwaves for fans thirsting to hear the action of their boys of summer.
“I hope I can alleviate some of the stress in a person’s life when they listen to a game,” said Karcher, 52. “And for insomniacs I’m a great cure.”
On April, 28, Karcher is scheduled to call his 3,000th Sky Sox game when the team visits Tucson for the start of a four-game series. The action can be heard by tuning into AM-1460 KZNT. His 22 seasons with the Sky Sox make him the longest tenured play-by-play broadcaster with one professional or Division I team in all of Colorado.
“It’s still about preparation,” he said. “In some ways it’s easier today than when I first started. But in other ways there’s too much information.”
As the voice of the Colorado Rockies’ top affiliate, Karcher is responsible for filling fans’ heads with a plethora of information, but he does it in a way that makes you feel like the two of you are visiting one-on-one while sitting in a pair of easy chairs on the back porch.
“I always envision I’m talking with one person,” Karcher said. “If you keep that in the back of your mind it’s a lot more conversational.”
Karcher’s had a number of different partners over the years, but Matt Pauley has been in the booth with him the past two seasons.
“The opportunity to work with Dan on a day-to-day basis helped me improve as a broadcaster,” Pauley said. “He doesn’t rely on his experience. He prepares like he’s a rookie (every day).”
The youthful-looking Karcher has become a staple in the community. A long-time Briargate resident, his youngest son, Beau, is a senior at The Classical Academy, where heading into the team’s April 23 doubleheader with Buena Vista he was batting .524 for the school’s baseball team. Karcher is also a grandfather of three.
The broadcaster was recently taken aback when, perusing the Sky Sox roster, he realized that when he started announcing professional baseball 26 years ago some of the players were not yet born. In fact, he also called games when current Sky Sox manager Stu Cole played for the team in the mid 1990s.
“It doesn’t seem like I’ve bee doing it all that long,” Karcher said. “I challenge anybody who knows the ball club as well as I do. I know more about the organization than a lot of folks who work for the Rockies.”
Making his way through the history of the Sky Sox
When Karcher arrived in Colorado Springs via Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 1989, about the only things in the Stetson Hills area of town were jack rabbits, antelope and foxes. Sky Sox Stadium, as it was known then, was about a year-and-a-half old and not yet the staple of entertainment it has become in the Pikes Peak Region.
The team was the Triple-A farm club of the Cleveland Indians in those days. The Rockies weren’t even a blip on the map. The Sky Sox made the playoffs seven times in Karcher’s first eight seasons, winning Pacific Coast League championships in 1992 and 1995.
The 1992 club was managed by Charlie Manuel, who guided the Philadelphia Phillies to the 2008 World Series title, and the 1995 team was skippered by current Houston Astros manager Brad Mills.
In March of 2006, Karcher was honored by the Colorado Broadcaster’s Association when he was awarded first place for the “Best Play-By-Play Sports Coverage by a Station/Individual Team.” He called a few Rockies games in 2003 and has a very nice relationship with Rockies management.
He’s also seen his fair share of no-hitters, triple plays and other spectacular performances. He called the first perfect game in Sky Sox history on June 30, 2008, when Brandon Hynick hurled his gem against Portland.
“I’ve raised my family here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Karcher said. “I love this city and state more than I did 20 years ago. The only job I could see myself leaving for would be the Rockies. I feel I could go to the big leagues and broadcast another 20 years.”