Countless times during the last two decades, a stranger has approached Jeff Reeves and asked the same question.
"Haven’t I heard you somewhere before?"
Jeff Reeves file
» Jeff Reeves has been the Salt Lake Bees’ public address announcer since 1994.
» He’s worked about 1,500 Pacific Coast League baseball games at Smith’s Ballpark.
» Reeves was born in Brigham City and has lived in Utah all his life.
Fresno beats Salt Lake 10-6 in their series finale, and the Bees go 3-5 on their homestand.
The inquiries make sense, when you consider Reeves became the Salt Lake Bees’ public address announcer one week into the 1994 season.
Fifteen hundred games later — give or take a handful — Reeves has likely communicated with more Utah baseball fans than anyone except Steve Klauke, the team’s longtime TV and radio voice.
Sitting in his cozy press box perch at Smith’s Ballpark last week, Reeves explained his ongoing love affair with the Bees, their players, the sport and his job.
"I look forward to it every day," he said. "It’s a privilege to be here. Just wonderful. The smell of the grass. Just the ambiance around the ballpark. The crack of the bat. It sounds very cliché-ish, but it really is wonderful. ... The environment cannot be duplicated."
Reeves, of course, also has the pipes for the job. His silky smooth voice was made for public consumption.
Once, a major league scout stopping in Salt Lake was so impressed he asked Reeves to do the greeting for his answering machine.
"I thought his wife would hear [my] voice on there and say, ‘What the heck?’ " Reeves laughed.
Reeves was born in Brigham City, where he played high school baseball and basketball.
He started in the radio business when he was 12 years old. An older brother was a weekend disc jockey at a station in Logan while attending Utah State and asked Reeves to tape introductions to this show.
When he was even younger, Reeves would make playing cards with team logos on them. Then, he would play imaginary games with the cards and announce the action into an old reel-to-reel recorder.
"I knew I wanted to be in sports from the beginning," he said. "My parents knew I was going to do this, too."
Reeves did play-by-play for hundreds of high school games in northern Utah during his career. He’ll always remember one state tournament basketball game between Box Elder and Logan.
"Box Elder was very hot from the field," he said. "They hit five shots in a row — all from at least 15 feet — and I got caught up in it, I guess. The first one I said, ‘He shoots, he hits.’ The second one I said, ‘He shoots, he hits.’ The third one I said, ‘He hoots, he [bleeps].’ "
Reeves shakes his head.
"I tell you, that’s one you don’t forget," he said. "And neither did the whole community."
Reeves got his job as the Bees’ public address announcer after an open tryout. He did not win the original competition but, a week after thinking he’d missed out, he got a call from then-general manager Rob White, offering him the job.
"I wasn’t here for the first series in ’94," Reeves said, "but I was here for the second."
During the next 20 years, he has experienced enough memories to fill the Salt Lake Valley.
"We had Albert Pujols here with Memphis, when he was in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization," Reeves said. "Coming up, we played them in the PCL championship series and he hit this mammoth home run. I mean, he crushed it. Those are things you just don’t forget."Next Page >
Fresno beats Salt Lake 10-6 in their series finale, and the Bees go 3-5 on their homestand. › C5
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