There was the time when a player in Colorado Springs refused to take his position because a nine-foot snake was slithering around in right field.
There was the time New Orleans and Salt Lake combined to score 17 runs during a 51-minute first inning, or the time the Bees had to wade through waist-deep water to escape their dugout and locker room after a rainout.
StorylinesJ.B. Shuck’s homer highlights a four-run first inning and Salt Lake beats Nashville, 5-1.
» Bees starting pitcher Jarrett Grube (5-2) allows one run and six hits over six innings.
There was the time, in 1995, when Salt Lake was within two outs of a Pacific Coast League championship but never got them.
In two decades as the play-by-play voice of Salt Lake’s Triple-A baseball team, Steve Klauke has witnessed everything imaginable — and more.
On Tuesday at Smith’s Ballpark, the personable and professional broadcaster worked his 3,000th game.
The Bees defeated Nashville, 5-1.
"My first thought is I’ve done well enough to keep my job and that’s a plus," Klauke said. "But I look at the fans, too. A lot of them have gone to work 3,000 times without any fanfare — no big deal. Still, I appreciate the kind words I’ve gotten over the last few days."
A native midwesterner, Klauke moved to Utah in 1991 when he was hired by a local radio station to host a talk show and work on Jazz broadcasts. The decision to relocate was a no-brainer.
"I was unemployed for 19 months before I got the job," he said.
In 1993, the late Joe Buzas announced plans to move his Pacific Coast League franchise from Portland to Salt Lake.
For public relations purposes, Klauke was sent to Oregon to broadcast the Beavers’ final two games of the season. Buzas heard him and decided Klauke would become the voice of the team.
Salt Lake opened the ’94 season in Vancouver, where its first two games were rained out.
"That was my first exposure to the PCL," Klauke laughed. "Back-to-back doubleheaders at old Nat Bailey Stadium."
Another memory of the opening series?
Without any games to play, the team practiced twice in the B.C. Dome, which at the time still had a configuration for baseball. One day, hitting coach Dan Rohn spent 30 minutes trying to hit a fly ball to the roof of the stadium.
"He did not succeed," Klauke said.
A year later, Salt Lake reached the PCL championship series against Colorado Springs. In Game 5, the then-Buzz owned a one-run lead with one out in the ninth inning.
"Joe [Buzas] was all excited about winning a championship," Klauke said. "But I can still see Jim Tatum’s pop fly dropping into shallow left field in front of Riccardo Ingram. He initially broke back on the ball … and the championship run scored."
Klauke has never seen the Bees with a championship, despite four trips to the PCL finals.
"I’m 0 for 4," he said.
During his career in Salt Lake, Klauke has missed 10 games in 20 years, including three to attend his 99-year-old grandmother’s funeral, three to attend his children’s graduations and two when he filled in for legendary Hot Rod Hundley on Jazz broadcasts.Next Page >
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