Results tagged ‘ Pat Hughes ’

2/26 Moreland nervous but ready

New Cubs radio analyst Keith Moreland arrived at HoHoKam Park on Saturday to get prepped for his first broadcast on Sunday with partner Pat Hughes. Moreland is taking over for the late Ron Santo.

“There’s excitement, obviously, and sadness, too,” Moreland said. “Ron was a great friend and a major part of this organization for 50 years. I have sadness and excitement all at the same time. You can’t replace Ron and all I can do is be me. It’s nice to have a Hall of Fame type guy sitting beside me because Pat makes you feel so comfortable.”

Moreland remembers when he first met Santo, and Santo told the young third baseman that he liked how he played the game.

“He was self-deprecating,” Moreland said of Santo. “He would pick on himself awful bad. He would pick on himself so much, he made it so much fun to be around him.”

Will it be tough to criticize players?

“The first thing is there is no substitute for hustle,” Moreland said. “Effort is the one thing you can control. The game of baseball is a game you cannot control the outcome. You can hit the ball four times right on the button or make five really good pitches in a row and two could leave the ballpark. You don’t have control sometimes of the outcome but you do have control of your effort. If there is a point that I could be critical of it will be effort.”

Is he nervous?

“Heck, yeah, I’m nervous,” Moreland said. “I just hope people allow me to be me. Again, [Santo] is irreplaceable, and that’s not my intention in any capacity. Because of that, I have some apprehension. I get to turn to my right and look who’s sitting beside me — he’s the best straight man in the world.”

Hughes has said he wants Moreland to shine and be the star.

“All I can do is be me,” Moreland said. “There’s nothing other than that. I can butcher the English language with the best of them and I’m not sure what words mean sometimes. I try my best to get a point across of what’s taking place on the field.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/24 Hughes preps for life without Santo

On Sunday, Pat Hughes will begin his 16th season as the radio play by play voice of the Cubs but for the first time, he’ll have a new partner. Hughes begins his first season without popular color man Ron Santo, who died Dec. 3 at the age of 70. Friday would’ve been Santo’s 71st birthday.

“The reality is hitting me this week,” Hughes said.

Former Cub Keith Moreland takes over for Santo in the WGN Radio booth, and makes his debut on Sunday when the team opens Cactus League play against the Athletics. Hughes has worked with Moreland in the past, including two series last year.

“I said, ‘You be yourself and relax,'” Hughes said Wednesday night of his advice to Moreland, who was broadcasting University of Texas baseball and football. “[I told him] ‘I’ll try to make you a star and make you shine.'”

That’s always been one of Hughes’ strongest characteristics on air. He never tried to top Santo and his passion. He’s been a steady voice, letting the emotional Santo show his displeasure or glee at plays on the field.

Santo played for the Cubs from 1960-73, and joined the WGN Radio team in 1990. The Cubs retired his No. 10 in September 2003, and players this year will wear a No. 10 patch on their uniform sleeve in his honor. The 2011 media guide features a montage of Santo highlights from his days as a player and broadcaster.

Hughes has asked fans to be patient with Moreland. No one can replace Santo.

“I really do think we’ll be OK,” Hughes said.

He joked that the pressure really is on Cubs manager Mike Quade and the players.

“The best [Moreland] and I can hope for is a winning team,” Hughes said. “If we’re winning, people will think we’re doing a better job than we are.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/16 Moreland to join Hughes at WGN Radio

WGN Radio Wednesday announced Keith Moreland is the new analyst for Cubs radio broadcasts, taking over for the late Ron Santo. Moreland replaces Ron Santo, who died in December.

“I’m elated,” Moreland said Wednesday. “That’s the only word I can use. I hate to be sitting in this seat because nobody can replace Ron Santo. He was a great friend and a tremendous Cub fan. I can’t do anything but try to be myself.”

Moreland played for the Cubs from 1982-87, as well as the Phillies, Padres, Tigers and Orioles. A native of Dallas, he was a catcher, third baseman and outfielder. The Cubs are special to him and said his favorite game in 1984 was the “Sandberg Game” when Ryne Sandberg hit two game-tying homers off the Cardinals’ Bruce Sutter.

“When you go back and look at your career, it was such an incredible place to be a part of,” Moreland said.

The first WGN Radio broadcast will be Feb. 27, when the Cubs open Cactus League play.

Moreland is optimistic, just like all Cubs fans.

“Before my lifetime is over, we’re going to win a World Series, I’m a firm believer of that,” Moreland said.

— Carrie Muskat

2/9 Hughes waits for new radio partner

The first WGN Radio broadcast of a Cubs’ Spring Training game will be Feb. 27, but the wait continues for the station and the team to announce a new broadcaster to succeed Ron Santo. Pat Hughes will begin his 16th season as the Cubs’ play-by-play man, but first without Santo, who died Dec. 3. Keith Moreland and Dave Otto were reportedly the finalists for the job.

“It’s going to be a different atmosphere and call,” Hughes told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I still miss [Santo], and I will every day for the rest of my life. He was a big part of my life and my family’s life.”

WGN Radio officials have stated the obvious — that they will name someone before the first game, which is the Cubs’ Cactus League opener. Hughes does have a message for devoted followers of the Pat and Ron Show.

“Please, please give the new guy a chance and let us grow as a team,” Hughes said. “It’s almost like it will be for new manager Mike Quade. In my mind, it’s the same. Let them have a chance to be themselves. They’ll make mistakes — we all do. But give them a chance.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/8 Spring Training broadcast schedule

If you’re stuck in the snow and can’t get to Arizona for Spring Training, you’ll be able to follow nearly every Cubs’ Cactus League game via television, radio or Internet radio broadcast. The 2011 spring schedule features eight games televised by Cubs broadcast partners (six by WGN and two by Comcast SportsNet), 11 on the WGN Cubs radio network, and 19 via Internet radio broadcast on Fans will be able to access the Cubs webcasts on and for free by registering for a log-in account with the website. In total, 32 of the 34 games (not including an intrasquad game) are scheduled to be available via one or more broadcast mediums.

Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Chicago’s Double-A Tennessee affiliate, for most of the radio broadcasts. The first exclusive broadcast will be March 1 from Scottsdale, Ariz., when the Cubs play the Giants.

WGN Radio will broadcast the first two games of the spring — Feb. 27 vs. the Athletics and Feb. 28 vs. the Brewers. Pat Hughes, who enters his 16th season with the Cubs, will handle the play-by-play. The Cubs and WGN Radio have yet to announce his new partner, who takes over for the late Ron Santo.

The first televised spring game will be March 6 when the Cubs host the Dodgers on WGN.  Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be March 20 against the Giants from HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.

The full broadcast schedule will be posted on later today.

— Carrie Muskat

12/23 Cubs search for Santo replacement

The Cubs and WGN Radio have begun their search to find a new analyst to partner with  play-by-play man Pat Hughes and fill Ron Santo’s seat in the booth. Santo died Dec. 3. He was 70.

“We wanted to do this as respectfully as we could,” WGN-AM 720 sports director Dave Eanet told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s not something we wanted to plunge right into. But we’re not too far from Spring Training and there is a vacant seat in the booth. Having said that, we know we’re not going to replace Ron Santo.”

The Cubs and WGN will work together in the search. Hughes, who received a five-year extension through the 2015 season on Monday, has been consulted. Eanet said they hope to have a decision in time for the Cubs Convention, Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago.

The job description on the Tribune Co.’s website says the preferred candidate will have played with the Cubs or have played Major League baseball with previous broadcast experience as a game analyst. Eanet said it’s not a prerequisite that Santo’s replacement be a former Cubs player.

Who would you like to hear on the radio?

— Carrie Muskat

12/20 Hughes gets 5-year extension

WGN Radio announced Monday it has given Cubs play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes a five-year extension through the 2015 season. The 2011 season will be Hughes’ 16th with WGN Radio and the Cubs, and his 29th season of broadcasting in Major League Baseball.

Who will be Hughes’ partner in 2011 has yet to be determined. Ron Santo, who just completed his 21st season as the Cubs’ radio analyst and 15th with Hughes, died on Dec. 3. A replacement was not expected to be named until early next year.

Before joining WGN Radio and the Cubs, Hughes was the radio play-by-play announcer for the Brewers for 12 years. He has been named Illinois Sportscaster of the Year five times and Wisconsin Sportscaster of the year three times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and he is a finalist for Illinois Sportscaster of the Year again in 2010.

— Carrie Muskat

12/10 Celebrating Santo

It was an impressive turnout Friday at Ron Santo’s funeral at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Among the guests to pay respects to the broadcaster and third baseman were Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams, as well as Glenn Beckert and Randy Hundley. The casket was first escorted up the steps of the church by Cubs traveling secretary Jimmy Bank, WGN Radio engineer Matt Boltz, and some of Santo’s radio partners, including Andy Masur, Cory Provus and Judd Sirott.

“It was our last pregame show together,” said Masur, now a broadcaster with the Padres.

Pat Hughes, who was Santo’s partner for 15 seasons on WGN Radio delivered a tribute as did Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts.

“Ron was the fans’ broadcaster — he was the fan in the booth,” Ricketts said.

Others at the service included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, and broadcasters Gary Matthews, Thom Brennaman, Len Kasper, and Bob Brenly. Several Cubs players, past and present, were, including Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, Justin Berg, Ted Lilly, Kevin Orie, Dave Otto and Scott Sanderson. Cubs manager Mike Quade, general manager Jim Hendry and the rest of the team’s front office also were present to pay respects.

“He’s the No. 1 Cubs fan ever,” Hughes said.

Santo got one last look at Wrigley Field as the funeral procession did a lap of the ballpark.

— Carrie Muskat

8/3 Sing along

Bob Uecker will sing the seventh inning stretch Tuesday night at the Cubs’ game. On Wednesday, it will be WGN Radio’s Pat Hughes. Actor, director and producer Ron Howard will lead the crowd on Saturday, and country music duo Brooks & Dunn will do the honors Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat


5/5 Tribute to Ernie

WGN Radio’s Pat Hughes on the passing of long time Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell:

“Ernie could not have been any nicer or more humble, perhaps the most beloved sports figure in Detroit history. He always treated me with kindness and respect. Out of the blue, he would call me at home in the winter. I am happy I knew him and could call him a friend. He was a  wonderful human being.”

— Carrie Muskat