Results tagged ‘ WGN Radio ’

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

1/12 Cubs radio update

The Cubs and WGN Radio will not announce Ron Santo’s replacement as color analyst at the weekend Cubs Convention. Interviews are currently being conducted and an announcement was expected sometime before Spring Training games begin.

Santo died Dec. 3 at the age of 70. The Cubs will celebrate him during the Convention in a seminar called “Remembering Ronnie,” to be held Saturday at the Hilton Chicago. Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins plus Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Milt Pappas and Jose Cardenal will share some of stories about their teammate.

Who will take over for Santo? It most likely will not be Mark Grace or Rick Sutcliffe, two fan favorites. Grace is currently an analyst for the Diamondbacks and does work for FOX TV, while Sutcliffe signed a new contract with ESPN. The Cubs and WGN Radio are looking for a former Cubs player to do the job, but they want someone who can commit to the full 162-game schedule.

— 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

6/20 Santo to skip Seattle trip

WGN Radio analyst Ron Santo will miss the Cubs’ upcoming Interleague series against the Seattle Mariners and skip the trip back to his hometown. Santo was looking forward to the series because it would give him a chance to see family and friends in Seattle.

“I have to start thinking about the travel,” Santo said Sunday. “This time, it has to do with my leg.”

A diabetic, Santo has had both legs amputated below the knee because of complications with the disease. There is a bone in his left leg that is rubbing a nerve and he feels it when he walks.

“When I walk from the press box to the elevator [at Wrigley Field], lately, it’s been bothering me,” he said. “I use 55 percent of my energy with these legs. When it’s hot, it’s tough.”

His sister still lives in Seattle but he will miss the three-game series and rejoin the Cubs Friday when they face the White Sox in the final Interleague series.

“Both [WGN] Radio and the Cubs want me around — and I want to be around,” Santo said. “It’s therapy for me. When I’m up there [in the broadcast booth] I don’t think about anything except moaning and groaning.”

Santo, who turned 70 in February, doesn’t hide his emotions during the broadcasts. There’s been a lot of moaning and groaning this season watching the Cubs.

He also said he’s considering missing a few more of the Cubs’ upcoming trips. The longer flights make it difficult for Santo to stay on his medicine and workout routine. Next year, Santo said he may only travel to the games in the Midwest.

— Carrie Muskat

5/25 On the air

You’ll have to tweak your radio dial for two upcoming Cubs games. WIND 560 AM will carry the June 2 game at Pittsburgh and the June 4 game at Houston. WGN 720 AM carries both the Cubs and the Blackhawks, but because of the NHL playoffs, the Cubs will switch. The Blackhawks, in case you didn’t know, are playing the Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals, starting Saturday night.

— Carrie Muskat