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David Braxton Flemming (born May 31, 1976) is an American sportscaster, currently working as a play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball as well as college football and college basketball on ESPN and NBA basketball on ESPN Radio.
Flemming grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, listening to current Giants partner Jon Miller call Baltimore Orioles games. In 2004, Flemming began his first full year in the Giants' radio booth, working with Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and on San Francisco station KNBR. He currently splits time between Giants radio and television broadcasts, in addition to his network work.
Early life and career
After graduating from St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in 1994, Flemming received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in classics from Stanford University and a Master's Degree in broadcast journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. While at Stanford, Flemming broadcast Stanford Cardinal baseball, men's and women's basketball, and football and served as Sports Director at KZSU. In 2000, he broadcast play-by-play for the Visalia Oaks and served as the assistant General Manager, before moving on to the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Flemming teamed with PawSox radio broadcaster Andy Freed for three seasons on the eight-station PawSox Radio Network. His rise in the baseball broadcasting industry was nearly unprecedented as he went from Class-A ball (Visalia) in 2000 to Triple-A from 2001–2003 (Pawtucket) and finally the Giants.
Career with the San Francisco Giants
In ten seasons calling Giants games, Flemming has been a part of many memorable broadcasting moments.
On April 27, 2003, in his second ever major league broadcast, working as a fill-in for Jon Miller, Flemming broadcast the Phillies' Kevin Millwood's no-hitter against the Giants. In some ways it was an indication of the moments to come.
Barry Bonds provided several of those. On May 28, 2006, Flemming had the chance for his voice to go into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum when he was set to call Barry Bonds' 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time home run list. However, as he was making the call, his microphone went dead:
|“||Finley runs. The payoff pitch. A swing and a drive! Deep cen –||”|
Flemming, unaware of the problem, continued to make the call, but all listeners heard was about ten seconds of dead air. Only Duane Kuiper's call on Fox Sports Net's broadcast was sent to the Hall of Fame. On September 23 of the same year, during Flemming's third-inning call of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, Bonds hit a home run off left-hander Chris Capuano. This was Bonds' 734th career homer (26th for the season), which broke Hank Aaron's record for National League home runs. (Aaron hit his last 21 homers as an American League player.) Eventually on August 4, 2007, Flemming was able to call Bonds' record-tying 755th home run in San Diego on the radio against the San Diego Padres.
That call of #755 proved to be a notable one in a weekend of milestone moments for Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. Later that week, the New York Times sports media critic Richard Sandomir wrote of the collection of broadcasts that past weekend,
"But the best one on radio or TV came from Dave Flemming, the Giants’ radio announcer, who said clearly and excitedly on KNBR: “Bonds swings, 2-1 pitch. He drives one to left. Going back on the ball is Hairston. It’s gone. Off the facing of the second deck. And Barry Bonds has equaled baseball’s all-time home run record: 755 for Bonds."
Other milestone broadcasts Flemming contributed to include the calls of Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson's 300th pitching victories, and the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez's no hitter against the San Diego Padres on July 11, 2009.
On November 1, 2010, during the seventh inning in Game 5 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark, Flemming made the winning home run call that eventually sealed the Giants' win, and thus the World Series:
|“||Lee pitches...Rentería hits a high drive, deep left-center field, David Murphy going back, he's on the warning track, IT IS...GOOONNNNE! Edgar Rentería...has hit a three-run homer...against Cliff Lee! And the Giants lead here in the World Series, 3-0! Edgar Rentería, the World Series hero, and it's 3-0 here...the Giants are nine outs away...||”|
On June 13, 2012, Flemming made the radio call of the final out of Matt Cain's perfect game, the first in the history of the Giants. In 2013 Flemming (along with Kuiper and Miller) won an Emmy for his coverage of the perfect game.
|“||2 and 2 the count. Romo shakes off Posey. Now has the one he likes. Romo's 2-2 pitch on the way... Cabrera TAKES STRIKE THREE CALLED! And the Giants have won the World Series in Detroit! And the celebration begins as the Giants mob the mound! Cabrera strikes out looking to end it! And not only have the Giants won the World Series, they have swept the Tigers in 4 games in dominant fashion. And it's the second World Series title for the Giants in the last three seasons. It's Romo who gets the final out, and he gets the great Miguel Cabrera to win it for the Giants, and the celebration begins here in Detroit, and we can only imagine how the celebration has begun back in San Francisco.||”|
Stanford football and basketball
Starting in 2008, Flemming began broadcasting Stanford Cardinal football and basketball. He spent three years as the voice of Stanford basketball on the radio, and six years in that capacity with Stanford football before leaving the Stanford broadcasts to concentrate on his network work.
The period Flemming served as the voice of Stanford football coincided with perhaps the most successful stretch in the school's football history. Flemming's first broadcast on the Stanford radio network was the epic upset of #1 ranked USC on October 6, 2007. Over the next six seasons, Flemming was behind the microphone for the record performances of Toby Gerhart and Andrew Luck, and for three BCS bowl appearances, including a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin on January 1, 2013.
Flemming became a regular College Basketball on ESPN announcer in 2010, after having called a couple of games for the network the previous season. He primarily works Pac-12, Big 12, and WCC games for ESPN, teaming with Sean Farnham, Fran Fraschilla, and other analysts.
He has also called regular-season and postseason baseball for ESPN Radio, and worked a season calling college football games for the Pac-12 Network in 2012 before shifting to College Football on ESPN in 2013. Also in 2013, Flemming began calling NBA games on ESPN Radio and contributing to Little League World Series coverage on ESPN and ABC.
Flemming is known for his steady style, his play-by-play acumen, and his chemistry with his broadcast partners. In 2008, Sports Business Journal named Flemming, then 32, the "best of the new generation of baseball announcers."
Flemming and his wife, Jessica, live in San Francisco with their identical twin daughters Katie and Carter and their son David Henry.
- [ Transcript from Neil Conan's interview with Dave Flemming on the Monday, May 29, 2006 edition of Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio (NPR) News.]