Duane Kuiper

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Duane Kuiper
Duane Kuiper at 2012 Giants victory parade.jpg
Kuiper at the Giants' 2012 World Series victory parade, October 31, 2012
Second baseman
Born: (1950-06-19) June 19, 1950 (age 64)
Racine, Wisconsin
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 1974 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
June 27, 1985 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Batting average .271
Home Run 1
Hits 971
Runs batted in 263

Duane Eugene Kuiper (born June 19, 1950) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman, and is a seven-time Emmy award-winning[1] radio and television sportscaster for the San Francisco Giants. Along with former major league pitcher Mike Krukow, he forms the broadcast duo known as "Kruk and Kuip".[1][2]

Playing career[edit]

Early baseball career[edit]

Kuiper was drafted by the New York Yankees out of Jerome I. Case High School in Racine, Wisconsin in the twelfth round of the 1968 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose instead to attend Indian Hills Community College. He was drafted by the Seattle Pilots, Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds while attending Indian Hills, but did not sign with any of these clubs. After a season at Southern Illinois University, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 1971 June Secondary Amateur Draft, but again did not sign. It wasn't until graduating from Southern Illinois that Kuiper finally said yes to the Cleveland Indians, who drafted him in the first round of the 1972 January Secondary Amateur Draft.

Kuiper spent three seasons in the Indians' farm system, batting .295 with six home runs and 148 runs batted in before receiving a September call-up in 1974. He made his major league debut on September 9 as a late inning defensive replacement for Jack Brohamer, and grounded into a double play in his only at-bat.[3] However, he fared far better in his future plate appearances, collecting nine singles, two doubles, two walks and four RBIs in 24 plate appearances.

Cleveland Indians[edit]

Though Kuiper spent time with the triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers in 1975, he spent most of the season in the majors, splitting time with Brohamer at second base, and batting second in manager Frank Robinson's batting order. Following the season, the Indians dealt Brohamer to the White Sox, clearing a spot for Kuiper to play every day.

Though Kuiper was not much of an offensive threat, he proved to be an above average defender, leading American League second basemen in fielding percentage in 1976 and 1979. He hit his only career home run against Chicago White Sox pitcher Steve Stone on August 29, 1977.[4] Kuiper holds the major league record for most career at-bats with exactly one home run.[5] Since the game in question was on national television, Kuiper's singular feat was captured on video. (Giants telecasts, for which Kuiper is currently an announcer, will run the highlight from time to time to poke fun at him. On April 25, 2014, the Giants held "Duane Kuiper Home Run Bobblehead Night" for their game against the Indians.[6])

On July 27, 1978, Kuiper hit two bases-loaded triples against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.[7] He is one of only three Major League players to accomplish this feat.

On May 15, 1981, Len Barker pitched a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays with Kuiper at second base. Kuiper fielded five ground balls to contribute to the effort.

Shortly after Kuiper suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss most of the 1980 season, the Indians acquired Alan Bannister from the White Sox. The two platooned at second in 1981. Following the season, Kuiper was dealt to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Ed Whitson.

San Francisco Giants[edit]

Kuiper backed up Hall of famer Joe Morgan his first season in San Francisco, and batted .255 in three plus seasons platooning at second for the Giants before being released by the club on June 28, 1985.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Kuiper is a radio and television sportscaster for the San Francisco Giants, and is part of the duo known as "Kruk and Kuip" along with former major league pitcher, Mike Krukow. Kuiper, a seven-time Emmy Award winner, is the play-by-play broadcaster for games on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.[1] After retiring from baseball, Kuiper provided commentary for the Giants from 1987 to 1992 before leaving for a one-year stint with the Colorado Rockies in 1993. Kuiper returned to broadcast for the Giants in 1994, where he has remained since.[1]

Both Krukow and Kuiper can be heard in the Electronic Arts video games MVP Baseball 2003, MVP Baseball 2004, and MVP Baseball 2005. Kuiper made the TV call for Barry Bonds' historic 756th home run which broke Hank Aaron's record, although the historic call is that of KNBR radio announcer Jon Miller. His call of Bonds' 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth however is considered the historic call for that home run as radio announcer Dave Flemming's microphone cut out at the exact moment the ball was hit.[8]

On November 1, 2010, Kuiper made the historic call for the final out of Game 5 of the 2010 World Series that resulted in the Giants' first title since 1954:

While principally a television play-by-play announcer, Kuiper also shares radio play-by-play duties with Dave Flemming when the Giants television broadcast is carried by NBC or ESPN and Jon Miller handles the television play-by-play. He also fills in on the radio side when Flemming is unable to attend games due to his second job as a Stanford Cardinal radio announcer. During Giants post-season play, Kuiper along with other available Giants broadcasters all move to the radio side while the television broadcasts are handled by network sportscasters.

In December 2010, both Kuiper and Krukow signed six-year extensions to continue as Giants announcers.[9]

On June 13, 2012, Kuiper called Matt Cain's perfect game.

Commentating style[edit]

Kuiper is noted for his beginning and end phrase, either on television or on the radio: after the result of the first batter of the game, he calls, "And that's how this game gets started"; When each ball game is over, Kuiper calls, "And that's the ball game!"

Kuiper also has a deep voice when a player swings and misses, when a dramatic play is made, and when he calls home runs. When Kuiper states the pitch count on a batter, he would often call "nothing" in lieu of calling "a ball" and the current number of strikes when the count is "no balls". Kuiper often uses the phrase "Got 'em!" when an out is recorded. His trademark home run call is "He hits it high... hits it deep... it is (or hits it) OUTTA HERE!" or "HIGH DRIVE...LEFT (or RIGHT) FIELD... IT IS (sometimes: THIS BABY IS) OUTTA HERE!" Kruk and Kuip are also famous for their line, "Grab some pine, meat!" when a batter strikes out. In April 2010, Kuiper coined a new slogan from a fan's sign for the SF Giants club: "Giants baseball... torture!" This slogan is used generally if the games are either tense, tight, or very close in which the Giants have later won by a small margin.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Kuiper is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. His roommate was Dan Radison, currently a coach for the Houston Astros. Kuiper now lives in Danville, California, with his wife, Michelle. He has two children: a son, Cole, and a daughter, Dannon.

Duane was only the first of a family of baseball broadcasters, all working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His younger brother, Glen Kuiper, is the play-by-play announcer for the Oakland Athletics, a job mirroring his older brother's a few miles across the bay. Their middle brother, Jeff, is a television producer for the Giants who produces Duane's broadcasts.[8] Duane and his brothers grew up on a 300-acre farm in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, near Racine. They visit the farm every time the Giants play the Brewers in Milwaukee.[11]

He is the cousin of former MLB player Dick Bosman.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "San Francisco Giants Broadcasters". MLB Advanced Media. SFGiants.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ Schulman, Henry (December 23, 2010). "Kruk and Kuip close to signing six-year extensions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cleveland Indians 7, Detroit Tigers 1". Baseball-reference.com. September 9, 1974. 
  4. ^ "Cleveland Indians 9, Chicago White Sox 2". Baseball-reference.com. August 29, 1977. 
  5. ^ Franz Lidz (June 25, 1984). "A Sultan Of Swat He's Not: San Francisco's Duane Kuiper has hit one home run in nine seasons". Sports Illustrated. 
  6. ^ Alex Pavlovic (April 24, 2014). "Kuiper: "If I would have hit two, would there be a bobblehead? No? Well, then this is fantastic!"". San Jose Mercury News. 
  7. ^ "Cleveland Indians 17, New York Yankees 5". Baseball-reference.com. July 27, 1978. 
  8. ^ a b Ortiz, Jorge L. (June 26, 2006). "Work ethic makes for good TV from Kuipers". USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2009. 
  9. ^ Schulman, Henry (December 24, 2010). "Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper to get extensions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  10. ^ Kroner, Steve (2010-10-06). "The Season". SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). Hearst Communications. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  11. ^ Schulman, Henry (August 22, 2000). "GIANTS CLUBHOUSE / Kuiper Boys Weren't Cut Out for Farming". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Duane Kuiper". Baseball-reference.com. 

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