Kuiper at the Giants' 2012 World Series victory parade, October 31, 2012
June 19, 1950 |
|September 9, 1974 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 27, 1985 for the San Francisco Giants|
|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 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".
Early life and education
Kuiper and his two brothers grew up on a 300-acre farm in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, near Racine. He played baseball at Jerome I. Case High School in Racine, Wisconsin. 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.
Early baseball career
Kuiper was drafted by the New York Yankees out of Jerome I. Case High School 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. However, he fared far better in his future plate appearances, collecting nine singles, two doubles, two walks and four RBIs in 24 plate appearances.
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. Kuiper holds the major league record for most career at-bats with exactly one home run. 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.)
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
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. He and future broadcast partner Mike Krukow were both on the Giants from 1983–1985, where they formed their friendship.
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.
Kuiper's call of Bonds' 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth 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: 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). Kuiper's call of Bonds' 756th career home run:
|“||Three balls and two strikes... and Bascick deals... and Bonds hits one high, HITS IT DEEP, IT IS... OUTTA HERE. 756, Bonds stands alone.||”|
|“||Cruz waiting on Wilson. And the right hander for the Giants throws...SWING AND A MISS! AND THAT'S IT! The Giants... for the first time in 52 years, the Giants are world champions, as they come POURING OUT OF THE DUGOUT....circling Brian Wilson! The bullpen...flying in from left-center field...dancing, hugging....and you can't help but think, that this group is celebrating....for The Say Hey Kid, for Will The Thrill, celebrating for Number 25, and celebrating for all you Giants fans, wherever you are... Giants fans...this party is just getting started!||”|
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.
Kruk and Kuip can be heard in the Electronic Arts video games MVP Baseball 2003, MVP Baseball 2004, and MVP Baseball 2005. In December 2010, both Kuiper and Krukow signed six-year extensions to continue as Giants announcers.
On June 13, 2012, Kuiper called Matt Cain's perfect game:
|“||On the ground; Arias, from deep third... GOT 'EM!!! And that's a perfect game!||”|
Kuiper uses a deep voice when a player swings and misses, when a dramatic play is made, and when he calls home runs.
Kuiper is noted for his distinctive calls beginning and ending each game: after the result of the first batter of the game, he says, "And that's how this game gets started"; when the ball game is over, Kuiper says, "And that's the ball game!"
When Kuiper states the pitch count on a batter, he often calls "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.
Kuiper 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.
- "San Francisco Giants Broadcasters". MLB Advanced Media. SFGiants.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- Schulman, Henry (December 23, 2010). "Kruk and Kuip close to signing six-year extensions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- "Cleveland Indians 7, Detroit Tigers 1". Baseball-reference.com. September 9, 1974.
- "Cleveland Indians 9, Chicago White Sox 2". Baseball-reference.com. August 29, 1977.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Cleveland Indians 17, New York Yankees 5". Baseball-reference.com. July 27, 1978.
- Ortiz, Jorge L. (June 26, 2006). "Work ethic makes for good TV from Kuipers". USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
- Schulman, Henry (December 24, 2010). "Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper to get extensions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- Kroner, Steve (2010-10-06). "The Season". SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). Hearst Communications. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
- Schulman, Henry (August 22, 2000). "GIANTS CLUBHOUSE / Kuiper Boys Weren't Cut Out for Farming". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Duane Kuiper". Baseball-reference.com.