Pat Hughes (sportscaster)

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Pat Hughes
Pat Hughes 2011.jpg
Hughes at the 2011 Cubs Convention
Born Virgil Patrick Hughes
(1955-05-27) May 27, 1955 (age 62)
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality American
Education San Jose State University
Occupation baseball play-by-play announcer
Years active 1979–present
Employer WSCR

Virgil Patrick "Pat" Hughes (born May 27, 1955) is an American sportscaster. He has been the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Cubs Radio Network since 1996.

Hughes partnered with color commentator Ron Santo, former Hall of Fame third baseman for the Cubs, from 1996 to 2010, until Santo died of bladder cancer. Their unique on-air chemistry came to be known as the "Pat and Ron Show". Prior to joining the Cubs' radio crew, Hughes spent 12 years calling games for the Milwaukee Brewers, with broadcaster Bob Uecker. Hughes also spent 17 years as a radio television play-by-play man for Marquette University basketball.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Hughes might be best known for his call of Mark McGwire's 62nd home run in 1998. That home run broke the single-season home run record, and the Hughes narration of the hit is the most often-played call of that moment:

In most other instances, his home run call is "That ball's got a chaaaance...GONE!" On longer home runs, Hughes' call often includes the phrase "Get out the tape measure". Another Hughes catchphrase as the first pitch of the game is thrown is "And away we go..." In times of great excitement at the ballpark he will say, "Listen to these fans!" or "They're on their feet at Wrigley." As an intro to the show he will say, "Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air! From Beautiful Wrigley Field in Chicago [or whatever other stadium they may be playing at], it's the Chicago Cubs taking on the [opposing team]."

If the Cubs have a narrow lead going into opposing team's final half-inning, Hughes exclaims, "Fasten those seatbelts!"

Hughes' broadcasting career includes stints as a broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, the Minnesota North Stars hockey team, and minor league baseball teams the Columbus Clippers and San Jose Missions. He has also broadcast college games for Northwestern University, San Jose State University, University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Marquette University men's basketball team, as well as announcing games for ESPN.

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association has given Hughes seven Illinois Sportscaster of the Year awards (1996, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2015), in addition to three Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year awards (1990–92).

Hughes graduated from San Jose State University where his father had served as a professor and where Hughes also did some announcing.

Hughes appeared in an uncredited voiceover role as the basketball announcer in the 1997 remake of the Disney film Flubber.[1]

Hughes has produced, written, and narrated a series of book-and-CD sets on great baseball announcers entitled Baseball Voices. Featured announcers in the series include Hughes' former colleagues Harry Caray, Ron Santo, and Bob Uecker, as well as Red Barber, Marty Brennaman, Jack Buck, Milo Hamilton, Harry Kalas, Dave Niehaus, Bob Prince, Russ Hodges, and Lon Simmons.[2]

In July 2008, Hughes' voice was featured in a State Farm commercial, calling the end of a walkoff win for the Cubs, in which a ball was hit onto Waveland Avenue and caught by a teenager who then gives the game-winning ball to a young fan of the Cubs.

After Santo's death in December 2010, Hughes got a new radio partner, former Cub Keith Moreland. The two called Cubs games during the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons, before Moreland stepped down to spend more time at his home in Texas.

In December 2013, former big leaguer Ron Coomer was named Hughes's new partner. The two called Cubs games in 2014 on WGN radio, switching to WBBM radio in 2015, after the Cubs ended their 90-year partnership with WGN radio, and again to WSCR for the 2016 season.[3]

In 2014, Hughes was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame, the eleventh such honoree and only the third sportscaster to be honored.

In 2012, Hughes was inducted into the Branham High School Athletic Hall of Fame in San Jose, CA.

On November 3, 2016, the Cubs ended their 108-year title drought by winning the World Series. Hughes became the first Cubs broadcaster ever to announce that the team won a World Series championship.

Running jokes with Ron Santo[edit]

Pat often liked to point out when a player has two first names. Also, he frequently used the phrase "you can slap a 20 on him" or "slap a 20 on me" (a "20" meaning a 20 dollar bill), mostly referencing his supposed cheapness. Pat and Ron also talked about Pat's old sweater kept in their booth at Wrigley Field as a backup in case it got cold and he needed it. Ron claimed the same sweater had been in there for 13 years. Pat joked that he was happy to report that it has been dry cleaned once over the 13 years. Some of their other favorite topics included Ron's hairpiece (especially the occasion on which it caught fire at the Mets' Shea Stadium), producer Matt Boltz's drinking habits, the unofficial scorer, and Ron's run-in (and run away from) an errant, officially off-limits soft-yogurt dispenser.

Family and personal life[edit]

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Pat Hughes grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he first developed his love for baseball. Hughes has been married to his wife, Trish, since 1987. They have two daughters, Janell and Amber.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Thom Brennaman
Chicago Cubs Radio Play-By-Play Announcer