Donning his 2008 World Series ring, Dan Baker, the team’s iconic public address announcer, recalls being at a sporting event in a smart suit with a Phillies pin in his jacket pocket Experience behind the microphone.
“In this corner, he weighed 265 pounds … from Abruzzo, Italy, with World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino.” Baker reenacts his intro on Channel 48 with Buddy Wagner as the wrestling color announcer.
Baker joined others on the story at a news conference at the Double Tree Hotel in Cherry Hills on Monday, such as broadcasting and broadcasting college basketball, which handles the Army-Navy game. He won the most courageous writer award at the Philadelphia Sports Awards. Association Annual Awards Dinner.
“A lot of organizations like this go out of business,” said Baker, 76, who was recognized for his relentless fight against cancer. “Philadelphia sportswriters are still here. After all these years, I am proud to announce that I have played for the Phillies. I am grateful for this opportunity.”
After nearly half a century as the Phillies’ PA man, Baker still has it, and he hopes to continue to be a voice for their game for another 10 years.
“If God bless me and be healthy, the Phillies will have me,” he added.
In 2020, Baker was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. He has had 24 surgeries and 30 radiation treatments since the tumor was discovered in his right maxillary sinus. During that time, Baker repeatedly asked surgeons at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, “How soon will I be back?”
He sat out the Phillies’ 2020 season but returned in 2021 and played in last year’s World Series. Baker is still continuing his recovery and recovery from the cancer, which has affected his vision and speech, but doctors and friends say he has made miraculous progress.
» Read more: Half a century after Booth, Dan Baker still gives Phillies a voice
“Dan continues to recover and this does not prevent him from performing his duties with professionalism as usual,” his longtime friend and PSWA member Roger Hendler wrote in a release. “His determination and enthusiasm are amazing.”
Joining Baker on stage at Monday’s event were Phillies manager Rob Thomson and third baseman Alec Bohm, who also received the award. In the audience were family members and some of the doctors who helped Baker during his treatment.
Baker has been with the Phillies since 1972 and this is their second season at Veterans Stadium. Since Bob Sheppard of the New York Yankees retired in 2009, he has been the longest-serving PA endorser in Major League Baseball.
He has played in six of the Phillies’ eight World Series appearances. He considers his tenure with the team a privilege. This year, Baker summed up the experience of returning to Citizens Bank Park in one word: gratitude.
“In a situation like this, you probably feel sorry for yourself. I just feel lucky,” Baker said. “I mean, frankly, if that was the case for me a few years ago, I would have said to God, ‘Thank you.'”
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Mount Ephraim, the Audubon High School graduate was 25 when he started working as a public address announcer. In addition to his work with the Phillies, Baker was a broadcaster for the Eagles from 1985 to 2014 and the Drexel Men’s Basketball from 1997 to 2012.
Still, Baker, a longtime Phillies fan, said there’s nothing like the feeling he gets when he walks onto the court.
“It brings me so much fun,” he said. “I’ve been able to share it with my family. I met my wife in the Phillies. … Both of our kids were with the Phillies in college, so they’ve been great with me.