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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dick Callahan
Born(1940-11-11)November 11, 1940
DiedJanuary 29, 2021(2021-01-29) (aged 80)
Alma materSt. Jerome's College (BA)
Occupation
  • Insurance businessman
  • Public address announcer

Richard J. Callahan (November 11, 1940 – January 29, 2021) was an American public address announcer. He was noted for serving as the PA announcer for the Oakland Athletics from 2005 until 2019. Prior to that, he was the announcer for the Golden State Warriors, the California Golden Bears football, and various sports at Saint Mary's College of California.[1]

Early life

Callahan was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1940.[2] His parents were Richard and Margaret Callahan,[2] and he attended Scranton Preparatory School. In grade seven, one of the nuns teaching him there remarked how he had "a nice voice and good reading pace", and encouraged him to make good use of it in the future.[1] He graduated in 1958, and – intending to become a priest – he went on to study Latin at St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, Ontario.[1][3] Callahan played for the Waterloo Warriors men’s basketball team,[1][3] but described his time there as unremarkable, joking that he "led the team in minutes sat".[4] He was forced to quit the team in his junior year after simultaneously injuring both of his ankles.[1][3] He nonetheless continued to attend Warriors games as a spectator.[3] At one of these games, the public address (PA) announcer did not show up and Callahan volunteered to take his place. The athletic director, Carl Totzke, asked him if he had any prior experience in announcing. Callahan replied that he announced all the games at his high school, even though he had actually never announced a game before.[1][3] Totzke was satisfied with Callahan's performance throughout that game that he was retained as announcer,[3] while the incumbent announcer was dismissed.[4]

Callahan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from St. Jerome's in 1962.[3] He had a brief stint working for MetLife in New York City, before going back home to Scranton and serving as PA announcer for the Scranton Miners.[1]

Career

Callahan relocated to St. Louis as part of his work with MetLife. There, he became friends with broadcaster Jack Buck. Callahan applied to become radio announcer for the Spirits of St. Louis when the position opened, but ultimately lost out to Bob Costas.[1][4] He subsequently moved to California and established Callahan Insurance in 1981.[1][5] It would later merge with another agency in 1993 to become Kosich & Callahan Insurance Services.[5][6][7]

Saint Mary's College

Callahan was approached by the athletic director and sports information director of Saint Mary's College of California in 1975 about becoming the PA announcer for its football and basketball games.[8] He began announcing games for the college that year.[4][9] He went on to participate in college life outside of sport, serving on its Board of Regents and establishing a scholarship for Latino students in need.[4] He received an honorary degree from the College in 1998, and joked that he "love[d] Saint Mary's more than my own collegiate alma mater" of St. Jerome's.[8] In lieu of payment for announcing, Callahan was given four free tickets each game for his family, who were able to sit close by to him. He quit as announcer in around 2008 after those seats were sold to another party.[4]

Golden State Warriors

Callahan joined the Golden State Warriors as PA announcer in 1981. He served in that capacity for 19 seasons until 2000.[1] He underwent heart surgery in 1995. Consequently, he was absent for seven games, and in his two decades with the team, he missed a total of 13 games out of around 750 NBA games. He was notably the announcer for the 2000 NBA All-Star Game, which was hosted in Oakland that February.[6] He suddenly resigned later that year after he was falsely accused of threatening a public relations intern. The intern had spilled water on Callahan and refused to clean it up when instructed to do so, leading to Callahan calling for the intern's dismissal. Robert Rowell, the Warriors president, took the side of the intern and Callahan quit accordingly. Rowell only discovered two weeks later, from a security guard who had observed the confrontation, that it was in fact Callahan who had been threatened.[4] Callahan described his role with the Warriors as his "dream job" and believed the organization "wanted a screamer".[4]

Oakland Athletics

Callahan became the PA announcer for the Oakland Athletics in 2005.[1] He succeeded Roy Steele, who was forced to step down in September that year due to achalasia.[10] Although he had big shoes to fill – his predecessor was dubbed "the Voice of God" by fans – Callahan himself became an endeared figure.[11] He identified Dallas Braden's perfect game in 2010 and Sean Manaea's no-hitter in 2018 as the two most memorable games with the team. Incidentally, the 1,000th game Callahan announced for the Athletics was Mike Fiers' no-hitter on May 7, 2019.[9][11]

Later life

Callahan and his wife, Patricia,[6] divorced. He moved to Rossmoor before the COVID-19 pandemic, after having residing in Moraga for 42 years.[7] He intended to announce for the Athletics during the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season, despite the fact that there would be no fans in attendance due to the pandemic.[7] However, he decided to take a one-year hiatus just before the start of the season in July, after being treated in the emergency department for fluid buildup in his legs and abdomen.[12] Amelia Schimmel stood in for him as announcer,[11] and Callahan declared his intention to return for the 2021 season.[12]

Callahan died on January 29, 2021, at the age of 80. No cause of death was announced.[11][9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Fawcett, Joby (October 20, 2016). "HS Football: Dick Callahan returns to do PA at Scranton Prep game". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Archived from the original on January 30, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Richard Callahan obituary". East Bay Times. Walnut Creek, California. February 14, 2021. Archived from the original on February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mastrangelo, Claire (July 9, 2019). "Ready when the bell rings". University of Waterloo. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Newhouse, Dave (December 3, 2008). "A calm voice amid the noise". East Bay Times. Walnut Creek, California. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "About Our Agency". Kosich Family Insurance Services. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Cal Appoints New P.A. Announcers". California Golden Bears Athletics. University of California, Berkeley. May 31, 2000. Archived from the original on January 30, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Fancher, Lou (July 7, 2020). "A's announcer Callahan adapts, prepares for odd 2020 season". East Bay Times. Walnut Creek, California. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Versatile Announcer Callahan Enjoying Latest Role in Baseball". Moraga: Saint Mary's College of California. August 18, 2006. Archived from the original on February 13, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Kawahara, Matt (January 29, 2021). "A's public address announcer Dick Callahan dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  10. ^ Knapp, Gwen (July 9, 2006). "Voice of God – A rare throat ailment keeps Roy Steele from his job as A's PA announcer". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d Bollinger, Rhett (January 29, 2021). "Beloved PA announcer Dick Callahan dies". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Hickey, John (July 15, 2020). "Athletics' Announcer Dick Callahan to sit Out 2020 Season over Health Concerns". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 30, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 April 2021, at 16:59
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