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Pitch Perfect

Dan Baker standing in Citizens Bank Park.

Name: Dan Baker
Grad Year: College of Education ’72
Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies

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Dan Baker

Every baseball stadium needs a voice. And at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, that voice has always been that of Dan Baker, EDU ’72.

His is the familiar one that calls out the starting lineup at every Phillies home game, the one that ushers the team onto the field with a thunderous proclamation: “Ladies and gentlemen, the 2016 Phiiiilaadelphia Phillies!”

Baker began his dream job as public address announcer for the Phillies in 1972 after earning a master of education at Temple.

“I used to lay in bed at night and listen to Phillies games and keep the balls and strikes on my fingers—it’s second nature to me,” Baker said. When he landed an interview with the team in 1971, he confidently told as much to his interviewers and got the job, fulfilling a childhood dream triggered by his first Phillies game with his father in 1954.

“When I saw that, the beautiful green grass and the lights—I thought I entered heaven,” Baker said. “I thought, man, wouldn’t it be great someday to be a part of this?”

Working his way up at the former Channel 48, Baker ascended from the mailroom to assisting with production operations and filling in for a wrestling announcer.

Baker continued to pursue such work while also satisfying his passion for education: He worked as an elementary school teacher while completing his master’s degree at Temple. His advisor encouraged him to continue both paths, he said, and that’s what he did until 1980, when he retired from teaching to focus on his announcing career.

Years later, he has announced more than 3,600 games, including five World Series; was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame; and is the longest-tenured public address announcer currently working in Major League Baseball.

In a world without Temple, game days in Philadelphia wouldn’t sound the same.

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