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With 3,000th game on deck, D-backs voice Schulte takes pride in setting picture for fans

LISTEN: Greg Schulte, Diamondbacks play-by-play announcer
The radio voice of the Diamondbacks, Greg Schulte on the air during the 2012 Subway FanFest on Arizona Sports 620. (Photo by Vince Marotta/Arizona Sports)

Wednesday night in San Diego, Greg Schulte will call his 3,000 game for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A consistent voice heard mostly on the team’s radio broadcasts, he has also served as the play-by-play man on the television side, too.

Whatever the medium, however, Schulte has been the voice of the D-backs, having described the franchise’s biggest moments since its inaugural season in 1998.

“It’s been a lot of fun, there have been a lot of thrills,” Schulte told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday morning. “There have been a lot of lean seasons, but I think we’ve got something special going on here in 2017.”

Schulte has rocked the mic for all five of the D-backs’ NL West Championship teams, as well as its 2001 World Series winning squad. He described Randy Johnson’s perfect game, and has guided fans through seasons that saw the D-backs finish in the NL West cellar.

Such is life for a play-by-play man, who can only call the action for the team in front of him.

Schulte said from the players, coaches and stadium personnel, the ballpark is “a great place to go to work on a daily basis,” adding you never know what each game will entail.

But to get to 3,000 of them, all with the same franchise, is something special.

“There is one voice that is truly synonymous with D-backs baseball and that’s Greg Schulte, who has been here since the beginning,” D-backs president Derrick Hall said in a press release. “He not only does an incredible job each night of describing the action for our fans, but he has always represented the organization with class away from the ballpark and he’s become an invaluable part of our history.”

As it should be, the greatest moment in the franchise’s history — Luis Gonzalez’s walk-off hit to beat the Yankees and win the World Series in 2001 — is best viewed with Schulte’s famous, “Gonzalez digs in at the plate…and a little blooper…BASE HIT, DIAMONDBACKS WIN, THEY’RE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS! GONZALEZ DID IT!”

But the idea of being synonymous with the D-backs is something Schulte appreciates.

“I think if you look around right now, all the expansion teams have had other broadcasters come in,” Schulte said. “None have been there from the inception of the time when they became a Major League Baseball team; they’ve made changes.

“It does make me feel old at times, but it’s something I’m very, very proud about. This organization is the youth of Major League Baseball, along with the Tampa Bay Rays, but still, we’re in our 20th season.”

Being able to stick around for a 20th season and be a part of peoples’ lives on a nightly basis during the summer months is something Schulte said he takes a lot of pride in.

“I really enjoy what radio and baseball have as a thing,” he said. “And by that I mean, I think baseball and radio are made for one another.”

Growing up, Schulte said he had about three channels to choose from and baseball was rarely on them. So unless he was able to go to a game or one was the Game of the Week on a Saturday, his only way to get a baseball fix was to turn on the radio.

“I grew up in the midwest, I listened to KMOX radio in St. Louis and I heard Harry Carey and Jack Buck, and the way they created a picture, when I finally got to Busch Stadium, old Sportsman’s Park — we got there quite a bit — I could picture exactly what Harey and Jack had been talking about to me over the airwaves for all those years.

“I take a lot of pride in that, trying to set that picture for the fans in Phoenix if they don’t have a chance to see a ballgame, either live or on television, maybe the first time they come into the ballpark, maybe they can resurrect what I’ve been saying all along and kind of put that into the thought process.”

First pitch for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and the game can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

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