Chris Wheeler was a constant piece of Phillies history through years of change
Phillies lifer Chris Wheeler has announced his retirement following his 47th year with the organization, according to NBC Philadelphia senior producer Sean Kane.
Wheeler, better known around the ballpark and in homes across the Delaware Valley as ‘”Wheels,” spent the majority of his time behind the microphone as the television color analyst.
Soon after graduating from Penn State in 1967, Wheels joined WCAU radio in Philadelphia as an airborne traffic reporter, news writer, and general reporter. His career also took him to Chicago and New York before ultimately returning to Philadelphia.
Wheeler was named an assistant director of publicity and public relations in 1971 and promoted to color analyst six years later. Working alongside the late greats Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, and Andy Musser, Wheels witnessed some of the greatest moments in Phillies baseball.
While also serving as the director of community relations, Wheeler was the public address announcer in Clearwater, Florida for spring training games.
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In January of 2014, shortly after the Phillies struck a new broadcast contract with Comcast, Wheeler and fellow color analyst Gary “Sarge” Matthews Sr. were pulled off the air.
Both continued to work with the organization as franchise ambassadors appearing at community events and the MLB Draft.
Fans always had mixed emotions with Wheels on the broadcast; some loved him and others thought he was a bumbling idiot. Regardless, he served the organization with honor and grace.
Enjoy retirement, Wheels, we’ll miss you at the ballpark!