Phillies: 10 Things to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving
3: Dan Baker
The 2020 season will mark Phillies public address (PA) announcer Dan Baker‘s 49th season with the team. Having held the position since 1972, the second year of the Vet, Baker is the longest-tenured PA announcer throughout all of Major League Baseball.
“I just love the job so much. It’s so much fun. When I got this, I knew I loved it. I knew I found a home,” Baker told me in a November 2015 interview. “Since the retirement of the late, great Bob Sheppard of the New York Yankees following the 2007 season, I have been the senior PA announcer in all of Major League Baseball. That’s a distinction I have enjoyed.”
Baker told me in November 2015 that he had his eyes sets on his 50th season; now, four years later, he has only one more season to get through before reaching the half-century mark.
“If the Phillies will have me, and my health holds out – and I’m in pretty good health – I’m hoping to do it for at least another six years so that I would do it for 50,” he said.
Entering this past season, Baker had missed only 15 games in 47 years; however, in 2019 alone, he missed 14 games after undergoing five surgeries in four months, The Athletic’s Matt Gelb notes.
While his health took a hit, Baker is surely ready to go and strives to reach 50 years come the 2021 season; per Baker, he would be just the third PA announcer in Major League Baseball history to announce a team’s games for 50 years or more – the other two being Sheppard (1951-2007, 57 years) and Pat Pieper of the Chicago Cubs, the PA voice at Wrigley Field starting from the time it opened (1916-1974, 59).
It is easy to take Baker’s voice for granted, and he was surely missed for those 14 games in 2019. While a lifelong fan of the Phillies, Baker recognizes his main duties as the voice of Citizens Bank Park:
“I understand that my primary responsibility is to provide information,” said Baker. “The way to do that is to talk clearly and concisely without too much emotion so that people can understand what I am saying. … I know the importance of talking loud enough that people can hear, as opposed to mumbling or talking too low of a voice where people can’t understand what you are saying.
The Phillies are the home team and the team that we love. I try to announce them with a little more enthusiasm to help get the crowd behind them.”
Baker has had the distinction of announcing five Phillies’ World Series – 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009. He hopes to announce a couple more, along with the 2026 All-Star Game.
“I had the privilege of doing the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1976 and 1996,” said Baker. “It’s sure been a lot of fun, but I remain a big fan and always will be.”
Baker, 73, said it is “not inconceivable” that he would still be around to be the voice of the 2026 Midsummer Classic. “The All-Star Game would be when I’m still in my 70s. … Bob Sheppard announced until he was 97 years old. So, if he can go until 97, I can go until 80. … I have a lot of energy. I’m enjoying this so much.”