Denny Matthews, the 2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner, was honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 29, 2007. He became a member of the Royals' Hall of Fame in August of 2004 and will celebrate his 46th season behind the microphone for the club in 2014. The "Voice of the Royals" has broadcast exclusively for the same team, without interruption, in six different decades. Matthews is a 2005 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
In 2008, Matthews became one of just five announcers in the history of MLB to spend an entire career with just one team and log at least 40 consecutive seasons behind the microphone. He joined Vin Scully (Brooklyn/Los Angeles, 64), Jaime Jarrin (Los Angeles, 55), Bob Prince (Pittsburgh, 48) and Jack Buck (St. Louis, 47) as the only broadcasters to accomplish the feat.
Matthews has seen more Royals games than anyone else during his 45 years with Kansas City. He was chosen from more than 300 applicants for the No. 2 announcer position alongside the late Bud Blattner prior to the Royals initial season in 1969, before taking over the No. 1 job following the 1975 season. He teamed with Fred White on the Royals Radio Network from 1974-98 before Ryan Lefebvre joined him in the booth in 1999 through 2007. Bob Davis, Steve Stewart and Steve Physioc have served as Denny's partners since the beginning of the 2008 season.
The veteran broadcaster has lent his play-by-play skills to the CBS Radio Network during portions of the regular season and during the 1982 and 1985 World Series. He worked with Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell, calling the CBS broadcast of the 1982 ALCS between the Angels and Brewers.
Matthews is active in the Kansas City community and dedicates his time and resources to several area charities, including the SAFE program, a charity that supports families of fallen policemen, firemen and emergency workers, as well as Operation Lifesaver, a railroad crossing safety and awareness program. He is also the author the two books: the 2004, "Tales from the Royals Dugout", and the 2009 "Hi, Anybody" and co-author of the 1999 book "Play by Play-25 Years of Royals on Radio."
Matthews graduated from Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Ill., and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in August, 2001. He is a 1966 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan where he lettered in football and baseball for three years and finished eighth in the nation (NAIA) in pass receiving in 1965.
Prior to joining the Royals, Matthews worked for WMBD-TV and radio and KMOX-TV. His brother, Mike, is the radio analyst for Illinois State University basketball. Matthews, an avid collector of sports publications, enjoys playing golf and hockey. He resides in Leawood, Kan.
Steve Physioc returns for his third season with the Royals and will serve both as a voice on the Royals Radio Network and as a play-by-play broadcaster for 55 regular-season games on FOX Sports Kansas City. He was awarded a Mid-America Emmy in 2013 for his outstanding work on Royals' broadcasts.
Physioc worked 14 seasons for the Los Angeles Angels from 1996-2009 as the television play-by-play voice on FOX Sports West and KCOP. In addition to his television duties, Physioc also worked on the Angels radio broadcasts on AM 830.
A graduate of Kansas State University in 1977, he was the voice of Wildcats football and basketball from 1979- 82. During that time, he also served as a sports anchor for WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan., from 1979-83. His sports anchor career continued at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati from 1983-87 and KTUV-TV in Oakland, Calif., from 1987-89.
Physioc began his Major League play-by-play announcing career in 1983, broadcasting Cincinnati Bengals football and Cincinnati Reds baseball through the 1986 season. He then moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Giants announcer in 1987 and 1988. Physioc moved from the Giants to ESPN in 1989, where he broadcast Major League Baseball, college basketball, baseball and Big Ten football. In 1995, he worked for the San Diego Padres and worked Pac-10 football for FOX Sports West.
Physioc also broadcast both on television and radio for Fresno State University (1992-95), Stanford University (1992-95), the NBA's Golden State Warriors (1989-91) and the Vancouver Grizzlies in their inaugural season (1995-96).
During the winter months, Physioc broadcasts college football and basketball for FOX Sports Net and Big Ten Network. Physioc and his wife, Stacey, are involved in numerous non-profit organizations such as Operation Smile, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Arboretum and the Fred White Scholarship Fund at Kansas State. He and his wife have a daughter, Ryan, a son, Kevin and two grandchildren.
Royals Radio pre-game host and play-by-play broadcaster Steve Stewart is in his seventh season with the Royals, his 15th in the Major Leagues and his 23rd overall in baseball. Prior to joining Kansas City, Stewart spent the previous four years as a Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, from 2004 through 2006, on WLW radio and in 2007 on TV as a pre-game host and fill-in play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports Ohio.
From 2000-03, he filled in on Baltimore Orioles broadcasts on WBAL, where he was a sports anchor on both WBAL radio and TV. In 2002 he called several St. Louis Cardinals games on KMOX. Stewart previously broadcast in the minor leagues for the Calgary Cannons and Richmond Braves, as well as at the collegiate level calling University of South Carolina baseball.
A St. Louis native, Stewart began his broadcasting career as a student at Southern Methodist University, where he broadcast football and basketball. Stewart has broadcast college basketball games for several schools, including the University of Richmond, as well as South Carolina, Maryland, Cincinnati (football and basketball) and Xavier. He spent seven years in TV news and sports. Stewart has a 15-year old son, John, and resides in Overland Park, Kan.
Don Free begins his 29th year as the producer/engineer of the Royals radio broadcasts, his 10th season as Manager-Radio Network Operations. Free worked for Stauffer-Morris for 31 years, spending the first 18 years at WIBW-TV in Topeka, before working for the radio network.
He has also worked for Kansas State Radio Network the past few years, assisting with the first annual Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in 2010, the 2012 Cotton Bowl and the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. Free resides in Topeka, Kan., with his wife, Sandy. He has two daughters, Kristin and Jennifer, two grandsons, Zane and Jaxson, and two granddaughters, Taylor and Jordan.
Ryan Lefebvre begins his 16th season as a Royals broadcaster and his 20th season in the Majors. Lefebvre will work 95 regular-season games in the television booth in 2014, joining partner Rex Hudler on FOX Sports Kansas City. Lefebvre will also work on the Royals Radio Network when he is not in the television booth.
Before joining the Royals for the 1999 season, he spent four seasons as a broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins. He was hired by Minnesota at the age of 24, one year after graduating from college. He worked both television and radio for the Twins and broadcast University of Minnesota football, hockey and volleyball.
The Los Angeles native graduated from Loyola High School in 1989 and began his broadcasting career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota at KUOM radio. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1994 where he was a three-time All-Big Ten selection in baseball and established school records for hits, triples and at-bats. He was selected in the 27th round of the 1993 June Free Agent Draft by the Cleveland Indians. Lefebvre is the son of former big league player and manager Jim Lefebvre. Actively involved in a number of Kansas City community activities, he is the founder of Gloves For Kids and the Footprints Foundation, which raises money for youth programs in Kansas and Missouri. In 2011, Lefebvre was the recipient of the John J. "Buck" O'Neil MVP Award for his commitment to youth in Kansas City. He was also named the 2006 Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City Role Model of the Year.
Lefebvre and his wife, Sarah, have three sons: Micah, Evan and Lucas, and reside in Lake Winnebago, Mo.
Rex Hudler enters his third season as a part of the Royals broadcast team as an analyst on FOX Sports Kansas City. Hudler worked in the same capacity alongside fellow Royals announcer, Steve Physioc, broadcasting the Los Angeles Angels for 11 seasons from 1999- 2009.
A veteran with over 30 years of baseball experience, including 21 as a player, Hudler, nicknamed "Wonder Dog" quickly became a fan favorite at all of his Major League stops. Over 1,083 career big league games, Hudler was a .261 career hitter with 56 home runs and 169 RBI.
Born in Tempe, Ariz., and a 1978 graduate of Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif., Hudler was a 1999 inductee into the Fresno Hall of Fame. He excelled in all sports in high school, receiving 25 football scholarship offers before signing a letter of intent to play at Notre Dame. He chose baseball after being selected as the 18th overall pick by the New York Yankees in 1978.
Hudler is an award-winning broadcaster who began his announcing career as a special consultant for "Good Morning America" during the 1997 playoffs and 1998 Super Bowl. He is a four-time winner (2003, 05, '07, 09) of the Television Color Analyst of the Year by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters. Hudler won an Emmy in 2004 for "Angels in the Infield" and has loaned his voice to several baseball video games. He is an active motivational speaker and he and his wife, Jennifer, founded "Team Up for Down Syndrome." The Hudlers have been awarded several honors for their community service. He and his wife have four children: Alyssa, Cade, William and David.
Joel Goldberg begins his seventh season as the host of the "Royals Live" pre-game and postgame shows and serves as a reporter throughout FOX Sports Kansas City's Royals coverage.
Goldberg came to Kansas City and FSKC's Royals broadcast team after three years covering the St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, Rams and other sports for FOX Sports Midwest in St. Louis. He started at FSN Midwest in January, 2005, after more than six years as a reporter and anchor at KTVI, the FOX broadcasting affiliate in St. Louis.
Goldberg won a mid-America Emmy for sports reporting in 2001. He also worked as a reporter for the NBC affiliates in Rhinelander, Wis. and Madison, Wis., from 1994-99.
Goldberg, who was born in Philadelphia before moving to the Chicago area prior to high school, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. His wife, Susan, is a native of Overland Park, Kan. The Goldbergs have a son, Mason, and daughter, Elliana.
Royals Hall of Fame pitcher Jeff Montgomery begins his fifth season contributing to Royals broadcasts on FOX Sports Kansas City, serving as a co-host on "Royals Live" pre-game and postgame shows. "Monty" also offers analysis in the broadcast booth during select games on FSKC.
He spent 12 of his 13 big league seasons with the Royals and is the club's all-time saves leader with 304. The three-time All-Star (1992, 1993, 1996) was the Rolaids A.L. Reliever of the Year in 1993, finishing tied for the league lead with 45 saves, matching a club record at that time. He also holds the club record for career appearances (686) and ranked ninth on MLB's all-time saves list at the time of his retirement. Montgomery also serves as the Vice President of Union Broadcasting, Inc. in Kansas City. He and wife, Tina, have two daughters, Ashleigh and Kathryn and two sons, Connor and Spencer.