Schulte calls 3,000th D-backs game

Broadcaster has plethora of memories in radio booth

April 20th, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Greg Schulte's phone chirped Wednesday morning with a text from D-backs legend Luis Gonzalez congratulating the only radio play-by-play man the organization has ever had on his upcoming milestone.

"For me, the biggest moment of my baseball career has his voice attached to it," Gonzalez said. "That's something special because of the person he is and what he's meant to this organization."

Schulte, who called his 3,000th game Wednesday against the Padres at Petco Park, was on the radio to call Gonzalez's game-winning hit off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

"That was probably my favorite call just because of the importance of the moment," Schulte said. "But I've been fortunate to be a part of a lot of good ones over the years. I think what's really special for me is that all the games have been with one organization."

Born in a small town in Illinois, Schulte grew up loving the game of baseball and particularly the St. Louis Cardinals.

During his 14 years working for KTAR 620 AM in Phoenix, Schulte helped call Suns games and Arizona State University football, basketball and baseball before he was asked by then-owner Jerry Colangelo to be the radio voice of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998.

Schulte didn't envision back then that he'd broadcast 3,000 games.

"I remember in that first season I got about halfway through and I thought, 'Man, I hope I'm back next year,'" Schulte said.

Schulte was partnered with Rod Allen initially, and he credits the television team of Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly for helping him get accustomed to Major League Baseball.

"Rod Allen and I were new," Schulte said. "Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly were great to us. They took us under their wings and helped us with a lot of things that we didn't know. Not just with the broadcast, but in clubhouses and on the field and kind of introducing us to everything. To this day Thom and I are still really good friends. B.B. I'm back working with. I owe a lot to those two guys for mentoring us."

After missing one game during the team's inaugural season to attend his son's high school graduation ceremony, Schulte would go another seven seasons before missing another one. In recent years, he has cut down his schedule a bit, but not by much.

In addition to the World Series, Schulte has gotten to call four no-hitters -- including Randy Johnson's perfect game on May 18, 2004.

Ask Schulte about his favorite moments and the memories begin to flow.

"How about getting two cycles within 11 games back in 2012?" Schulte said. "Remember Tony Womack's hit to win the National League Division Series in 2001? So we've had a lot of good things to broadcast over the years. It's been a lot of fun."

Tom Candiotti, who is Schulte's current radio partner, marvels at his passion after all these years.

"I think we almost take Greg for granted, because he's just always there," Candiotti said. "He loves being around the game, he loves being around the people in the game, he loves doing the interviews with the players. He just loves it, so it's a perfect job for him."

When he got Gonzalez's text, Schulte wrote back saying that it was Gonzalez who provided the moment, and all he did was relay what happened.

Gonzalez has a different take.

"I feel like I'm associated with Greg for the rest of my life as a result of that call," Gonzalez said. "When you think about significant moments in baseball history, you associate them with the voice you hear on the highlight. It's a special bond. It's the call that signifies what happened. I hope that one day I'm there to see him go into the broadcaster's part of the Hall of Fame. He's meant that much to this organization."