With Physioc retiring, Eisenberg to join Royals' broadcast

November 17th, 2022

KANSAS CITY -- There will be some changes to the Royals’ broadcasting booth in 2023.

The club announced Thursday that longtime radio and television broadcaster Steve Physioc is retiring after a 43-year broadcasting career. In his place, the Royals hired Jake Eisenberg, who has been the play-by-play broadcaster for the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate the past two seasons.

“We are excited to welcome Jake to our broadcast team and help share the Royals’ story,” Royals senior vice president and COO Brooks Sherman said in a statement. “Our great fans will appreciate his passion for the game and knowledge of our players. We’re thankful for Phiz’s invaluable work with us the past 11 seasons and congratulate him on a terrific career spanning six decades.”

Eisenberg will primarily call games on the Royals Radio Network alongside Denny Matthews while occasionally filling in as Bally Sports' play-by-play announcer when Ryan Lefebvre does radio.

“I’m overjoyed,” Eisenberg said. “And so, so grateful for this chance. The trust from the people that make this possible, that they trust I have the ability to do this and step into this role is great, and it really is a perfect fit because of what the experience has been in Omaha for the last couple of seasons. Seeing all these incredible players make their way through Werner Park to Kansas City last year was incredible.”

Eisenberg, 27, was hired as the Triple-A Omaha broadcaster in 2020 and, because of the pandemic season, called his first game there in ’21. That coincided with many of the Royals’ top prospects making their way to Triple-A before arriving in Kansas City this past season.

Eisenberg got his start in broadcasting when he attended the University of Maryland and covered college baseball. After graduating in 2017, he spent the next three years in Minor League Baseball as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Winston-Salem Dash (2018) and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (’19).

In 2022, Eisenberg called two Royals games, including Bobby Witt Jr.’s first career home run and MJ Melendez’s Major League debut. He also worked several games for the Mets on WCBS 880 in New York, which he described as a “dream come true,” after growing up in Port Washington, N.Y., and rooting for the Mets.

“It was an incredible learning experience,” Eisenberg said of this past season. “Calling a Major League game and a Minor League game are more different than I realized or thought they might be. There are a lot of people along the way that have been able to guide me toward this.”

Eisenberg has mostly been on radio broadcasts in his young career, so filling in on TV will be a first for him at the Major League level -- something he’s excited to learn.

“There will be some growing pains, I have no doubt,” Eisenberg said. “But the people that are in place, both on the production side and in the booth, are going to make it a really great learning process. And I’m going to do my best every single day.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to sit next to somebody like Denny, a Hall of Famer, legend, icon, institution. To be able to soak up his experiences from sitting next to him and soak up the lessons that he’s learned and can teach, and then to pick his brain, he’s going to be an incredible resource. He’s someone I’m really looking forward to getting to know better, sharing the air with and having fun with. The same goes for Stu [Steve Stewart], Ryan, Joel [Goldberg] and Monty [Jeff Montgomery], the whole crew.”

Physioc, who is an avid traveler and historical fiction author, just finished his 11th season with the Royals, serving both as a voice on the Royals Radio Network and as a play-by-play broadcaster on Bally Sports Kansas City. He previously worked 14 seasons for the Angels as the TV play-by-play voice on FOX Sports West and KCOP, as well as working on the Angels’ radio broadcasts.

A graduate of Kansas State University, Physioc was the voice of Wildcats football and basketball from 1979-83 and also served as a sports anchor -- a career that continued in Cincinnati and Oakland.

Physioc’s Major League announcing career began in ’83, broadcasting Reds baseball and Bengals football through the 1986 season. From there, he moved to San Francisco to work for the Giants and then ESPN, where he was a broadcaster for MLB and college basketball, baseball and football. Physioc has also been a broadcaster for the Padres, Pac-10 football, Fresno State, Stanford and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.