Denny Matthews is in his 55th season behind the microphone, calling Royals games since the club’s inception in 1969. He’s one of four announcers in Major League history to broadcast for the same team for 50-plus seasons, along with Vin Scully (Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, 67 seasons), Jaime Jarrín (Los Angeles Dodgers, 62 seasons) and Bob Uecker (Milwaukee Brewers, entering his 53rd season). This is Matthews’ seventh decade of broadcasting the Royals, with only Jarrín’s eight decades (1959-2022), being a longer run with one team.
The 2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner was honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 29, 2007. He also became a member of the Royals Hall of Fame in 2004.
Matthews has seen more Royals games than anyone else during his time with Kansas City. He was chosen from more than 300 applicants for the No. 2 announcer position alongside the late Buddy 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. Over the last 12 seasons, Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart have served as Denny’s partners, along with Bob Davis (2008-12), and this year, he’ll welcome Jake Eisenberg to the booth.
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 California Angels and Milwaukee 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 police officers, firefighters 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.” He’s also a 2005 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. In 2017, he lent his writing talents to the book, “Kansas City Royals 50 Years: A Golden History.”
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, despite not playing football in high school. In 2016, he received a “Distinguished Alumnus” honor from IWU.
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.