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Remembering Steve Klauke, The Nicest Guy In Sports

Jun 11, 2024, 5:00 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – How does a lifelong storyteller and sports enthusiast from Chicago, Illinois, build a career as a minor league play-by-play voice in Salt Lake City? “The interstate,” former Salt Lake Bees and Weber State Wildcats play-by-play broadcaster Steve Klauke quipped.

That was his way. Simultaneously one of the most genuine and caring people I have ever known, Klauke could disarm you with sarcasm or a ‘dad joke’ before you ever realized hijinx were afoot.

I was fortunate to sit alongside Steve in 2018, through the longest nine-inning game in franchise history. I asked questions, took notes, and, more importantly, gained a new friend that evening.

RELATED: Salt Lake Bees, Weber State Broadcaster Steve Klauke Passes Away

Nearly six years ago, he welcomed me into his booth like we were longtime friends who had just gotten separated along the way. Steve had a way of just saying your name, and through his tone and demeanor, you felt like his only focus, if just for a moment. He seamlessly transitioned from radio play-by-play, to scorekeeper, to advice-giver, and back again without missing a beat.

 

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Klauke’s professionalism set the standard for broadcasters in the market, but many others remember his personal touch today.

With baseball as the instrument, Steve Klauke represented the soundtrack of my and many others’ introduction to pro baseball in Utah. His signature catchphrases like, “It’s up there, it’s out there… and it’s GONE!”… and “Handshakes and high fives for everyone” will echo for those that fondly recall turning the radio dial most summer evenings and finding Klauke’s familiar voice on the air.

David Locke Remembers Steve Klauke

“He’s the American dream,” Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke said of Klauke on KSL Sports Zone. “He took his will and his effort while being the nicest man you could meet and built his family.”

After working together in radio during the early 90s, Locke recounted a unique yet wholly familiar tale for anybody who had the pleasure of an audience with Steve. He always had a story, no matter how small or abstract the topic.

RELATED: Jazz Remember Late Bees Broadcaster Steve Klauke

 

“I was engaged to my wife at the time, and I wanted him to meet her,” Locke recalled. “We went to lunch and she was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never met anybody who could talk so much.’”

It takes a unique talent to always talk, yet never be the center of attention.

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Remembering Steve Klauke, The Nicest Guy In Sports