Much rarer is when a broadcaster with local ties comes home. But that's the case with the Tri-City Dust Devils' Chris King. Tri-City's first-year broadcaster is a graduate of Marysville Pilchuck High School, and he's thoroughly enjoying his first go-around in the Northwest League.
"It's been great," King said. "I grew up going to games here (at Everett Memorial Stadium). The first game I ever went to for any professional sport was here, it was an Everett Giants game. I specifically remember sitting down the third-base line when it was still wood bleachers. I was probably 4 or 5 years old and I think we maybe made it four or five innings before I got restless and we had to go. But it's been great because I grew up here and following teams in this league."
King is following his dream. Even when he was a kid he saw broadcasting in his future.
"I knew early on," King said. "I knew I wasn't a particularly good player, and I wanted to be around it. I remember getting a reading award in elementary school and the librarian was like, 'Some day Chris will be calling games on the radio.'"
King received his start in earnest as a sophomore at Marysville Pilchuck, when he began calling various Tomahawks sporting events.
"I was really lucky there that they have a very good video production program," King said. "So we started doing live games and I called my first game when I was 15, doing basketball. And we had a public access station in town, so we did it junior and senior year and it kind of went off from there. It's what I always wanted to do."
King pursued broadcasting at Washington State University, graduating in 2009. He then spent two seasons calling games for the Wenatchee AppleSox of the West Coast League. During his time with the AppleSox he met Bobby Brett, who is the principal owner of the Dust Devils. When Tri-City's broadcasting job opened up during the offseason, King jumped at the opportunity.
"It's just a great situation," King said. "On a personal level there's a lot of younger people who work for the team, a lot of people around the same age, and everyone's passionate about baseball. It's just a great chemistry."
And it's allowing King -- just like the league's players -- the chance to live out a dream.
One can't say Mike Zunino didn't do everything he could to make his professional debut as scheduled.
Zunino, the Seattle Mariners' first-round pick in this year's amateur draft, had his pro debut delayed a day when Friday's game was washed out. But before the game started, when the the grounds crew was having difficulty with the tarp getting stuck in the outfield grass, Zunino and AquaSox teammates David Villasuso and Taylor Ard jumped in to try and help.
Unfortunately, even the added muscle couldn't help budge the stubborn tarp, and the grounds crew was forced to start from scratch. But it was a valiant effort by the players.
Opponent: Tri-City Dust Devils
When: 4:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starters: Everett right-hander Ambioris Hidalgo (1-1, 5.52 ERA) vs. Tri-City right-hander Shane Broyles (2-0, 2.65)
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