Steve Klauke Shares Unique Stories Of His Time With The Salt Lake Bees

Mar 24, 2023, 4:48 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm

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Team broadcaster Steve Klauke calls his 3000th game as the Salt Lake Bees play the Nashville Sounds in Triple A baseball Tuesday, June 24, 2014, in Salt Lake City.Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – It was 32 years ago that Steve Klauke left his midwest roots to join the Utah Jazz studio shows for the 1991-92 season. After 29 seasons and more than 4,000 games as the voice of the Salt Lake Bees later, the three-time Utah Sportscaster of the Year will retire following the 2023 season.

Klauke joined KSL Sports Zone’s Hans & Scotty to talk about his 28 seasons with the Bees.

“I moved here in 1991 to be a part of the Jazz pregame, halftime and postgame shows,” Klauke recalled.

By 1993, news of minor league baseball returning to Salt Lake was common knowledge.

“At a par three charity golf outing, I turned to my two bosses and said, ‘Why don’t you let me go up to Portland and broadcast the Beavers last two regular season games back to Salt Lake?”

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The idea was to give listeners in the Salt Lake market an idea of what was to come. Unbeknownst to Steve, the owner of the Buzz, Joe Buzas was in Portland, listening.

“Joe was standing in the doorway, listening and liking what he heard. He went back to both stations and said, whichever one of you has Steve gets the broadcast rights. That’s kind of how it all started.”

Steve Klauke’s Favorite Moments

Rain delays franchise opener… Twice

The Salt Lake Buzz was scheduled to open the 1994 season with four games in Vancouver.

“The first two days we were rained out. The dome in downtown Vancouver was in a baseball configuration for big league weekend because they had the Mariners, the Blue Jays, and a couple of other teams in the region. So we were able to work out there for two hours each day.”

“To get rained out the first two games ever and then have to go back-to-back doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday? Talk about indoctrination into the league.”

Sean O’Sullivan throws the Bees only nine-inning no-hitter

On July 29, 2009, 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Sean O’Sullivan struck out seven and was a seventh-inning walk shy of perfection in a Bees 2-0 win against the Sacramento Rivercats.

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“I was so impressed. Not only to throw the no-hitter, but only one batter reached base. After the game, he was signing ticket stubs and everything to the Sacramento fans. I knew full well he was kind of in a hurry because he had to go back to the clubhouse, gather his stuff, and go back home to his grandmother’s funeral.”

O’Sullivan’s grandmother, Rose, had passed away just days before the game.

Baseball always provides something new

“Then there’s always the quirky that stands out in your mind,” Klauke remembered a 13-inning Bees victory thanks to an equipment violation.

“It was a 3-3 game or 4-4 game. Runner at third, two outs, and the pitcher threw a ball into the dirt. The Tucson catcher, Guillermo Kiros, blocked the ball and then started to use his mask to gather in the baseball. That’s illegal and a one-base advancement. The runner was able to walk home from third and we won it,  as they say, on a walk-off detached equipment call.”

Follow the Salt Lake Bees in 2023

The Bees begin the 2023 season with a three-game Opening Weekend series against the Sacramento River Cats on Friday, March 31. All three games during Opening Weekend will be played at 1:05 p.m. at Smith’s Ballpark. 

The season will wrap up with Klauke’s final game behind the microphone on Sunday, September 24.  Klauke’s live broadcast of all 150 Bees games during the 2023 campaign can be heard on KSL Sports Zone 97.5 FM/1280 AM. 

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Steve Klauke Shares Unique Stories Of His Time With The Salt Lake Bees