Checking in with the Phillies radio voice Scott Franzke.
A native Texan, Franzke joined the Phillies in 2006 doing the pre- and post-game shows and two innings of play-by-play on radio. He became the Phillies full-time radio play-by-play announcer the following season, working with Larry Andersen. Kevin Frandsen joined the two in 2021.
Scott’s resume following graduation from SMU in 1994 includes two stints with his hometown Texas Ranges in a similar role (1997–98 and 2002–05), three seasons in the minors (1999–01), talk shows on Prime Sports Radio and covering the Summer Olympics (2000) for Sporting News Radio. A gaggle of gigs.
Philadelphia’s gain was Pawtucket’s loss as he was headed there to interview for the minor league PawSox when the Phillies offered him a major league job.
What’s the difference between this offseason and a year ago?
“Like many others a year ago, home schooling was in play. I sort of acted like a hall monitor, making sure Gus, Loretta and June were on zoom and doing what they were supposed to do. I always had an appreciation of teachers but had a new perspective of what they do.”
How significant was returning to broadcasting on the road in 2021 after working a year and a-half of only doing home games in person?
“I had never broadcast baseball off a monitor before until 2020. We finally traveled post All-Star break with the team the second half of last season which was very different. Felt more connected as you had access to a player, coach or Girardi rather than a zoom conference. Being able to see the whole field was huge. In retrospect how we worked during a one and a-half years long weird process didn’t just affect us but everyone in their respective lives. Covid changed a lot of things.”
“We’re hopeful we will be in spring training this year and travel again.”
You are a master of nuggets. Where do you come up with them?
“Use One-Note, a Microsoft program for online organizing. I can clip and save print articles, cut and paste online stories, write notes, compile pages for players. At the end of each season, I kind of get away from everything and get back into it this month.”
What do you do to relax?
“Put the kids on the school bus in the morning (laughing). I enjoy working around the home and yard, play the guitar and try to be involved with the kids and their activities, things I can’t do during the season.”
One thing in baseball you would like to change?
“More action in the game. Don’t know if that specifically involves the pace of play. A 1–0 or 12–10 game can be entertaining each in its own way so it’s not runs scored. Watching game on a monitor for the first time kind of brought the lack of action to my attention.
“On a different level. Generations of fans are missing the thrill and excitement of Word Series games that most often go beyond midnight in much of the country. My son Gus is 11 and he’s never watched the ending of a World Serie game.”
In your opinion, what is the Phillies biggest need?
“A big bat in the outfield for the middle of the order. Probably a right-handed bat. Someone to go with Harper, Hoskins and J.T.”
Who was your baseball hero as a kid?
“Growing up in Arlington, TX, Jim Sundberg of the Rangers. As a teenager, Nolan Ryan after he signed with the Rangers.”
The first major league game you ever saw?
“Gee, can’t pinpoint an exact year. Remember going to a Sunday Rangers game with Dad and my brother. It was Bat Day on a steaming Texas afternoon in which the temperature was above 100 degrees. What I remember the most was the noise from kids pounding the bats on the concrete and seats.”
Memories of your first minor league broadcast?
“You had to ask. Broadcasting for the Kane County (Cougars) Marlins in 1999. First game was in Rockford, IL, against the Reds. About an hour and a half from Kane County. Decided to drive myself and get there early. First time in that park so I had no idea about the booth or anything. Lugged the equipment to the booth and got everything plugged in. I was the engineer-broadcaster.
“Minutes before the first pitch the studio back home let know everything was loud and clear. Then it began to rain. I began to talk and talk and talk. Even talked about the Rock River which ran through Rockford. Didn’t know what else to do and couldn’t get ahold of anyone in the studio. Finally reached someone who simply said, ‘keep talking.’
“Derek Wathan, Dusty’s brother, was on our club. I noticed his dad, John, was there. So, I dashed down and asked him to be my live guest in the booth. He thankfully agreed. Every time we’d see each other we’d laugh about that afternoon.
“The game finally started something like 45–50 minutes late. Doing the play-by-play was much easier.”