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Khan: Ken Kal’s ready for a one-game change-up

Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings radio broadcaster Ken Kal's going to try his hands at doing baseball play-by-play when the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals play tonight at 7:05 PM, and MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Kal about his new endeavor (which Khan reports will air on 1270 AM as 97.1 FM's going to air a preseason Lions game):

Tigers play-by-play man Dan Dickerson had a previously scheduled family commitment. Kal has been looking forward to this opportunity for a couple of weeks. He even did a mock broadcast of a recent Tigers-Chicago White Sox game.

“It's an opportunity to do something I've never done before,'' Kal said. “I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited.''

Kal broadcast a couple of baseball games when he attended Wayne State back in the day, but said he has “basically done hockey all my life.''

“It's a whole different way of broadcasting than it is a hockey game,'' Kal said. “You just have to let the game breathe a little bit, keep the game interesting, have conversations with (analyst) Jim Price. There's not as much action, there's a more relaxed pace. In hockey, I rely a lot on Paul Woods (for analysis during stoppages). Tonight, I'll be relying on Jim Price.''


Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Kal, too:

“I’m a little nervous,” Kal admitted. “It’s a whole different way of broadcasting than it is with a hockey game. There’s not as much action, there’s a more relaxed pace. You just have to let the game breathe a little bit, keep the game interesting, and have conversations with (analyst) Jim Price. It’s an opportunity to do something I’ve never done before. I’m excited. “I just don’t want to call the ball a puck.”

Kal worked a mock broadcast of a recent game against the Chicago White Sox in an attempt to get the kinks out. He hasn’t called baseball live since he was in college at Wayne State.

“I always thought it was easier to call the action (in hockey),” Kal said. “You’re always describing action. What I admire so much about Dan is he knows so much about the game and the team, His broadcast style is amazing.”

An admitted Tigers fan, Kal grew up listening to Ernie Harwell’s call of the games and fondly recollects Detroit’s 1968 World Series win.

“The thing to do when I was growing up was follow baseball, especially on summer nights,” Kal said.

Update #2: Here's even more from Kal via the Detroit News's Tom Gage:

Kal has worked through adjustments before. Just becoming a broadcaster was an adjustment for him.

“After five games in 1984 (for Michigan),” he said, “I wanted to quit. The program director was honest with me. He told me I was bad, but he also said, ‘The team’s not too good, so just keep going, keep working at it.’ So I did, and in doing just this one game, I feel part of history, just thinking of all the great Tigers broadcasters I’ve listened to over the years. But Paul Woods (Kal’s colleague in the Red Wings’ booth) always asks me trivia questions. I hope Jim Price doesn’t do the same thing.”

And the home run call Kal was considering?

It was suggested it should be “it’s go-one,” as in his signature “he sco-ores” call for the Wings. But Kal didn’t disclose what his plans were (if needed).

As he said, though, he had two goals in mind — that from a man whose regular job for 30 years has been entirely about goals.

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Bugsy's avatar

As I said earlier, I’ll be curious what his home run call is (in other words, will it be even higher pitched than his goal call). I hope he does well.

Posted by Bugsy on 08/15/13 at 02:12 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

Ken Kal went to Wayne State?!? Booya!

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 08/15/13 at 07:19 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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