Major League Baseball team producer/engineers for radio broadcasts were well-represented this past week. Shortly after Mets longtime producer Chris Majkowski threw out the first pitch at Citi Field after being honored for working more than 4,000 consecutive games, Don Free, producer/engineer for the Kansas City Royals will be inducted into the Shawnee County Baseball Hall-of-Fame.
Majkowski joined the Met broadcast in 1993, having missed just one game in his 25 years on the job, for his sister’s wedding during his inaugural season. For Maj, he prefers a role behind the scenes and views his impressive streak as just showing up for work. When asked by The New York Post what he was looking forward to most regarding the first pitch, the Met producer quickly responded with, “It being over.”
Eight years before Maj began working with the Mets, the Royals hired a part-time producer during their 1985 World Series season. As a part-time employee, Don Free didn’t get an opportunity to work a playoff game that season, but 29 years later the Royals producer would earn a World Series ring from the club. Now, Free he has a Hall-of-Fame enshrinement to go with the ring.
“Oh, and the coaches,″ Free said when discussing the wonderful people he’s met since joining the Royals full-time in 1986. “They’re all such good guys and I miss that. Rusty (Koontz) always called me ‘Hall of Famer.’ So next time I see him, I’m going to say, ‘Hey, look, I’m in the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame now, buddy.’ ”
Free officially retired after last season, but still gets called on by the Royals to run the board from the team’s local radio studio as needed.