Chris King, the voice of the Tri-City Dust Devils and a Marysville Pilchuck product, joined the Everett Herald Sports Podcast to talk about broadcasting minor-league baseball, college athletics and growing up in Marysville.
Here are some of the questions and his answers:
The Herald: What is it like coming back to Snohomish County? Does it still have the novelty and the special feeling that it did before? Or has it kind of worn off of over the years?
Chris King: Yeah, no doubt every time it’s special. The first professional sporting event I ever went to was at Everett Memorial Stadium. It was to see the (Everett) Giants play. At that point, I remember, you were in the bleachers down the left-field side. They were wood bleachers at that point, I think we may have lasted not very many innings. I grew up going to games there; I went to so many games, we had the mini plan as a kid. A lot of years, we would go to maybe 10 or 12 games. We would go every Fourth of July. I have countless programs, I hunted down autographs as a kid. I have broken bats. From probably about 97 to 2000 was my sweet spot where I’ve got autographs of anyone who played on those teams. … The novelty has not worn off. It’s special. I get a stay at home, you know, instead of sleeping in a hotel room, I get to stay with my family. So that’s great. And my family gets to come up to the games. Every time the schedule comes out every year, that’s the first thing I look to see when when we’re back here in Everett.
TH: You’re obviously a Marysville native and a graduate of MP and everything. When did this whole, broadcasting dream get started for you?
CK: Yeah, so really as long as I can remember. And I was always very fortunate to be around people who really encouraged it and put me in a position throughout my schooling between elementary school, middle school, junior high and high school. It’s always kind of what I wanted to do. I was smart enough early on to realize that I wasn’t going to be good enough to play. That was not going to be my route. So it just always seemed like that’d be the natural thing to do, would be to get into broadcasting. I just always kind of knew that and always tried to put myself in a position to learn as much as I could. And my first opportunity to do games was at Marysville Pilchuck High School. The video production program is now in Marysville Getchell. But Mr. Walsh was our teacher and we had a video production, it was called TV3. … They started doing live games on the public access channel, when I was there, so I got to do my first game when I was 15 and it aired across the public access channel in Marysville. And it was all a student run production. By the time I left high school, just in doing games through that program, I ended up having, I don’t know, maybe 20 or 25 games under my belt. And then I used that to get the next opportunity. And then the next opportunity opened the door to the opportunity after that. So that’s really where I kind of got my start. I knew I wanted to do it. And then once you got to do it for the first time I just was even more in love with doing it than I ever expected. (It was) so much fun.
TH: Who’s the coolest player you’ve seen, whether it’s been with the Dust Devils or another team that’s come through Tri-Cities or on the road that really resonates with you as a guy you enjoyed watching?
CK: Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say some of the guys I’ve seen from other teams that have stood out. Joey Gallo hit a home run out of this stadium in Spokane, that I think still might be in orbit somewhere. He crushed a ball. Dan Vogelbach when he was in Boise and seeing him take batting practice is unlike anyone else I’ve ever seen take batting practice, the way he just annihilated balls in BP. And also Kyle Schwarber ended up playing one series in the Northwest League. He opened the season when the Dust Devils were down in Boise and I think he ended up hitting four home runs in three games against the Dust Devils. He looked every bit as good and as polished of a (hitter) … then they moved him up right after that.
Listen to the full interview by subscribing to the Everett Herald Sports Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or wherever else you listen to podcasts.