It’s fairly common for ex-major leaguers to show up in the broadcast booth playing second banana as analyst to the team’s play-by-play announcer, but it’s somewhat less common for ex-players to sit in the first chair and describe the action itself. George Frazier was one of the latter.
A ten-year middle reliever with five clubs, mostly in the 80s, Frazier spent nearly two decades on various TV channels describing the activities of the Colorado Rockies baseball club to fans dotting a vast stretch of the Rocky Mountain region.
Dusty Saunders, a columnist for the Denver News, wrote a very nice piece that provides an overview of Frazier’s career in the broadcast booths at Mile High Stadium and Coors Field. With the permission of Saunders and his boss at the Post, Torin Berge (himself a ex-pro), we reproduce it in its entirety below. Click here if you would prefer to read it on the original website.
Dusty Saunders: George Frazier bowing out of booth at season’s end
Frazier made his Rockies debut as a “tryout” TV analyst and color man
George Frazier, after 19 seasons and more than 1,800 games, will say goodbye to Root Sports and Rockies fans Oct. 4, when he will be at AT&T Park in San Francisco for the Rockies’ final game of the season.
“I’ll miss all things Rockies,” said the veteran broadcaster, who lives in Tulsa, Okla. “But it’s time. After 28 years (overall) in broadcasting booths, I want a new challenge.”
Frazier, 60, made his decision a year ago, telling Root Sports management that he didn’t want to renew his contract after this season.
“I’m not going to hibernate on my front porch in Tulsa,” Frazier said. “Baseball remains a big chunk of my life. I want to stay involved, maybe by showing kids what a great game it is. I could work in the minor leagues, and Oklahoma University has new TV technology which interests me. My career door is wide open.”
Frazier made his Rockies debut as a “tryout” TV analyst and color man during the last three games of the 1997 season.
“Dave Campbell was leaving and I had a shot at replacing him,” Frazier said. “I don’t remember that first game score, only that the Rockies won at home against the Reds. I was nervous. I liked Denver and wanted to work here. There was so much fan enthusiasm for the Rockies.”
He did well enough to get offered a full-time contract for the 1998 season — joining play-by-play man Dave Armstrong, who was replaced by Drew Goodman in 2002.
Frazier’s career as a broadcaster began in 1988 after 10 years as a big-league pitcher, mostly as a middle reliever. He had a career 35-43 record with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
Frazier’s first TV job was covering Big Eight Conference men’s and women’s basketball for Prime Sports. That led to baseball coverage at Home Sports Entertainment, the Baseball Network, ESPN, Fox Sports and with the Twins.
Last weekend, when the Rockies were playing in St. Louis, Frazier told viewers about his close relationship with Hall of Famer Lou Brock.
“Lou was my lockermate during his final years. We became good friends,” Frazier said. “I idolized the guy … still do.
“When I was talking about Lou on Root Sports, he was visiting in the Cardinals’ TV booth next door with Tim McCarver, telling viewers about our relationship.”
As Rockies fans know, Frazier loves to talk about baseball. His style has irritated some fans. He also has been accused of being too much of a “homer,” a charge made against many big-league broadcasters.
“I love to talk, particularly about baseball,” Frazier said. “I provide a lot of information about the game that often ties into my knowledge about the past. A lot of fans like that. Criticism has never bothered me. I never wanted to change my broadcasting style.”
Frazier’s favorite Rockies memories include the team’s run to the 2007 World Series and Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter vs. the Braves in Atlanta in 2010.
“But even more important to me has been watching guys like Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez play regularly,” Frazier said. “They’re in my Hall of Fame.”
Frazier, who considers himself “a country boy at heart,” will spend a lot of time hunting and fishing near his Tulsa home and cruising around in his 23-year-old Chevy truck, which has 288,000 miles on it.
His retirement from booth duties also will give him more time with his wife, Kay; their children, Matthew, Brian, Parker and Georgia; and five grand- children.
“Speaking of families,” Frazier said, “I’ll miss Drew and the Root Sports gang. It may sound like a cliché, but a broadcasting organization is family, particularly after 19 years.”
Parker is a pitcher in the Oakland Athletics’ farm system. Georgia, recently crowned Miss Oklahoma, will compete in the Miss America Pageant, which ABC will televise Sept. 13.
“I’ll be there cheering loudly for my daughter,” Frazier said. “People will probably hear me, although I won’t be in a broadcasting booth.”