Former Major Leaguer Rex Hudler and veteran play-by-play announcer Steve Physioc will join Ryan Lefebvre, Jeff Montgomery, Joel Goldberg and Nate Bukaty to form FOX Sports Kansas City’s Royals television team in 2012, FOX Sports Kansas City announced today.
Lefebvre returns for his fifth season of play-by-play on FOX Sports Kansas City. He is slated to call 90 regular season games on television. Physioc, a Kansas State University alum, will be the play-by-play announcer for 50 telecasts. Both Lefebvre and Physioc will also call games on radio.
They’ll be joined in the booth by Hudler, who will call 120 games. Royals Hall-of-Famer Montgomery will serve as analyst for the remaining 20 telecasts.
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“Rex brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm for baseball to the booth, while Phiz is an experienced pro who is excited to get back to the Midwest,” said FOX Sports Kansas City General Manager and Senior Vice President Jack Donovan. “We’re thrilled to add them to our team for this highly-anticipated season of Royals baseball.”
“The addition of Steve brings a familiar voice back home to the Midwest and affords us the luxury of having he and Ryan on both radio and television throughout the season,” said Mike Swanson, Royals Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting. “As for the addition of Rex, he was a ‘run through a wall’ type of player and brings that same high-energy style to the broadcast booth. His enthusiasm for the game of baseball is infectious and it translates very well on the air.”
“This is a great day for our broadcast team,” said Lefebvre. “For me professionally, I get to work with two of the most enthusiastic and respected men in our business, and personally, I’m grateful the Royals have allowed me to return to the Royals radio booth in a larger role.”
Hudler comes to FOX Sports Kansas City after 11 years (1999-2009) as analyst for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecasts on FOX Sports West, where he worked alongside Physioc. The “Wonder Dog” played 21 years of professional baseball (1978-1998) as an infielder and outfielder, including 12 major league seasons with the Yankees, Orioles, Expos, Cardinals, Angels and Phillies. He is active in community efforts and he and his wife, Jennifer, founded Team Up for Down Syndrome to help support the Down Syndrome community nationwide.
“We’re so excited. To be able to land in a family community…and to step into a place where they could win again soon,” said Hudler. “When I look at this team I see four or five great young players coming along at the same time. They’re going to win.”
Physioc has more than 25 years of baseball experience, most recently as TV voice of the Angels (1999-2009) on FOX Sports West and as a play-by-play announcer on TBS’ Sunday MLB telecasts. The 1977 K-State grad worked in Hastings, Neb. and Topeka, Kan. early in his career and was the voice of K-State football and basketball from 1979-1982. He began his major league play-by-play career in 1983 broadcasting Cincinnati Reds games and went on to serve as play-by-play voice of the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. An accomplished and versatile broadcaster, Physioc has also called NFL and NBA games and has broadcast nationally for FOX Sports and ESPN. He currently does play-by-play on FOX Sports Big 12 and Pac-12 football and Pac-12 basketball games. Physioc also supports Paul McNeff Kidsingers, Christian Children’s Fund, the Special Olympics, and Team Up for Down Syndrome.
“I am thrilled to be coming home to broadcast the team I grew up loving. I spent countless summer evenings at Royals Stadium listening to Fred White and Denny Matthews calling the action and cheered Kansas City on when they won in ‘85. I truly believe the Royals are beginning their return to greatness, from the days of Brett, Wilson, White and Splitt to the new thrills of Hos, Moose, Gordon and Butler. These Royals are beginning that climb back to the playoffs. I’m excited to be coming home to The K.”
Royals telecasts on FOX Sports Kansas City start with the Hy-Vee Royals Live pregame and end with the Boulevard Royals Live postgame show. Joel Goldberg returns as host with Montgomery (analyst) and Bukaty (reporter) alongside for home games. Hudler, Lefebvre and Physioc will also contribute to Royals Live.
FOX Sports Kansas City is entering its fifth season as the exclusive television home of Royals baseball and will televise 140 regular season games and two spring training contests.