Chris Wheeler's Gift To Gary Matthews Sr. And To Us
Legendary Phillies announcer Chris Wheeler is known throughout baseball as the foremost baseball man in the booth. He's brought along such talents as Richie Ashburn, Harry Kalas and Larry Andersen, and made them into broadcasting stars. All of them have credited 'Wheels' with fine-tuning their skills. The only person reported to have not gotten along with his greatness was former Phillie announcer Scott Graham, who refused to improve and heed the advice of Chris. We all know what happened to him; he's been relegated to calling shots for lowly A10 basketball games. He's even been cited moonlighting at a Wawa in Cherry Hill, NJ.
And this brings us to the newest Phillies announcer: Gary Matthews Sr. 'Sarge' was a terrific ballplayer in his day, and was known for his defense and winning attitude. He helped bring the Phillies their only World Series victory in 1980. Matthews even raised a fine young man in Gary Matthews Jr., who has himself gone on to great success in the Majors through hard work and from valuable advice from his father.
Senior is determined to get better and better as a broadcaster. He's even told others that he'd be willing to do ANYTHING to develop his voice, his style and his banter. This is where Chris Wheeler comes in. It's being reported from various sources close to the Phillies that Wheels has taken it upon himself to bring Sarge along and make him in his image. This is certainly great for Sarge, but it's even better for the phandom at large. By bringing him under his wing, Wheels ensures a better chemistry with Sarge, and also does what he does best: teach. Whether it's between the lines, at the mic, or in the community, Wheels greatest gift to humanity is not his vast knowledge, it's his ability and willingness to share his insight with the rest of the Delaware Valley and, indeed, the world.
Many Phillies faithful have long searched for a replacement to Harry Kalas and his smooth pipes once he finally retires. Well that wait may be over...if Wheels has anything to say about it.