It was bittersweet watching the UH baseball game Sunday afternoon on K-5.
It was UH’s last home game for the season and they needed this win to clinch a bye in the conference tournament.
It was the bottom of the 9th inning and they were down by 3 runs to tie, 4 to win. Bennett hit an RBI single to put the tying run on base and Van Doornum singled to load the bases.
But there were 2 outs. They were down to their last out. The bases were loaded. The sold out stadium was on the edge of their seats.
Sean Montplaisir came to the plate. He was 0 for 3 for the day.
The Spartans brought in their ace starter to pitch this last inning. The count goes to full – 3 balls, 2 strikes – the base runners are going on the next pitch.
Monplaisir hits a slow grounder to the second baseman…
And he throws the ball away!
1 run scores.
2 runs score.
3 runs score! UH wins the game! Oh how sweet it is! Their last home game is a come-from-behind victory! UH’s 30th win of the season. And the Senior’s last game played in Les Murakami stadium.
But it was also K-5’s last UH broadcast.
After more than a quarter century – 28 years – K-5 The Home Team is no longer UH’s sports connection. The new contract went to Oceanic Time Warner.
Wow. 28 years. That’s quite an accomplishment.
Throughout today’s game, Jim Leahey and Pal Eldredge shared a lot of memories of K-5’s UH sports broadcasts. There was also a reunion of sorts of K-5 sports directors at the game. They even had the sports director’s microphone turned on so we could hear what goes on behind the scenes. Calling out the camera numbers, when to insert the graphics, etc. It was very interesting – at least to me – not knowing all the support staff necessary to bring these games to TV.
And speaking of Jim Leahey. What can I say. He is the voice of UH sports. And he always will be a legend. What Aku was to radio, Jim was to TV.
I don’t know if Oceanic will pick up Jim to do their UH games – which I hope they do – but if not, I’m going to miss Jim Leahey. It didn’t matter who he was teamed up with, the broadcasts were always interesting. Educational as well as amusing.
Take today’s discussion for example – as Jim was telling the history of how K-5 came about to televise the UH games. Rick Blandgiardi quit KGMB and approached Jim with the idea of showing UH games on TV. Rick said that he could swing it with Stan Sherrif so Jim also quit KGMB and with just a few cameras, they showed their first UH game. And they had to use cameramen from KGMB – who told them that they’d get fired if KGMB ever found out!
Or the time that Jim had dissed a TV show that KHNL was going to show. Rick immediately went to Jim and told him to never speak badly about a show that the station was going to broadcast. Jim said that he will say what he feels and the felt that the show wasn’t worth watching. Rick screamed at Jim and fired him right on the spot.
After calling him a few names, Jim left the office and told his wife that he just got fired.
Later that night, Jim receives a call from Rick and Rick tells him that he’s rehired.
But I did notice that Jim told that story after Rick had left the broadcast booth. LOL
And who could forget Jim’s “way with words” such as:
“They lead by the slimmest of margins”
“And the Rainbows win it”
“Oh how sweet it is”
“Aloha to all of you wherever you may be in these magnificent islands”
And my favorite: “Their backs are at the precipitous of the wall”
So thank you K-5 for providing 28 years of UH televised games. And thank you Jim Leahey and all his broadcast partners for all your coverage and insightful commentary. It is because of this service that you have provided that made University of Hawaii sports become a part of Hawaii.
For every generation.
What are your thoughts about K-5’s coverage of UH sports? Can you add to Jim Leahey’s sayings? What about your memories of watching K-5’s broadcasts? Or just post a big mahalo and congratulations to K-5 for all the hours of entertainment that they’ve provided.