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Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes receives multiyear contract extension

One of my favorite days of the year is the day of the Cubs’ first spring-training radio broadcast with Pat Hughes on the call. Whatever the weather is outside, it immediately feels like summer.

That’s the effect Hughes has on people, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Hughes received a multiyear contract extension to remain the Cubs’ radio play-by-play voice on The Score, the team and the station announced Thursday.

An eight-time Illinois Sportscaster of the Year winner, Hughes will enter his 24th season with the Cubs. Analyst Ron Coomer returns to call the action with him.

Hughes, 63, has been calling major-league baseball for 36 consecutive years. He began in 1983, at age 27, as the Twins’ TV play-by-play voice. He then spent 12 years calling Brewers games on the radio with Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker.

Before joining the Cubs, Pat Hughes spent 12 years calling Brewers games on the radio with Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker. Steve Greenberg/Sun-Times

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Hughes’ first season with the Cubs was in 1996. He worked alongside Ron Santo for 15 years, until Santo’s death in December 2010. Their broadcasts became known as the “Pat and Ron Show” because they weren’t just calling a baseball game, they were having a conversation open to the public. Keith Moreland was with Hughes through 2013, and Coomer came aboard the next season.

Through it all, Hughes has been the epitome of professionalism. You’ll hear him open a broadcast by saying, “This is Pat Hughes reporting,” which is unique. You might not consider an announcer a reporter, but in essence, that’s what Hughes is. He’s breaking the news of every pitch and every play to his listeners. And he does so with great attention to detail, down to the color of the players’ shoes and socks.

Hughes has the distinction of being the only Cubs announcer to call a World Series winner in the franchise’s 142 seasons in the National League. The first game broadcast on radio was in 1921, and the Cubs’ previous world championship team was in 1908.