A’s PA announcer Dick Callahan will be missed we were lucky to work with him

Dick Callahan who was the Oakland A’s and formerly the Golden State Warriors PA announcer passed away on Fri Jan 29, 2021. Dick also owned his own Insurance company. (file photo from sfgate.com)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s announced via Twitter the news that beloved Public Address announcer, Dick Callahan, had passed away. Dick was 80 years old.

Dick was a special guy. He was a kind, pleasant man. He was always enjoyable to everyone around him. I usually saw him every when I was at the Coliseum to report on the A’s games. On occasion, I was fortunate, along with the A’s Spanish language broadcaster, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, to have dinner with Dick in the Media Lounge. He always was cheerful, and he had the famous Irish twinkle in his eye.

Dick went to Scranton Prep High in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He came to California and made his home in the East Bay. Dick had a successful insurance business, too. He was a graduate of St. Mary’s University and started his public address career with the Gaels in 1975.

He later became the public address announcer for the Golden State Warriors. People remember Dick for his signature “shooting-two” when a Warrior player had to take two free throws. Dick called games for the University of California, too. He also worked at the University of the Pacific, Santa Clara University, and the University of San Francisco.

Dick had the unenviable task of succeeding Roy Steele as the announcer for the Oakland A’s. Steele, affectionately known as the “Voice of God,” held the job from 1968 to 2005. Not only did Dick not fail, but he was also known as the “Voice of God.” One evening, I told Dick that he had a great speaking voice. Dick replied the microphone aided his voice. I told him that was not true and we had a nice laugh together.

Dick now joins people like Roy Steele, John Ramsey of the LA Dodgers, Bob Sheppard of the New York Yankees, and Sherm Feller of the Boston Red Sox in the Pantheon of great Public address announcers.

Dick called over 1000 games for the A’s and over 2700 games in his career. His three favorite games were Dallas Braden’s perfect game on Mother’s day in 2010. Sean Manaea’s no-hitter against Boston in 2018, and Mike Fiers no-no on May 7th, 2019. Fiers’ gem was the 1000th game called by Dick.

My favorite story with Dick happened several years ago. One night, after finishing my report, as I was leaving the park, a fan came up to me and asked me for an autograph. I was taken aback. I had no idea why anyone would want my autograph. I asked the fan why. He answered: why you’re Dick Callahan.” I smiled and told him that I wasn’t. The next night I told Dick the story. Dick smiled and said: “you should have signed it:” We both laughed.

Dick took the 2020 Oakland A’s season off as a precaution due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Amelia Schimmel took Dick’s place as PA announcer for 2020 and said in a San Francisco Chronicle interview at the time “Nothing replaces him, obviously, Dick did give me pointers, and he’s such a good person. He called and said, ‘You did a fantastic job.’ I know how hard it is for him not to come in this season and he was so sweet about it. He said, ‘Your voice sounded great on the broadcast.’ I think he’s trying to let me know he approves and that support is really, really appreciated.” said Schimmel. 

The A’s organization has lost several longtime employees over the past three years. Dick joins people like Harold Miller, Chester Yarrow, Roy Steele, Gary Hughes( baseball scout) in our memories. We will miss you immensely, Dick. Rest in Peace, my friend.

Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer at http://www.sportsradioservice.com 

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