PRATT — His voice has been a familiar friend for about two decades to Pratt-area sports fans, but Dick Anderson was to give his final broadcast for KMMM AM 1290 Pratt radio at the end of the spring sports season.
That was the plan before the coronavirus hit the country and caused the cancellation of all spring sports.
“Those were to be my final broadcasts. It’s time to come home and turn myself in,” Anderson said.
Anderson has been announcing games for KMMM for 18 years. He covers football, basketball, baseball, softball and selected volleyball games, plus state games for Pratt High School. He covers conference basketball games plus selected home baseball and softball games for Pratt Community College.
Anderson said he was nervous when he started broadcasting. He had no experience behind the mic and let his audience know how he felt.
“This is the first time I ever did anything like this so if I sound terrible, I’m sorry,” Anderson said. “That’s how I got started.”
On average, Anderson broadcast around 100 games a year, more when teams makes state tournaments. He estimates he has broadcast 1,800 to 2,000 games total.
“There’s hardly a town in south-central Kansas I haven’t done a ball game,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he has no regrets, other than not starting to broadcast when he was 18.
“Somehow God put me here and he knew this was the best place for me,” Anderson said. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Anderson’s wife Beverly has been understanding even though he has been gone a lot of evenings. Anderson has become so well known in the community that his wife won’t go to Walmart with him any more because so many people stop Anderson and want to talk.
“Bev and I have been married 31 years. I’ve been doing this about half of my married life,” Anderson said. “I’ve got the best wife. This woman has put up with me for 31 years.”
Anderson, who is 74, didn’t start his radio career until he was in his mid-50s. Before that, he was selling cars in Wichita at Davis Moore and driving 140 miles a day for work. After four years of working there, he was tired of the driving and wanted to come home to Pratt.
Eric Stroble offered Anderson a job at KMMM in advertising sales. So, in the spring 2002, Anderson came back to Pratt and used his selling skills in Pratt, St. John, Medicine Lodge and Greensburg.
In April 2002, Anderson was asked if he would do a baseball sports broadcast. When football season started, Anderson said he would do sports broadcast until the station found someone else.
Little did he know where that decision would lead.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Anderson said.