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Here's some odd (or maybe not so odd) timing. Even as the Colorado Rockies are fighting to secure a playoff berth, KOA has confirmed that Jeff Kingery, the squad's play-by-play man since its inception, will retire at the end of the season. But while the outlet's press release is as sweet as sweet can be, it's barely two months removed from Kingery's de facto demotion. As the Denver Post reported back in July, "Kingery and the Rockies had a major disagreement over a verbal outburst by Kingery on the team bus following a game last month at Dodger Stadium." Afterward, Kingery was told he would call only two more road series -- one in San Diego right after the All-Star break and the season ender against the Dodgers in L.A. -- in addition to the home contests. However, he wouldn't be allowed to travel on the Rockies' charter flight or bus during those trips.
Sheer coincidence? If so, it's a mighty large one, even if Kingery had considered retirement at the end of last season, as Clear Channel Denver boss Lee Larsen claims in the aforementioned release. Read it below:
AFTER 17 YEARS IN THE 850 KOA BROADCAST BOOTH -- VOICE OF THE COLORADO ROCKIES JEFF KINGERY DECIDES TO RETIRE
Denver, CO, September 28th, 2009... At the age of 15, Jeff Kingery set a personal goal to someday broadcast play-by-play for a Major League Baseball team. After turning that dream into a reality with a career in the Colorado Rockies broadcast booth, legendary sports broadcaster Jeff Kingery has made the decision to retire.
President and Market Manager of Clear Channel Denver, Lee Larsen: "At the end of last year, Jeff came to me and said that after 11 years of Nuggets and every season with the Rockies he was ready to retire and do some of the things he and his wife have wanted to do. I asked him to reconsider and try another year in the hopes that he might stay even longer. Earlier this summer Jeff told me that he was more convinced than ever that he needed to retire while he still felt good and was still at the top of his game. While I'm disappointed that he is leaving, I am very excited for Jeff."
Says Kingery, "I'm going to miss the Rockies. I've had a great time doing the games but my wife and I have decided it's time to live our lives on our schedule. We haven't been able to do that for 28 years because of my schedule and all of the travel."
Kingery joined 850 KOA in 1981 to broadcast the Denver Bears AAA games. Jeff also served as the voice of Denver Nuggets Basketball from 1981-1992. Joining the Colorado Rockies in 1993, the Rockies inaugural year, Jeff Kingery has been the voice of the Rockies for 17 seasons.
Kingery has been a part of the storied Colorado Rockies franchise from the beginning, broadcasting the first Colorado Rockies game, the Blake Street Bomber's play-off run in 1995 and the Rockies historic National League Pennant win and World Series appearance in 2007.
Rockies fans and all of us here at 850 KOA will miss Jeff very much and wish him many exciting extra innings.