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Sports & Recreation

Profile: Mike Krukow, Giants Broadcaster 

By Joe Eskenazi

Photograph by Joseph Schell

When he was the San Francisco Giants' staff ace for much of the 1980s, Mike Krukow did not live in San Francisco. He's actually a bit apologetic about it. "I was renting a house on the Peninsula, I had a ton of kids, there was the proximity to [Candlestick Park] and the airport," he says.

Krukow, a familiar voice to Bay Area fans as the Giants' radio and television announcer, now lives practically within throwing distance of AT&T Park during baseball season. He notes that he's often home enjoying a cold one before his broadcast partner, Duane Kuiper, has even pulled out of the lot. But grabbin' some pine and watching a ballgame isn't what Krukow tends to do in his off hours (that's his job, after all). The 58-year-old and his wife of 35 years, Jennifer, enjoy all San Francisco has to offer when they return to the city from their offseason home in San Luis Obispo.

"We do the music scene down in the Marina, Bimbo's, or the Boom Boom Room. We go to Jelly's right here [by the ballpark] and do the Latin music on Sundays," says Krukow, who rattles off places to see and things to do with every bit as much authority as when he's explaining how to throw a split-fingered fastball. He'll go to Harry Denton's and watch Bud E. Love, head out for a 1 a.m. dinner at the Brazen Head after extra innings, or ... damn, what was the name of that place? He whips out a phone and calls his wife, who instantly remembers the Krukows' favorite Peruvian joint — La Mar. "You're a genius," he whispers into the phone.

Sure, Krukow enjoys the odd 49ers game or other sporting events. But his youngest son is a dancer, and has turned on the former 20-game winner to another rich vein of this city's culture. Ballet, modern dance, swing — he's there. And, in another nod to San Francisco, Krukow hates to drive and refuses to take a cab ("You can't catch a cab in this end of town, anyway," he says). "We rely heavily on Muni."

One of the elements Krukow loves most about San Francisco is that he can hop on a bus or go out to dinner with his wife and be treated no differently than any other couple. That wasn't the case when he played for the Chicago Cubs or the Philadelphia Phillies. "I love Chicago fans, and I'm not going to say one negative thing about them," he says. "But they put you on a pedestal. The adulation going on there is not healthy. It's the same in Philadelphia. They look at sports like a religion. But this city doesn't need the Giants or the Niners. It's nice we're here, but they would get along without us."

On a recent gorgeous evening at AT&T Park, despite the many other things to do that Krukow outlined, a good number of fans filtered into the stadium. The pitcher watched them from the broadcast booth and nodded. "This is the best city by far, man."

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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