Steve Klauke, longtime 'voice' of Salt Lake Bees, dies after being hit by vehicle

Salt Lake Bees radio announcer Steve Klauke offers play-by-play of the Salt Lake Bees game at Smith's Ballpark on Sept. 20, 2023. Klauke died at 69, the team announced Tuesday.

Salt Lake Bees radio announcer Steve Klauke offers play-by-play of the Salt Lake Bees game at Smith's Ballpark on Sept. 20, 2023. Klauke died at 69, the team announced Tuesday. (Carter Williams, KSL.com)


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SANDY — Longtime Utah sportscaster Steve Klauke, who broadcast games for the Salt Lake Bees for 29 years before he retired at the end of last season, died after he was hit by a pickup truck Monday evening, police say.

He was 69.

Larry H. Miller Company officials — the parent owner of the Bees — announced Klauke's death on Tuesday. Sandy police confirmed that Klauke died from injuries after being hit by a pickup truck Monday evening.

"Steve Klauke was a dedicated long-time employee and world-class broadcaster. Steve will forever be remembered as 'the voice of the Bees' and holds a special place in our hearts," said Gail Miller, co-founder and owner of the Larry H. Miller Company, in a statement. "We will always treasure and honor the immeasurable impact he had on the sports community in Utah and beyond."

Emergency crews responded to a report of a man who had been struck by a vehicle at the intersection of 10600 South and 1300 East shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday. Sandy Police Lt. Dean Carriger said Klauke was crossing 1300 East when he was struck by a pickup truck that was making a right-hand turn onto the roadway.

Klauke was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where died from his injuries.

Carriger said the 64-year-old driver of the pickup remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. The crash remains under investigation.

Tributes poured in on Tuesday when the news of Klauke's death broke. Marc Amicone, the team's former president called Klauke "one of the best voices in sports." The Utah Jazz called Klauke a "legendary sports broadcaster" who was "admired and loved by many."

"Today we lost one of the very best," Gov. Spencer Cox wrote on social media platform X.

Originally from Illinois, Klauke began his 29-year stint with the Bees in 1994, when the team debuted as the Salt Lake Buzz. But his journey to Utah sports broadcasting started well before that.

He told KSL.com in September that his love for sports broadcasting originated with his appreciation of Chicago broadcaster Jack Brickhouse. He honed his skills by broadcasting games into a tape recorder he snuck into Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park and Chicago Stadium every chance he got.

"(I'd go) where people weren't sitting and practice," he recalled.

He started calling varsity football games on the radio when he got to high school, but his biggest break came in Utah. After taking various jobs across the country, Klauke landed a job at Sports Radio 570 as a Utah Jazz radio show co-host and producer in 1991.

His gig with the Buzz/Bees came two years later when it became apparent that the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League would relocate to Salt Lake City. Klauke pitched a trip to Portland to call a pair of games there that would be broadcast in Utah so residents could get a feel of the team headed their way.

The team's owner liked what he heard and gave the broadcasting rights to Sports Radio 570. The rest was history. Klauke became the team's play-by-play voice for nearly three decades, calling 4,181 games. He was named Utah Sportscaster of the Year in 1995, 2014 and 2016, and Ballpark Digest Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.

Klauke also filled in a few Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays games during his baseball broadcasting career. He started calling Weber State football and men's basketball teams in 2015, a role he said he planned to continue even after retiring from baseball in 2023.

He is survived by his wife, Sue, and two children,  Adam and Lisa.

Contributing: Alex Cabrero

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Carter Williams is a reporter who covers general news, local government, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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