Foley honored for 30 years of play-by-play

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks honored play-by-play announcer Pat Foley on Friday for calling the team’s games for 30 years.

Foley, a Glenview, Ill. native and Loyola Academy graduate, called his first Blackhawks’ game on Oct. 19, 1980. He spent two seasons announcing the Chicago Wolves from 2006-08 and returned to the Blackhawks for the 2008-09 season. He’s called more than 2,400 Blackhawks games.

Prior to the game, the Blackhawks showed a video of Foley’s many calls over the years, and he was given a commemorative painting and mic statue during a red-carpet ceremony.

“Nobody should throw any parties for me,” Foley told the crowd during the ceremony. “I’m the luckiest guy in the room. I’m a Glenview boy standing here since 1980. I get to watch the greatest athletes in the world play the greatest game in the world in the greatest city in the world.”

Congratulatory video messages for Foley included ones from Chicago White Sox commentators Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone and Chicago Bulls commentators Neil Funk and Stacey King.

Blackhawks players spoke highly of Foley in recent days.

“Just real down to earth guy,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “I know he loves being a part of the Blackhawks and being who he is and being really good to the fans, too. I think all those guys from that era are really good to the fans, and you can learn a lot from them. I’ve only been here six years, but Blackhawks fans in general for the past little while, Foley is the name that calls the Blackhawks and the voice of the Blackhawks, too. Good for him and he deserves it.”

Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp shared a similar respect for him.

“He always likes to have fun with the guys,” Sharp said. “Almost like another guy in the locker room, he’s been around so long. He’s seen so much. The fans love him. He does a great job up there in the booth.”