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Matthews draws closer to Hall call

Matthews draws closer to Hall call

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Denny Matthews is in the Royals Hall of Fame but he'll have to wait for Cooperstown.

Matthews missed out on the Hall when former Houston Astros announcer Gene Elston was selected for the broadcasters' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Matthews, who has called Royals games since the franchise began play in 1969, was among 10 finalists for the award.

"This was the first year I was a little bit excited," Matthews said. "I think it'll probably happen eventually."

Royals owner David Glass has been championing Matthews' election for several years. When a different selection format was utilized, Glass told Matthews he was in the final five at one point.

"From a personal standpoint, I'm disappointed," said Royals general manager Allard Baird. "Not only for Denny but for Royals fans. You look at the long line of listeners. Grandmothers and grandfathers have heard him and now their grandchildren hear him.

Matthews has broadcast Royals games for 37 years and in five decades, becoming just one of six announcers to spend their entire careers with one team and logging at least 35 years at it. The other five are Vin Scully (Dodgers), Bob Prince (Pirates), Jack Buck (Cardinals), Jaime Jarrin (Dodgers) and Joe Nuxhall (Reds).

On March 1, Matthews will check into Spring Training to begin his 38th season.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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