"Our process for finding a new broadcast team was based on finding a duo that could connect with our fans," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "We are very excited about Todd Kalas and Geoff Blum. They will bring a new energy to our broadcast, mixing the history of the Astros organization with our current, exciting young team. In addition to what we feel will be an outstanding season on the field, Astros fans can also look forward to a knowledgeable and entertaining broadcast as well."
Kalas, who is the son of Hall of Famer and former Astros broadcaster Harry Kalas, has 25 seasons of experience as a broadcaster in professional baseball. He spent the last 19 seasons (1998-2016) as part of the Tampa Bay Rays TV broadcast team. While his primary duties for the Rays were as pre and postgame host and in-game reporter, Kalas also handled play-by-play duties for hundreds of Rays games on both television and radio during his time there. He is highly-respected in the industry amongst his peers and by the many players he has interacted with. Known for his distinctive voice and personality, Kalas grew to be a popular figure with Rays fans as a result of his work on the broadcasts and was a two-time Suncoast Emmy award winner. Prior to joining the Rays, Kalas also had stints with the New York Mets radio (1992-93) and Philadelphia Phillies television (1994-96) broadcast teams.
A native Houstonian, Kalas was born at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston while his father, Harry, served as an Astros broadcaster from 1965-70. Harry would later call Phillies games from 1971-2009 en route to a Hall of Fame career. When the Phillies and Rays met in the 2008 World Series, Todd and his father called an inning together on radio during Game One of the Fall Classic.
"This is the fulfillment of a dream, to work a full season doing play-by-play as part of the Astros new broadcast team," Kalas said. "This opportunity with Houston has been my long-term goal since my collegiate broadcasting days. To return to the city where I was born, work with such great organizations as the Astros and ROOT Sports, and to be a part of an exciting Houston team with great expectations is beyond anything I could have hoped for.
"I eagerly await meeting all the great fans of the Houston Astros and working alongside Geoff and the rest of the ROOT Sports crew."
After earning a degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University, Kalas began his baseball career as a broadcaster with the Triple A Louisville Redbirds in 1991, before joining the Mets in 1992.
Blum joined the Astros television broadcast team in 2013 after a successful, 14-year Major League career that included two stints with the Astros (2002-03, 2008-10), totaling five seasons. Throughout his career, Blum was known as one of the game's most versatile players and as a top pinch-hitter. He appeared in over 200 games at second base, third base and shortstop and appeared at all four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08).
During his playing days, Blum was also known as a colorful personality that was popular with teammates and fans. Over the past four seasons, Blum worked primarily as the Astros TV color analyst for road games only, but occasionally worked a few home games as well. He is excited about taking on an expanded role.
"This opportunity means a great deal to me," Blum said. "This is an exciting time for the Astros organization, and it is an honor for me to be a part of it. I'm also really looking forward to working with Todd, whom I have a relationship with from when I played for the Rays in 2004. I appreciate his knowledge of baseball and his preparation. This will be a great experience."