Where are they now: Steve Stewart
Strapped in large ski goggles and sporting their postseason gear, the Kansas City Royals team jumps and screams in the locker room as they spray each other with champagne in celebration of their 2015 World Series Championship. Right in the midst of it all stood Steve Stewart, Kansas City Royals radio broadcaster and 1981 KHS graduate, recording the legendary moment of history on his iPhone.
“Being a part of [the celebration] and seeing a team, that had been losing for so many years, be built from the ground up and come together to get to the World Series in 2014 and then win the World Series in 2015 was an awesome experience,” Stewart, who has been a member of the Royals radio broadcast team for the past 10 years, said. “It’s one of those things that may only happen once in a lifetime.”
Many of Stewart’s high school friends, including Joe Heggie, recognized his drive and passion for sports early on. They saw his potential for a successful career in radio broadcasting, and have tremendous respect for what he has done career wise and the effort he puts into it.
“I’ve known him since he was in high school, [and I know] he’s put a lot of work into this dream of his,” Heggie said. “He [has] lived in all sorts of different places, broadcasting everything from minor league baseball, to high school football until he got his dream job: [major league] baseball.”
Although he only took one journalism class at KHS, Stewart went to college with a major in mind and the feeling that he wanted to spend the rest of his life covering sports. Right away, Stewart pursued opportunities to practice and improve his craft in college.
“That first week of college [at Southern Methodist University, I realized] no one was broadcasting our football games on the campus radio station,” Stewart said. “Another freshman and I [got the approval] to do so, and so there I was, at only 18, covering college football games. I tried to improve every week, preparing for the game and then doing the game. [Then the following week] I would listen back and try to hear what I did right and wrong, and try to do it better the next time.”
During his senior year of college, Steve found a broadcasting job with an indoor soccer team called the Dallas Sidekicks. There he was able to get experience working for a professional team as only a college student. While on summer break, Stewart began working for a radio station in Texas, where he tried out different types of broadcasting, from sales to being a DJ. He worked there until his baseball career finally launched after finding a job broadcasting for a minor league team in Calgary, Canada.
“In professional baseball, every time an [MLB] announcer job opens up, it’s not just all the major league guys that are out for the job,” Jim Sweeney, Stewart’s fraternity brother and college roommate, said. “It’s literally out of thousands of people trying to get that job, and I think he downplays that part of it. He has to be really good and really talented and hustle and network and make phone calls. [I don’t think] he really gives himself enough credit for how much success he’s had in that business.”
Since his one journalism class at KHS, Stewart has built his broadcasting career from the ground up. Stewart said he believes taking advantage of opportunities, working hard to improve and his passion for sports has landed him so many jobs in a field full of many qualified people.
“He’s a great success story,” Sweeney said. “He’s a guy that really knew what he wanted to do, and now, throughout his entire adult life, [he’s doing] what he wanted to do when he was a little kid. How many of us get to say that about ourselves? Not many.”