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CK Faces: Mac the voice

Operating from inside his “bunker,” Kevin Mac, the voice of the Kitsap BlueJackets baseball team, works during a game last season at the Fairgrounds ballfield. The team opens its 2006 season on Thursday. - Courtesy photo
Operating from inside his “bunker,” Kevin Mac, the voice of the Kitsap BlueJackets baseball team, works during a game last season at the Fairgrounds ballfield. The team opens its 2006 season on Thursday.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Kevin Mac almost literally fell into becoming the voice of the Kitsap BlueJackets.

Mac, who has been a public address announcer and broadcaster at too many county events to count, slipped on some water at an area grocery store, breaking his wrist in the process. The attorney representing him in the ensuing suit? BlueJackets co-owner Rick Smith.

“Rick committed to him based on some game tapes of Evergreen (State College),” friend and broadcast partner Jim Portune said. “Kevin hadn’t even done baseball before that. That just shows his raw talent.”

Mac’s voice is a familiar one in Kitsap County, heard at area sporing events ranging from BlueJackets games to youth sports tournaments. In addition to broadcasting, he also writes and produces commercials. A scene he recalled from the Central Kitsap Babe Ruth 50th Anniversary Tournament two weeks ago is not uncommon for Mac.

“It’s kind of funny because my voice is pretty distinguishable,” Mac, 44, said with the same warm tone and passion that he uses on air. “I had people pop their heads around at the CK Babe Ruth tournament and said, ‘Hey, I know you.’”

While Mac has always wanted to work in broadcasting, particularly sportscasting, the road getting there wasn’t always smooth. After graduating from North Mason High School, Mac got married and spent the better part of 10 years out of the realm of broadcasting. After that break, he got his degree from National Broadcasting School and has since built a resumé that includes work at stations like KKFX and KITZ, as well as gigs broadcasting for The Evergreen State College (in Olympia), Olympic College and West Sound TV.

“I was running a restaurant, traveling around a little bit,” Mac said of his time away. “But I always found myself doing what I do now to the TV.”

Eventually, he decided he needed to get back into his passion.

“I go, ‘You know what, what am I doing?’” Mac said. “’I’m getting farther away from home running restaurants for crying out loud.’ So I moved back home.”

With Mac on board for another season with the BlueJackets (this time alongside former OC baseball coach Mike Reece), he knows he’s been fortunate to do something he’s loved for so long.

“That’s something very few people get to do,” Mac said. “It wasn’t something I did steady out of high school. But it’s fun to look back and say, ‘Wow, I’ve been doing this for a number of years now.’ Not many people get to do what they want to do.”

Part of his return to radio is due to friends like Portune.

“Jim is really responsible for resurrecting my career,” Mac said. “I was like a hydroplane dead in the water. He needed a host for a show. I knew some mutual friends and they brought up my name.”

At KITZ, Portune and Mac teamed up for a morning sports show.

“I was selling at KITZ and a radio opportunity came up to do a morning sports show,” Portune said. “I had no experience. I did the first show and realized I needed help. That was the longest hour of my life.”

That show, Coaches Corner, led to another show before the pair again worked together at TESC.

With the BlueJackets, Mac and his fellow broadcasters started the Junior Broadcasters program, where he invites a young fan into “The Bunker” during the third inning of games.

“We just thought, ‘If we’re going to do this, it’d be fun to find out what kids are up to out there,’” he said. “We’ve had 4- and 5-year-olds on up to 13-year-olds. It’s just as much fun for them as is it for me to interview them. I enjoy kids.”

“The Bunker” is the affectionate term Mac and fellow broadcasters have dubbed the booth at Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields.

“Literally, it’s a big concrete box,” Mac said. “If a bomb went off, we’d duck and be safe.”

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