Ross Porter has been ranked as one of baseball’s 60 all-time best announcers and is a member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame after 38 uninterrupted years on the air in Los Angeles.Porter was rated among the elite by Curt Smith, widely regarded as America’s foremost historian of baseball broadcasting, in his 2005 book, “Voices of Summer.” Over 1,000 major league broadcasters were judged. Porter announced Los Angeles Dodgers games for 28 seasons between 1977 and 2004.
He holds the major league record for the longest consecutive play-by-play by one broadcaster when he announced all 22 innings of a Dodgers-Expos game on radio on August 23, 1989. It was a six-hour, 14-minute game, won by the Dodgers, 1-0. For that broadcast, the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association honored Porter with the Tom Harmon Special Achievement Award. That organization also voted Ross the Los Angeles Sports Talk Show Host of the Year four times for “Dodger Talk.” They inducted him into their Hall of Fame on January 31, 2005.
In 2005, Porter was honored by the Los Angeles City Council for his outstanding career. The City Council had also declared April 29, 2001 as Ross Porter Day in the city of Los Angeles celebrating his 25th season with the Dodgers.
Porter was presented the Bill Teegins Award for Excellence in Sportscasting by the Oklahoma Sports Museum in 2007.
“Real Sports Heroes with Ross Porter” went on the air in October 2007 in Los Angeles and is heard on 139 radio stations and the Armed Forces Network as part of the Peter Greenberg show. Its mission statement is “Real Sports Heroes recognizes men and women of the sports world who are true humanitarians by highlighting their efforts to make a worthwhile difference.”
Porter was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and at the age of eight decided he wanted to be a sportscaster. He never changed his mind, and his dream came true when at 14, he did his first sports show on Shawnee’s KGFF radio. A favorite childhood memory was meeting famed athlete Jim Thorpe while attending a high school football game with his father.
Porter was doing play-by-play of high school football and basketball as well as minor league baseball for a Dodger farm team in Shawnee before his high school graduation at 16. He then attended the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and earned a degree, majoring in radio journalism. Porter worked on the legendary Harold Keith’s sports information staff during college and wrote the game preview story in the football program the day Notre Dame snapped the Sooners’ national record 47-game winning streak, 7-0 at Norman in 1957. Porter was also sports director of the student radio station and handled play-by-play of OU football, basketball and baseball games.
In 1988, Porter was honored as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Oklahoma Journalism School.
After graduation, Porter worked at WKY radio and television in Oklahoma City as a radio newsman and television sports anchor between 1960 and 1966. He covered the national Democratic Convention in 1964. He was voted Oklahoma Sportscaster of the Year by his peers when he was 24, the youngest winner ever in any state, and he repeated it the next year.
In late 1966, Porter took a job at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles when he was 27, and spent ten years as a sports anchor on the 6pm and 11pm news. He won a local Emmy, announced NFL games for seven seasons on NBC (1970-1976) and began 25 years of broadcasting college basketball on radio and television, 19 of those were with the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The 1990 UNLV team won the NCAA championship.
Porter left KNBC late in 1976 to join the announcing team for the Dodgers. The team went to the World Series in each of his first two seasons and three of the initial five. The Dodgers won world championships in 1981 and 1988. Porter is the only man to broadcast the games of both a World Series winner and a national collegiate basketball champion.
He aired the 1977 and 1978 World Series and the 1984 National League Championship Series on the 600 station CBS Radio Network. Porter was behind the microphone for all three of Reggie Jackson’s home runs in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.
Porter won his second Emmy in 2001 for his coverage of the Dodgers.
Porter has been married to his wife, Linda (Lin) for 48 years. They have four children (two sets of boy-girl twins) and 14 grandchildren, 11 of them boys. The Porters are actively involved in Westminster Presbyterian Church in California and Stillpoint Family Resources, a non-profit organization founded by their oldest son, which helps families with special needs children. Porter is also active in Rotary Club, Special Olympics, and Operation Gratitude which provides care packages to US troops deployed anywhere in the world.