CHICAGO — He’s known by many as the voice of Chicago sports.
He’s been doing it for almost four decades.
Gene Honda is one of the only Asian American PA announcers in all of professional sports. He’s broken several barriers in the industry with his long resume.
His booming voice has been synonymous with the White Sox for more than 30 years.
Honda takes his job very seriously as the Public Address Announcer for the Chicago White Sox. But off the mic, he’s anything but serious. Almost everyone at Guaranteed Rate Field will tell you he’s full of wisecracks and laughter.
Honda is also the announcer for the Blackhawks, DePaul Men’s Basketball, the Maui Invitational and the NCAA Men’s Final Four —to name a few.
He was born and raised on the North side of Chicago to Japanese American parents. Honda attended Senn High School and later his beloved University of Illinois.
This career path, however, wasn’t what his parents had envisioned for him.
“Dad was the chief architect on Marina City, so that sort of tells you the sort of direction I was pushed into. That didn’t work very well,” he said.
But his dad is the reason Honda is doing this today.
“But Dad was very good because he was your best worst critic. It’s his fault I’m sitting here. Because he was the one who said you need to work on your speaking in public,” Honda said. “I’m sure he meant take a speech class, instead I wandered into a radio station.”
Honda started working in radio, then got his big break with the White Sox in 1985.
His family and upbringing in Chicago stay with him every day.
“This is part job, part honor. And you have to treat it as both,” he said. “And like my dad used to say- take the job seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously.”
While Honda won’t tell you this himself, his co-workers, and fans will tell you- he’s the best in the biz.
But Honda will tell you, he’s grateful just to be asked back.
Honda is the only person ever to have announced at the World Series, All Star Game, NHL Stanley Cup playoff, NCAA Final Four, NCAA Frozen Four, and a world class marathon.
At last count, Honda has announced more than 2600 games—that’s just for the White Sox.