Ken Levine, the KABC-AM (790) DodgerTalk co-host who called games for the Seattle Mariners from 1992-95, is one of several broadcasters named today to help replace the late Dave Niehaus for the 2011 season.
“I’m not sure yet how this effects DodgerTalk but I’m hoping it can all work out,” Levine said. “I’m very excited to be back in the booth.”
The team said that Dave Sims and Mike Blowers will be the TV duo for nearly all games.
Rick Rizzs will do play-by-play in the radio booth and will be joined throughout the season by Levine, Ron Fairly, Ken Wilson, Dave Valle and Dan Wilson.
Fairly, the former Dodgers first baseman out of USC, worked as a Mariners broadcaster from 1993-2006 and filled in for Niehaus during one series last season.
Dan Wilson, a former Mariners catcher, did games in the booth and studio analysis. Ken Wilson, a former Angels play-by-play man, was Niehaus’ original partner, working with him from 1977-82.
Valle, another former Mariners catcher, has done color commentary in recent years.
Niehaus, who called Angels games with Dick Enberg in the 1970s, died Nov. 10 at the age of 75, the team’s Hall of Fame broadcaster since it’s first expansion year in 1977.
Levine, who turns 61 this Valentine’s Day, is a longtime TV writer, director and producer in Hollywood, working such shows as “M*A*S*H,” “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “The Simpsons,” “Wings,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Becker” and “Dharma and Greg” with writing partner David Isaacs. Levine also co-wrote the 1985 movie “Volunteers” with Tom Hanks and John Candy.
A Top 40 radio disc jockey in the 1970s, Levine always had the urge to call baseball games, he stepped away from his Hollywood jobs and worked in the minor-leagues as a play-by-play man before finally landing jobs with the Baltimore Orioles, Mariners and San Diego Padres.
In 1993, Levine wrote a book, “It’s Gone!… No, Wait a Minute . .: Talking My Way into the Big Leagues at 40″ about his only year with the Orioles 20 years ago.
Two springs ago, Levine was among a half dozen to do play-by-play on Dodgers exhibition games before the job of doing 40 road games for KCAL Channel 9 and Prime Ticket was given to Eric Collins.
== Levine’s farewell to Niehaus on his blog last November (linked here)