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Dave Van Horne “effectively retiring,” leaving Marlins radio broadcast

The Hall of Famer called MLB games in seven different decades.

@DaveVanHorne1/Twitter

The changing of the guard at the Miami Marlins Radio Network is now complete, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. After 21 seasons of calling games for the Fish, Dave Van Horne is “effectively retiring” at age 82.

The international baseball community probably knows DVH best from his tenure with the Montreal Expos—he was the primary radio voice for most of the franchise’s existence. His “up, up and away” home run call became iconic. But he had a distinguished second act in South Florida as well, beginning in 2001. He was there for every step of the 2003 World Series championship season and received the Ford Frick Award in 2011, immortalizing him in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I also felt that his Marlins-only work merited induction in the inaugural class of our own HOF here at Fish Stripes.

For many years, Van Horne was paired with Glenn Geffner on 940 WINZ broadcasts (the station has since rebranded to Fox Sports 940 Miami). In 2021, though, the Marlins rejiggered the booth. The team split up Van Horne and Geffner so that each could do conventional play-by-play work alongside a rotation of color commentators (mainly J.P. Arencibia, Gaby Sanchez and Kelly Saco). Geff emerged as the lead voice, handling about two-thirds of the games last season.

I hope that Van Horne is on amicable terms with the Marlins as he enters this new chapter. Regardless, for the audience’s sake, I believe now was the appropriate time for a change. After more than a half-century on the job, DVH was (understandably!) past his prime—far too frequently in recent years, he would identify players by incorrect names and struggle to articulate what was happening during complex plays and replay reviews. They were giving him too much responsibility at that stage of his career.

Geffner will thrive as Van Horne’s successor. He is a diligent researcher and effervescent personality who is intimately familiar with Marlins baseball. He was also quick to develop a strong rapport with his new partners in the booth in 2021.

As for Kyle Sielaff, he is thoroughly prepared to be elevated to the No. 2 position. This will be Sielaff’s 10th season on the Marlins radio broadcast team. During that decade, he has accumulated plenty of fill-in reps calling spring training and regular season games while forming relationships with Marlins players and coaches.

Perhaps in anticipation of this decision (and having more free time on his hands), Van Horne started up his own Cameo account in December to record personalized video messages for fans. Fish Stripes will be rooting for him to find fulfillment in whatever he chooses to do moving forward.