Official Website of Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster Bob Davis
My Life on the Airwaves
14-Time Kansas Broadcaster-of-the-Year
2016 Kansas Hall-of-Fame Inductee
You've heard and watched the games, now go behind the scenes to get the skinny on the humor, drama and strategy behind them. The Dream is Real is a look back at the award-winning career of broadcaster Bob Davis. From the days of his childhood watching 17-year-old and future New York Yankee Hall-of-Famer Mickey Mantle play shortstop for the Class D Independence (Kan.) Yankees; to calling an NAIA national basketball championship; broadcasting eight NCAA Final Fours; doing an Orange Bowl champion; and being in the booth for major league baseball; sports has been his passion.
Davis uses his folksy style, quick wit and engaging humor -- just as he did on the air -- as he looks back at the games and people he met along the way. His story is complemented by the memories of coaches, athletes, broadcasting peers, family and friends for this trip back down memory lane which included Davis broadcasting nearly 5,000 games over 48 years. Those contributors include Bill Self, Kevin Harlan, Roy Williams, Mitch Holthus, Tony Muser, Denny Matthews, Mark Mangino, Jim Nantz, Larry Brown, Dick Vitale, Glen Mason, Ryan Lefebvre, Danny Manning, Holly Rowe, Mike Sweeney and a host of other sports personalities. And you'll also hear from people whose names weren't in lights, but nevertheless played an integral role in the story of Bob's life -- a Sunday school student, a high school football coach, his son Steven, co-workers, broadcasting partners and more.
The journey began when Davis had to tell his dad he was quitting law school after one year to pursue a career in broadcasting. From there we learn of his receiving 50 rejection letters before landing a DJ position at KAYS in Hays, Kan. He parlayed that into a 16-year stint where he became one of the most popular people in Hays, serving as the conduit between the fans and their beloved Hays High Indians, Thomas More Prep Monarchs and Fort Hays State Tigers. His talents were well-known and in demand and his next calling was a 32-year run as the Voice of the Kansas Jayhawks. He also managed to find time to spend 20 years working at KMBZ radio during that time. Davis capped his career by broadcasting the sport which attracted him to the profession as he spent 16 years in radio and television with the Kansas City Royals.
Bob Davis is a people person and readers will enjoy the meeting and reading about the characters he introduces throughout the story of his life. You'll learn about the size 20 EEEE shoe that sat upon the register at Goodwin's Sportings Goods. There are the numerous stories and touching memories involving long-time broadcast partners Max Falkenstien and Paul Splittorff. Of course, there are the many humorous on-air and off-air interactions that are certain to leave readers in stitches. Then there are the road trips -- the hijinks experienced on planes, trains and automobiles will leave you in stitches. Lastly, you will get to relive the outstanding performances and competitions that captured our attention and imagination for almost half a century.
After reading The Dream is Real, you'll come to learn why he was so highly regarded as a broadcaster. But you'll also understand why he is considered a hall-of-fame person. All he ever wanted to do is tell stories about sports on the radio. And we as fans are fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen in.
Bob Davis is a storyteller - and an outstanding one at that.
For 48 years, Davis told his stories on a broadcast platform touching nearly every level of competition from high school, to small college, to large university, to minor league, to major league sports. With his distinctive deep voice tinged with passion and emotion, he told a story that made us feel like we were right there. Primarily on the radio, hearing a game with Bob Davis on the call was certain to entertain.
Born May 27, 1944 in Iola, Kan., he moved to Independence when his dad took a sports editor position with the Independence Reporter. It would be the start of Davis’s love affair with sports and sharing it with others. The family would move to Manhattan and then to Topeka where he graduated from Topeka West High School and Washburn University. After a year in law school, he pursued his dream of being a broadcaster. After getting 50 rejection letters, he landed a position at KAYS radio in Hays, Kan, in 1968. He would spend the next 16 years there doing high school and small college sports play-by-play.
In the summer of 1984, Davis was selected to be the radio voice of the Kansas Jayhawks, a position he would hold for 32 years. During that time he had a 20 year run as the sports director at KMBZ radio in Kansas City 1996 - 2012). He also spent 16 years calling Kansas City Royals baseball on radio and television. He retired from the Royals after the 2012 season and the Jayhawks after the 2015-16 academic year. In addition, Davis broadcast games for the Wichita Aeros Double A baseball club, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four on radio, the Big Eight Holiday Basketball Tournament, Missouri Tiger Basketball and was a highly sought after speaker as well.
Davis’s honors include:
14-time winner, Kansas Sportscaster of the Year Award.
Winner Hod Humiston Award for Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting (1991)
Member, Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (inducted 2006).
Member, Fort Hays State University Hall of Fame (inducted 1990)
Two-time winner, Oscar Stauffer Award for excellence in high school sports
2001 named to Dick Vitale's "Sweet Sixteen" list of best college basketball broadcasters.
Honored by the Kansas Legislature by having April 28, 2016 designated as “Bob Davis Day” in the state of Kansas.
Davis and his wife Linda, who served as his radio spotter early in his career, reside in Lawrence. Their son Steven has pursued a career in sports, calling high school, college and minor league sports on radio and television. He and his wife Katie (Towner) live in Kansas City and have four darling children Landon, Will; Millie; and Hattie,
Jeff Bollig is a life-long Kansan and proud of it. His love of sports was fueled at an early age by participating in youth athletics, going to sporting events with his father, Marion, and listening to Bob Davis on the radio. Many a night was spent lying on the living room next to the wooden console stereo or in bed with a tiny transistor radio perched on the nearby night stand.
A 1980 graduate of Hays High, Bollig attended Fort Hays State as a freshman, then completed his education at the University of Kansas. He received a master degree in sports administration from Wichita State. He would later work in the KU athletics department and the Big Eight Conference. He has worked on the KU scorer’s table for men’s basketball games since 1996 and held the same position at the Big Eight/Big 12 Tournament for the same time period. He has served in a working capacity at every Big Eight/Big 12 Tournament since 1986.
Bollig has co-authored two books with his good friend and former boss Doug Vance. The first, “Beware of the Phog: 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse” was written in 2005 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the grand facility. In 2008, the duo published “What it Means to Be a Jayhawk” a compilation of short stories about legendary Jayhawk athletes. He resides in Olathe with his wife Laurie. Their daughter Courtney is working in higher education in Washington, D.C., and son Kyle is completing his master's degree at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
WHERE TO BuY
Available in stores beginning December 28
Hays: 27th & Hall / Vine Street
Lawrence: 23rd Street / 6th & Wakarusa /
6th & Lawrence / Massachusetts Street
Topeka: 800 NW 25th / 6829 SW 29th /
2010 SE 29th / 5311 SW 22nd Place
Derby: 1624 N Rock Rd
Andover: 225 E Cloud Ave
Wichita: 10222 W 21st / 7707 E Central Ave
Hutchinson: 3200 Plaza E Dr
Salina: 1235 E Cloud St
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Various Independent and National Bookstores
“Bob has the most unique crescendo of a big call that I have ever heard. But because he is a Kansan, a product of the midwest, his delivery is warm and folksy.”
CBS Sports, TNT, Westwood One Radio
BOOK SIGNINGS TO Be Announced