Howard Kellman: The Indianapolis Indians’ Iron Man


November 16, 2015 — Since joining the team in 1974 there have been 22 Tribe managers but only one Howard Kellman.

As an employee for 40 years, Kellman is unquestionably the Iron Man of the Indianapolis Indians. As our broadcaster on Fox Sports 97.5 and AM 1260, Howard has called more than 5,700 games, watched more than a million pitches, and seen more than 300,000 outs recorded during Indians broadcasts.

Already a member of the Indiana Sportscasters and Sport Writers Hall of Fame (Class of 2009) and it’s 2002 Sportscaster of the Year, Kellman was inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame on November 14, 2015.

Howard Kellman addresses the crowd during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 14, 2015.
Howard Kellman addresses the crowd during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 14, 2015.

A graduate of Brooklyn College, Kellman began professional sports broadcasting for St. John’s University basketball. Indians President and Chairman of the Board Max Schumacher, who has been with the organization since the mid-1950s and was general manager in the 1970’s remembers Kellman’s audition tape.

“Myself and the search committee for the broadcast position really liked his voice,” Schumacher said. “Howard was young, too, and I remember thinking we could mold him into the Indians’ corporate culture.”

Some might say today that culture steep in tradition and Kellman are now synonymous.

“Howard gives such great description of the game,” says Cal Burleson, Indians vice president of baseball and administrative affairs, and who has been with the team one year longer than Kellman. “His knowledge of the game and its history, and his ability to bring stories to life during a broadcast really adds a lot to an Indians game.”

“I know I will never be able to stump Howard on anything baseball related,” said Kellman’s broadcast partner Andrew Kappas after their first season together in 2015. “He’s truly seen so many incredible things in this great game, and his memory of it is simply astounding. In 153 games, I learned something about baseball and its past in each one.”

Kellman’s most replayed and well-known broadcast moment came during Game 7 of the Indians’ 1986 championship season. It is included in the video tribute above. (Thanks to Indiana Pioneer Broadcasters and DreamVision Media Partners.)

Kellman is equally known for his sincere and friendly demeanor.

“Howard has earned the respect of baseball personnel across all levels of the game among his peers and throughout the clubhouse — home and visitor,” said Burleson. “He’s a household name in our business not only as a great broadcaster but also an even better person. He’s a good man and an even better one since marrying (wife) Robin.”

“My first year at the Triple-A level was 2013 and I did not know much about the other broadcasters in the International League, but I did know about Howard,” said Kappas. “I was blown away by how kind he was to someone like me, and how he kept in touch with me in the months that followed after the season leading up to my first day with the Tribe.”

In addition to in-game broadcasts, Kellman does pregame interviews broadcast in-park at Victory Field. He also has lead dozens of interviews with former Major League Baseball greats when they visit Indianapolis as part of the Tribe’s Signature Saturday series. Those interviews can be viewed on the Indianapolis Indians YouTube channel.

Howard Kellman interviews Cincinnati Reds great Eric Davis in 2014 prior to a Signature Saturday appearance at Victory Field. Photo by Mark Dickhaus.
Howard Kellman interviews Cincinnati Reds great Eric Davis in 2014 prior to a Signature Saturday appearance at Victory Field. Photo by Mark Dickhaus.

Kellman has also been part of three Triple-A All-Star Game broadcast teams, and led ESPN’s coverage of the Triple-A World Series from 2006-2008.

Along with covering the Tribe, Kellman has worked behind the microphone for the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Cleveland Cavaliers, called IHSAA football and basketball games, and as a sideline reporter for Yale University football on the YES Television Network.

Kellman manages a professional speaking service which features life lessons drawn from sports-related stories, and published a book “61 Humorous & Inspiring Lessons I Learned From Baseball” in 2010.

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