John Walton, the radio voice of the Washington Capitals, saw his season of calling NHL games end in mid-April. But he’s been become an incredibly busy guy over the last few weeks.
Walton, formerly the voice of the Hershey Bears, has traveled with the Capitals’ AHL affiliated team cross-country (and sit with peons like me in media row) as the Chocolate and White has made its deep postseason run. Walton has provided coverage of the Bears on Capitals’ social media and been an intermission guest on the Bears’ telecasts.
Now, after getting back to the DC area early in the morning due to Hershey’s thrilling Game Three overtime victory in the Calder Cup Finals, Walton will pick up the headset again to provide play-by-play, but of a different sport.
Walton will call the Congressional Baseball Game with Fox News’ Chad Pergram. First pitch of the game, which is annually held at Nationals Park, will be at 7:05 pm. Fans of Walton and politics can watch the broadcast on FS1 (Fox Sports 1).
— John Walton (@JohnWaltonPxP) June 14, 2023
“It’s exciting,” Walton said in an interview with RMNB. “I love baseball but don’t get enough chances to get in the broadcast booth for it. It’s a big event in our town, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The opportunity came about for Walton after having a college connection with Pergram, who has gone on to have major success of his own in media.
“Chad Pergram and I have been friends for years,” Walton said. “We both went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and he’s been at Fox News forever now. He’s a big baseball guy and huge Caps fan, too. He actually sat in for Ben Raby on radio a few years ago. It’s going to be fun to work with him again.”
Tonight on Jeopardy! The question is “Who are the Washington Capitals?” The category was league MVP’s. The correct responses were the team for whom a player played pic.twitter.com/Mbc01RBQ2I
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 28, 2022
Pergram has worked for Fox News since 2007 and is the company’s senior congressional correspondent. Pergram has gone to Capitals games for over a quarter of a century. His “Capitals debut” came on November 3, 2018, when he filled in for Raby and served as the third man in the booth during a Caps-Stars game. Now Pergram is returning the favor to Walton on one of Congress’s biggest and most bipartisan nights out.
Big names participating in the game include Minority Leader of the House, Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Steve Scalise (LA-01), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), and Joni Ernst (IA-Sen.).
When the “action” on the field isn’t enough to carry the broadcast by itself, Walton and Pergram will have a lot to pull from, including historical coverage, to make the game lively.
“We’ll have interviews from the field, which is fun,” Walton said. “We’ll have a lot of video from past games, a home run that actually cleared the wall two years ago by one of the members. It’s definitely a competitive game. It’s for charity, which is great, but neither team wants to lose this one. They’ll have to sit on it for a whole year.”
Walton does have experience in baseball beyond being a huge fan of both the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals. After graduating college, he was the Cincinnati Reds’ public address announcer from 1996 to 2002.
— John Walton (@JohnWaltonPxP) September 27, 2020
As for Walton, who recently became a dad to an adorable baby girl, he admits his schedule has been a lot recently, but both he and his wife Jen realize that opportunities like this on a national stage don’t come around too often.
“I am tired,” Walton said. “It’s been a lot of late night drives back from Hershey and flights to Rochester and California. I am at home every minute I can be with Maddie, but our Conn Smythe MVP has been my wife Jen. It hasn’t been easy the last few weeks, but she’s the glue that holds this ship together. I am very thankful for all she’s done these last few weeks.”
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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