Sam Simmermaker and wife Fran at WCSI radio station in Columbus, Ind. Credit: © Kyle Neddenriep / USA TODAY NETWORK

The typical 92-year-old has been long retired, but Sam Simmermaker isn’t your typical anything.

After 64 years with White River Broadcasting in Columbus, Indiana, the longtime local play-by-play voice who soundtracked multiple generations of athletes has decided to retire.

Despite his retirement, Simmermaker isn’t interested in a big send-off at WCSI 1010 AM this Friday. That’s just his style – he’s always preferred the spotlight to be on the young athletes whose games he’s called with such passion, not himself.

“He wanted every broadcast to be about the young men and women who were playing the game,” White River Broadcasting GM Bob Morrison told the IndyStar. “It was never about Sam. The main reason he never had his own catchphrase was because it was more important for him to say the names of the players correctly and staying on top of it all. You cannot fake the heart Sam puts into every broadcast. It’s impossible.”

Even though Simmermaker’s official last day is this Friday, he’s dedicating some extra time to high school baseball. He’ll be calling the Hauser game on Monday morning for the sectional semifinals at South Ripley. And that’s not all – he’ll also be announcing Columbus East’s game on Friday night at the Shelbyville sectional. He’s committed to seeing both teams through the tournament as long as their journeys continue.

But after that, he’s done. At 92 years old with 64 years of service under his belt, he’s ready to pull the plug on an illustrious local radio career — one that includes numerous accolades. He’s a two-time Indiana Sportscaster of the Year (1976 & 1997) by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriter Association. His achievements have also landed him in multiple Halls of Fame: the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (1998), the Indiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association (1991), and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).

“I tell people I have just five words in parting,” Simmermaker said. “Thanks for being my friend.”


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.