For more than 35 years, Dan Palmer's distinctive voice and style have been a part of our lives almost every day on the airwaves in Chautauqua County. He'll take a break from behind the microphone to be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 18.
Palmer will be one of six inductees honored at the organization's 32nd annual induction dinner at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. The other inductees will be Cal Cederquist, Ron Blackmer, the late Jim Foti, Walt Thurnau and Jim Young.
Palmer has been a fixture at WDOE Radio in Dunkirk where he began his legendary sports broadcasting career in 1975. His first high school football game was a battle between rivals Southwestern and Fredonia and since that time, he's been the play-by-play voice for more than 2,000 regular season and playoff games for Northern Chautauqua County's10 area high schools at the college level, as well as other youth sports.
You name it and Palmer has probably done it. Whether it's baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, basketball or football, Palmer has showcased his broadcasting talents each time he steps in front of a microphone, including hundreds of Section 6 championship games, Far West regional games and 20 New York State Public High School tournaments. Reading through the list is literally staggering.
Palmer's also had the opportunity to interview dozens of sports stars, including former World's Strongest Man Don Reinhoudt, Dunkirk baseball coaching legend Al Stuhlmller, Fredonia basketball coach Roger Moore and baseball coach Pete Criscione, Bob Muscato from Cardinal Mindzenty, Falconer baseball coach Denny Meszaros, Olympic medalist and former Fredonia basketball and softball star Jennifer Stucynski, Fredonia basketball legend Mike Heary and many more.
When his career reached the 25-year milestone in 2001, Palmer was honored by dozens of friends and athletes at a "Legacy Of Service" dinner in Dunkirk. He has also been honored as a "Person Of The Year" by the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce.
Palmer's name was also placed on the Wall of Fame at Fredonia High School in 2005 and was a charter member of the Grape Belt Sports Hall of Fame during that same year.
As the WDOE sports director, he helped to establish many new awards to honor local high school athletes, such as the WDOE Leadership Award, the High School Athlete Of The Day, High School Players of the Week, the Player of the Game Trophy and the Community Sports Service Award, which is given to a local community member who helps promote ad guide young athletes.
Palmer is the host of the WDOE Morning Show and continues as the station's sports director and his flair for sports along with local community events makes him the person to listen to in Chautauqua County and the Dunkirk/Fredonia area.
Palmer has also been involved with Special Olympics, the Relay For Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes and the Dunkirk Free Library.
The induction dinner will begin with a hospitality session at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner, regarded as the greatest heavyweight freestyle wrestler in American history, will be the guest speaker.
Tickets may be purchased at the Jamestown Cycle Shop, Matt's News in Dunkirk and the Fredonia Food Mart. Tickets can also be ordered by calling Chip Johnson at 485-6991.
The price per ticket is $50. CSHOF members receive a $5 discount.