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Red Wings play-by-play man Ken Kal to step in for Dan Dickerson

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Tigers' radio voice Dan Dickerson will miss tonight's game due to a family commitment. Substituting will be Red Wings play-by-play man Ken Kal, calling baseball for the first time.

Gregory Shamus

Dan Dickerson has a family commitment and will not be behind the mic for game one of Detroit Tigers' series with the Kansas City Royals. Announced as Dickerson's replacement is a surprise - Ken Kal, the long-time radio voice of Detroit Red Wings, will do play-by-play, joining color man Jim Price in the booth.

Kal, an experienced broadcast veteran who successfully replaced legendary Red Wings' announcer Bruce Martyn in 1995, will be making his baseball debut. August 2, Kal began his preparations by calling a mock broadcast of the Tigers' 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Kal admitted at the time he made a few hockey-based mistakes during his play-by-play.

"I did call the ball a puck one time," Kal said. "I said, ‘(Jhonny) Peralta picked up the puck, I mean the ball.’ And I did go to a break and called it the Red Wing hockey network. Those are things that you can’t do during a baseball game."

Kal is acutely aware calling hockey and its non-stop action requires a different style compared to the more leisurely baseball.

"It's a whole different way of broadcasting than it is a hockey game,'' Kal said. "You just have to let the game breathe a little bit, keep the game interesting, have conversations with (analyst) Jim Price. There's not as much action, there's a more relaxed pace.

For those hoping to hear Kal's Tigers' debut, tonight's game will not be carried on flagship station 97.1 the Ticket, WXYT-FM, due to a conflict with the Detroit Lions - Cleveland Browns preseason exhibition game. Kal's broadcast will be carried locally on sister station WXYT-AM, 1270 on the dial.