Looking back at Caps history, with Ron WeberPosted on June 19, 2012
One of the best parts of being the guy in the chair in the home radio booth for the Washington Capitals is that Ron Weber comes by to visit every now and then. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, Ron's play-by-play came before the days when every game was on television, and is revered now more than ever by longtime fans of the Caps. As well he should be. He was the voice of winter in these parts, back when the games were on WMAL, and AM radio was the lone connection many fans had to their favorite team. Long before the days of Twitter, listening online, and having everything available in video form, there was Ron Weber. Late in the regular season, I asked Ron if we could sit down and talk about some of the biggest moments in team history, and if he had some of his old calls that we could put up here on the blog. It took us a couple of weeks to hook up, but I had a great visit on the phone with him today that has started the ball rolling. On Monday, I'll be heading to Ron's house to pick up on loan the old cassettes and reels that contain the calls of the early days of the franchise. We're not exactly sure how the old analog tapes have fared over the years, but I've pledged both to him and to you to not only find out, but to put some of Ron's calls here on Capitals Voice for longtime fans to enjoy again. In addition, Ron has agreed to sit down with me in July to talk about his memories of the top moments in team history. Those interviews will be put up here on the blog as well. Memories of any franchise's infancy are important. They remind us where we've come from, and instill a sense of pride in the organization. As we prepare to head down memory lane, Ron gave me a good milepost to discuss just today when I talked to him. It is the game, in Ron's mind, where the team really took off after eight seasons of struggling. October 30, 1982, the Caps were in St. Louis to play the Blues. Washington would post a 6-5 win that night, with Ken Houston picking up the game-winning goal. The Caps improved that night to a not-so-inspiring 3-6-1. But it began a stretch of 25 games in which the club lost only three times, vaulting Bryan Murray's team by season's end to a 39-25-16 record. 94 points. More importantly, Washington secured a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the very first time. Through the growing pains of the early days in the 70's, into the much brighter days of the 1980's, Ron was there to see it all. Now, we're going to bring it back. It's a bit of a tall task to convert audio, but I believe longtime fans would agree that Ron is worth preserving for all time. I'll be heading over to see Ron on Monday, and to pick up the trove of audio history that he has for me. In the meantime, here's how you can help. In the comments section here, list any Caps memories that you'd like me to ask Ron about. We'll compile the best, and I'll ask Ron about them and post the audio here starting in mid-July. For longtime fans, it's a chance to relive your favorite Caps memories. For newer fans, it's learning (and listening) to a living radio legend talk about the history of your favorite team. If you're a fan of the Washington Capitals, there will be something for everyone. Leave your memories below in the comments section, and let me know what you'd like to ask.