Chris Wheeler hasn’t worked a regular season game for the Philadelphia Phillies since the 2014 season concluded, but he remains a frequently-discussed topic in Philadelphia. From 2015 to 2017, “Wheels,” worked as a club ambassador, the same role that Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Mickey Morandini currently work in. Even though he retired from the organization last October, he still returns to serve as the public address announcer for Spring Training. Tom McCarthy and John Kruk frequently talk about him on telecasts still. And, of course, it’s hard to go more than a week in Philadelphia without seeing the video of him celebrating the team’s 2008 World Series title behind his Hall of Fame broadcast partner, Harry Kalas.
In his 47 years working for the Phillies – 37 of which were in the broadcast booth – Wheeler gained his fair share of supporters and detractors. He recently appeared on SportsRadio 94 WIP’s “Wired This Way” podcast, hosted by Andrew Porter. In a wide-ranging interview about his career, Wheeler discussed his critics, who were a rather vocal group at times.
“When talk radio started was when you found out that there were people out there that didn’t like you,” Wheeler said. “To say it didn’t bother me, sure, it bothered me because I knew the kind of person I was, I knew what I was trying to do.”
Wheeler went on to say that some of the “jackasses” that worked on talk radio got under his skin because they knew him as a person but made a business decision to disparage him on the air. But he said he needed to remind himself that those who made it a point to criticize him – whether they were media members or just fans – had to continue along with their lives the next day, while he worked his dream job.