Unwarranted Praise

National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year (2012)

Phil Mackey, along with KARE 11’s Dave Schwartz, was named NSSA Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year for 2012. Previous winners include Dave Lee, Herb Carneal and Al Shaver. 

Talkers Magazine’s Sports Talk Heavy Hundred (2012 &2013)

Reusse & Mackey named as the No. 63 sports talk show in the country in Talkers Magazine’s Top 100 list for 2012. 

City Pages’ “Best Sports Talk Radio Host” (2011)

Since KSTP-AM 1500 made the splash of going to its ESPN all-sports format last spring, the biggest voice at the station has been Mackey’s. A former side-charge at rival KFAN, the twentysomething Mackey has played a major role in jockeying 1500 neck-and-neck with “the Fan.” When the station first announced that the stat-heavy Mackey would team with 40-plus-year media vet Patrick Reusse, many wondered if the kid had the chops to duel with the gravel-voiced curmudgeon. But in less than a year, Mackey has proven that he wields more than just a Sabermetric sword. Combining a distinct voice with a sensible wit and adroit Twins coverage, Mackey has wasted little time showing that he can bark with the big dogs while orchestrating a seeming impossibility: proving Reusse has a sunny side. With 1500 stalwart Joe Soucheray recently opting for reduced airtime, Mackey and Reusse found their noon-to-2 slot extended another hour. The added time showed that Mackey is far more than just a “BABIP” or “WAR” stat geek.

Minneapolis – St. Paul Magazine’s “Best Fresh Voice” (2011)

The realm of baseball journalism is a mash-up of observational writing, locker room sycophancy, rumor, hunch, and conventional wisdom. Even the town’s best are prisoner to some of it. Phil Mackey has brought a new stats- and rationality-driven take on the grand old game. He’s fearless, willing to say when the fan’s darling is really a mirage (his take on Michael Cuddyer was not popular this season) or shine a spotlight on an underappreciated player (JJ Hardy). He’s even got co-host Pat Reusse sounding curious now and then.

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