Bob Davis excited to return to Hays for book signing

By Randy Gonzales
Special to Hays Daily News
Bob Davis, former voice of the Fort Hays State Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks, will appear at the Golden Q on Saturday to sign copies of his recently-published book, 'The Dream is Real.' The signing will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Bob Davis, former radio sportscaster for the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Royals, and known locally as the Voice of the Tigers for 16 years, will be in Hays on Saturday for a book signing.

Davis, who did radio play-by-play for Fort Hays State University, Hays High School and Thomas More Prep-Marian from 1968 to 1984, will sign copies of his book “The Dream is Real: My Life on the Airwaves” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Golden Q, 809 Ash.

“I’m excited about it,” Davis said. “I haven’t been to Hays for a while. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot of people we know, have a few chuckles.”

Jeff Bollig, a longtime friend of Davis, 77, approached him about doing a book together after his retirement, recounting his experiences as a broadcaster. They started working on the book in February 2020 and it came out for the Christmas holiday season. A planned book tour was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hays is among a handful of stops Davis is making this summer to greet fans.

“The book has a little bit for everybody,” said Bollig, who graduated from Hays High in 1980. “It’s a quick read; it’s enjoyable.”

Bollig grew up listening to Davis on the radio, but never knew him personally. He finally met Davis while working in the sports information office at KU and they became friends.

“He’s kind of my Jack Buck, my Ernie Harwell, Harry Kalas,” Bollig said. “I think one thing Bob was good at, he was a fan of the team he was broadcasting. You could tell which team he really wanted to win.”

Davis was there for the big wins and the great teams.

“Al Billinger had some really good (basketball) teams at TMP,” Davis said. “Don Slone (at Hays High) had some good teams, just couldn’t quite get to that state tournament.

“I did get to cover a couple (basketball) national championships at Fort Hays,” he added. “That was quite a highlight.”

Davis broadcast some of the big moments in Jayhawk history, too.

“The Final Fours and national championships,” were a highlight, he said. “The Orange Bowl was a tremendous game. That was certainly a highlight, to see KU win an Orange Bowl.”

After Davis left KAYS to cover KU, the tradition of excellence carried on.

“Some of the guys who replaced me were very good as well,” Davis said. “Wyatt (Thompson) did a great job and is at K-State. (Current KAYS sportscaster) Gerard (Wellbrock) may be as good as anybody who’s done the Tigers.”

Davis had words of wisdom for the next generation of sportscasters.

“Get to know your people and enjoy it,” Davis said. “The time goes by so quickly. Build some relationships with those people, which will last you a lifetime.

“Don’t worry about the hours; a lot of late nights,” he added. “It’s all worth it and all fun.”

Books will be available for purchase at Saturday’s signing, as well as at bobdavisthedreamisreal.com and on Amazon.