Dan Minor thought it was a joke.
When members of the Adirondack Phantoms marketing department approached the popular radio broadcaster about the possibility of turning his likeness into a bobble head, Miner chalked it up to work-place shenanigans.
“I thought they were joking when they brought it up. I didn’t believe it would happen until they came to me last summer and asked to have some photos taken,” Miner said. “I don’t think anyone expects to be immortalized as a bobble head.”
On Saturday evening, the gregarious morning show disc jockey at 98.5 WCKM and long-time in-house voice and personality of Adirondack hockey will be honored by the Phantoms who will give away 2,500 Dan Miner bubbleheads dolls.
“There’s no better way for us to honor him,” said Phantoms executive vice president Chris Porreca. “He’s been our announcer and a staple within the hockey community here in Glens Falls. It just made sense to have the Dan Miner Bobble head Night. We’re looking forward to it. We expect there to be people lined up before the game.”
Miner’s journey from a young radio broadcaster to one of the most recognizable on-air voices in the area began nearly forty years inside a Whitehall living room.
“Being on air is all I’ve ever wanted to,” Miner said.
When he was a child, Miner’s grandparents lived just down the street from a radio station in Troy.
“I remember going down there and looking in the window and just being fascinated,” he said.
He and his brother would then go home and host their own mock radio shows in the living room of their parent’s home.
After graduating from Whitehall High School in 1983, Miner enrolled in the radio program at Adirondack Community College (now SUNY Adirondack) and picked up a gig working at WIPS/WXTY out of Ticonderoga. He would work seven years in Ticonderoga and another seven at radio stations in Glens Falls before landing with WCKM, where he serves as station manager, program director, and on-air personality.
He and Pete Cloutier, co-host of the “The Morning Club,” form the longest active morning show team in New York State.
“I’ve been really lucky to be in this business for this long.” Miner said. “I love it; it’s not a job to me.”
In 1985, Miner began covering the Adirondack Red Wings for area radio stations and he even hosted a hockey-related radio talk show for 16 years.
In 1991 Miner found himself in the announcing booth, serving as a back-up to former Red Wings announcer Greg Patrei. Eventually, Minor became the full-time voice of the Adirondack Hockey with the IceHawks, the Frostbite and now the Phantoms.
“I never really thought I’d be a PA announcer, but it just kind of worked out that way,” he said. “There’s something different going on all the time. I’ve made some lifelong friends through hockey.”
Miner’s game-day preparations begin more than an hour-and-a-half before the puck drops. He reviews his script, goes over his advertising responsibilities, and reads each team’s roster, which change constantly in the world of minor league hockey.
“In Whitehall, they don’t prepare you for speaking Russian, Eastern European and French-Canadian names. I really strive to get the names right,” Miner said.
As announcer, Miner also serves as off-ice official for the league and is involved in many of the team’s in-game promotions.
“At any given time, I have five people in my ear. I don’t actually see much of the game because I’m working all the time,” he said.
Miner has participated in countless promotions as part of his job at the radio station but Saturday will be the first time he’s seen his likeness portrayed in the shape of a bubblehead.
He has yet to see one of the dolls but he and his wife were given the chance to offer a few suggestions during the design process.
“I wanted to make sure they showed my right side and my bald melon,” Miner joked.
He was in Whitehall over the weekend, distributing tickets to friends and family members. He said he’s expecting nearly 60 people to make the drive from Whitehall to attend the game.
“My parents are ecstatic; they can’t wait. I’m probably going to take some ribbing but I’m expecting that,” Miner said.
Saturday’s game starts at 7 p.m. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a bobble head.
Although there are no official statistics, it’s believed Miner is the first Whitehall native to ever be immortalized as a bobble head.
“It’s an honor to be recognized. I’m probably the only thing at the (Glens Falls) Civic Center that’s been here through all the teams. It’s humbling actually. I think it’s really cool,” Miner said.