As 60-year Komets broadcaster Bob Chase said, this has been his year for awards.
Chase, 87, was honored by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry with a ``Key to the Fort,'' which goes to individuals who have made an extraordinary commitment to the community through a lifetime of stewardship and involvement.
Already this year, Chase has received the Lester Patrick Award from the National Hockey League and USA Hockey for his contributions to the sport in this country, and he was inducted into the Northern Michigan University Hall of Fame.
``The honor is incredible, and I'm kind of used to getting honored, but they just get bigger and better and more dear and more meaningful,'' Chase said Thursday morning in the Mayor's Office. ``The ones you come home to are the big ones. You people are are the big people in my life, and Fort Wayne is.''
Chase is just the third Fort Wayne resident to receive a ``Key to the Fort" from Henry. The other recipients were the late Charles Redd, a former city council member and community activist; and Jane Avery of Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana.
``It is my privilege to recognize Bob Chase for all that he has done for our great city," said Mayor Tom Henry. ``Bob's professionalism, character, humility and his love for his family and the Komets are all attributes that make him a unique and special man in our community."
Along with Chase's wife Murph, there were more than 30 members of the media, friends and former Komets and members of Komets management present.
``You never know what's next,'' Chase said. ``You think about things that have happened over the years, what is next. I didn't know what this was going to be until just this very moment.''
Chase will begin his 61st season covering the Komets in October. It's the longest continuous tenure covering home and road games for a broadcaster with one team in all of professional sports.
``I can hardly wait now, I've got the key to it all,'' Chase joked. ``I'm looking forward to it. I don't know what it's going to be, but it's going to be great because that's the way they are. When they change things around, look out, here we come, big-time and all excitement no doubt about it.''