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UK Hall of Famer Derek Bryant

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This week on the WUKY SportsPage Keith Elkins chats with new UK Athletics Hall of Famer Derek Bryant who played baseball for the Big Blue and then a successful career in Major League Baseball.

Derek Bryant was recently elected to membership in the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame.  As a Kentucky baseball player from 1970-73, he was named to the All-SEC first team twice. He batted .408 for the Wildcats in 1971.  He was Kentucky’s first African-American player.  He had been drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 15th round in 1969 after graduating from Henry Clay High School in Lexington before choosing to play at UK. 

In 1973, he was drafted by and signed with the Oakland A’s. He worked his way through their minor league system and appeared in 39 games with the 1979 A’s, whose roster included another rookie outfielder, future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. He later had a long and productive playing career in the Mexican League (he once hit four homers and a triple in a single game), and has since been a manager and executive in Mexican professional baseball. He is a member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame. 

In this conversation, he talks about his experience in Lexington youth baseball, his time at UK and his long professional career in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as his first major league at bat against Tommy John of the New York Yankees, and his post-game conversation about that with Yankee catcher Thurman Munson.

Keith Elkins has an extensive background in broadcasting and public relations. He retired in 2017 after nine years as director of broadcasting and media relations for the Lexington Legends. He was the radio play-by-play announcer for the Legends, who played a 140-game schedule in the South Atlantic League as a class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. For 15 seasons, he was heard on halftime and postgame shows as the studio anchor on University of Kentucky basketball broadcasts on the UK sports network.Keith is a former television sports anchor and reporter with WLEX-TV in Lexington. Later, as a member of the University of Kentucky public relations staff, he produced and narrated many television features and promotional announcements on behalf of the university. Keith also has served as director of public relations at Transylvania University and worked in marketing communications with Wyncom, Inc. of Lexington. He returned to UK as director of communications in the UK College of Engineering, and was the editor of the College of Engineering alumni magazine, Quadrangle. He has served as host of the WUKY Sports Page podcast since 2019.Keith is a native of Bedford, Indiana, a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a longtime Lexington resident. He has two adult sons and two grandsons.