Longtime Little Brown Jug simulcast host, Sam McKee has been named the 2017 Joseph Neville Memorial Award honouree by the Delaware County Fair.
The native of Michigan, McKee started calling imaginary races as a young boy. His developed a pen-pal relationship with the Hall of Fame and Little Brown Jug announcer, Roger Huston. Huston’s mentorship helped shape McKee’s career.
The day after graduating high school, McKee was hired by Saginaw Valley Downs to serve as their track announcer. He later worked for Sports Creek Raceway, Raceway Park, Detroit Race Course and Northville Downs.
In 1990, McKee moved his family east to work at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He served as the Big M’s co-announcer, simulcast director and TV coordinator. His distinctive voice would later be heard during the Grand Circuit meet at Lexington’s Red Mile.
McKee was inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. He also owned a spot in the Michigan Harness Racing Hall.
McKee died March 8, 2017 at the age of 54. He is survived by his wife, Chris, and three daughters – Meagan, Lindsey and Melissa.
(Little Brown Jug)