Va. sports broadcaster Frank Soden dies at 91

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Frank Soden, the longtime broadcasting voice of Richmond's AAA baseball clubs and the University of Richmond football and basketball teams, died Sunday night at 91.

Although Frank Soden is not a native of Virginia, during his career he became the most versatile and recognizable voice in Virginia sports history. Beginning his radio commentating out of state, Soden went on the air in Richmond in 1948 first at station WXGI and later at Richmond's WRNL. In addition to serving as WRNL's executive vice-president and general manager, Soden was the play-by-play announcer for both the Richmond Virginians and the Richmond Braves AAA Baseball teams while at the station. The first AAA baseball game ever to be broadcast in Virginia featured the Richmond Virginians at Parker Field in April of 1954 with Frank Soden calling the plays.

Soden lent his voice for University of Virginia football (1952-54), Virginia Tech football (1956-58), University of Richmond football (1969-80) and University of Richmond basketball (1956-80). In 1950 the first college basketball game to be broadcast in Virginia hit the airwaves with Frank Soden calling the action as the University of Richmond took on West Virginia University at West Virginia. From 1950 through 1975, Soden also commentated NCAA and Southern Conference basketball games.

Aside from professional and college sports, Soden involved himself in little league and high school level sports as well as coaching associations, the Special Olympics, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and the Virginia Athletic Commission.