The story goes that Kansas City was just supposed to be a pit stop on the road back home, that he’d cut his teeth in a large television market and eventually go cover the boyhood teams he once cheered.

And then Frank Boal met Kansas City, and its passion for sports and people.

“Once I got here, it was just a really good fit for me and my family,” Boal said. “The people reminded me of people in Pittsburgh, my hometown. They’re warm, charming and love their teams.”

Boal became part of the fabric of Kansas City, emerging as one of its most recognizable media personalities ever to walk across the TV screen as he carved out a 36-year career mostly as a sports director. It’s a body of work that is tough to match and why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Boal with the Class of 2017.

From his first assignment covering the National Basketball Association’s Kansas City Kings’ 1981 playoff team to his retirement in 2017, Boal covered it all: legendary golfer Tom Watson, the great Kansas City Royals teams of the 1980s, George Brett’s best years through his induction into Cooperstown and the Kansas City Chiefs great run of the 1990s.

Specifically, Boal spent 28 years at WDAF-TV in Kansas City and then finished his career at KSHB-TV, all the while working for 810 WHB Radio and earning respect from the athletes and coaches he covered.

For any sports TV reporter, that alone would be worth a mic drop when the curtain lowered for the final time.

This from a reporter who took plenty of chances, including his early years at WDAF, which initially planned to install Boal as a part-time reporter and sports anchor. The station did not have a sports director at the time, so Boal lobbied for the role.

“I approached them and said, ‘Let me be the sports director. If you don’t like the way I do my job, you can get rid of me. Let me put my fate in my hands,’” Boal said. “The rest is history.”

And to think Boal was a late-comer to the TV party. He had attended Villanova, playing as a standout running back, and then stayed on as an assistant coach after graduation – and figured his draft number would be called during the Vietnam War. But it never did.

“There was something about (coaching) that didn’t gel with me,” Boal said. “My best friend, Michal Burns, his dad was Bill Burns, one of the original anchors at KDKA in Pittsburgh.”

Burns, a Purple Heart winner in World War II, encouraged Boal to go into TV news, even though Boal had graduated with a finance degree.

“As I was coming to the end of my coaching career at Villanova, I decided to see if Bill Burns new what he was talking about,” Boal said.

The road then led to San Francisco State, where Boal drove Wells Fargo Bank trucks by day and studied journalism at night. Suddenly, he was 29 when he started his TV career, first in Grand Coolee, Washington and on to stops in Eureka, California and Green Bay.

Eventually, WDAF gave him his biggest break, soon to send him to the NBA Playoffs to cover the Kings against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.

“That was my first indoctrination into Kansas City,” Boal said with a laugh.

Soon, he covered the 1983 U.S. Open in which Watson nearly repeated as the champion at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. Boal also covered both of the Kansas City Royals’ World Series championships in 1985 and 2015.

In between, Boal delivered an hour-long broadcast of Brett’s induction into Cooperstown, and covered the Chiefs’ rise in the 1990s under general manager Carl Peterson and coach Marty Schottenheimer.

“I’ve been very blessed,” Boal said. “The people I’ve met. All the things I’ve covered. It’s been wonderful for me and family.”

In 2007, Boal was inducted into the Villanova Athletics Hall of Fame. All along the way, he had mentors – Burns in Pittsburgh, Mike McDonald at WDAF – and made friends with KC icons Len Dawson and Brett. He also has worked alongside big names at 810 radio, including former Chiefs Bill Maas and Tim Grunhard.

And it all happened because McDonald took a chance on an eager sports guy back in 1981.

“It just really worked out for us,” Boal said. “I said, ‘Let the chips fall where they may.”

Clearly, they fell in the right place.