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You primarily need two things if you want to become a baseball announcer: an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport and the patience to work your way up the ladder. This exciting job brings together journalism, broadcasting and competition to create one of the most challenging and rewarding careers in sports. By constantly sharpening your skills and slowly working up the career ladder, you can prepare yourself for a career of calling baseball games.
There rarely are any educational requirements to become a baseball announcer, but many prospective announcers choose to strengthen their abilities by studying at college. Majoring in journalism or broadcasting provides a foundation in the principles of writing, researching and, most importantly, communicating to an audience. Many college broadcasting programs are associated with campus radio and television stations. Cover your school's baseball games in order to gain a knowledge of the technical, vocal and information needs of the job.
Cultivate all of the practice and experience you can by acquiring an internship with a radio or television station. You most likely will not be on the air, but you will be helping to produce or write broadcasts. These valuable behind-the-scenes learning experiences and professional contacts can help you become a baseball announcer. Also, listen to professional broadcasters and study their delivery in order to discover styles you do and do not like. Famous baseball announcer Dick Enberg once said he turned the volume on his television down and recorded his own broadcasts on a tape recorder in order to practice.
Patience is a necessity if you want to become a baseball announcer. Nobody jumps directly into calling major league games, and those who hope to achieve that goal normally must spend several years working their way up the ranks. Many broadcasters begin their careers calling minor league or college games. This is an opportunity to sharpen your skills and to create an audio résumé of your abilities. Eventually, if you are talented and lucky, you could move into major leagues games.
Just as important as having strong broadcasting skills is having a vast knowledge of baseball rules and strategy as well as other information that you can use on the air. Knowing all about baseball rules and strategy will help you understand the game and give you credibility with your listeners. Further knowledge of baseball facts and information can come from studying the history of the sport's legends and current players. Know as much as you can about major league baseball as well as college baseball and the minor leagues. A strong ability to improvise and utilize this knowledge will help avoid dead air during broadcasts and help inform listeners about aspects of the game they do not know.
It takes many years of rehearsal and study to become a baseball announcer. By sharpening your broadcasting skills and cultivating a vast understanding of the sport, you can work in this industry. By taking entry level jobs and working up the ladder, you could one day be calling a major league baseball game.
When I was in journalism school, our class would visit local TV stations from time to time. Whenever I was in a station, I would ask the person giving us the tour whether I could sit behind the anchor desk and read copy from the monitor. This was my mock newscast.
The experience was great. I got an idea of what the job was like and the skills I needed to master to be good at the job. For me, getting used to a producer talking in my ear while I was reading news copy from the monitor was the most difficult aspect of the job.
I mention this only to say that if you want to be
a baseball announcer then you should practice the mundane routine as well as dreaming about all the games you will one day cover. I advise, that you set up your computer or TV for viewing a baseball game, turn down the sound and do the broadcast. This will give you an idea of the reality of the job you covet. It may be a bit different than you imagined, and more difficult than you imagined, in the beginning.
Growing up in a small town, there were some opportunities available to school students that were not available to young people in larger places. One of my friends loved music and he was able to get a job working weekends and nights at the local radio station.
In a larger city, there is no way he would have ever gotten on the air, but that's exactly what he did at our local station. The experience and skills he gained playing music and talking on air eventually allowed him to get a job announcing the local high school sports events for the same radio station.
He started with football, and then later, when baseball games started being broadcast by the station, he announced the baseball games as well. He got paid to go to the games and he never had to buy football or baseball tickets.