Counting Down To Spring Training 2013

Mick Gillispie and Len Kasper in Mesa before a Chicago Cubs Spring Training Game.

The Hotstove League is in full swing and its time to start thinking about the 2013 baseball season. Nothing is better then catching a game on the radio. We found this blog post which mentioned our own Mick Gillispie who broadcasts Chicago Cubs Spring Training games along with Cubs voice Len Kasper each spring. Mick is entering his seventh season as the  “The Voice” of Smokies Baseball. The Holy Coleslaw blog  posted this last March and it won’t be long before pitchers and catchers report again.

Holy Coleslaw blog includes great pictures and stuff worth checking out and here is the story posted below;

Watching baseball on the radio

(warning the following post is full of baseball nostalgia)

One of my favorite days of the year is the first March afternoon I get in my car and I turn on the radio and hear Pat Hughes say “Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air”. Some years I’m driving in a blizzard, and this year it’s May or June like weather. Still there is something comforting about having baseball on the radio. It’s a sign that spring and summer are near, a sign that my sad addiction for Cubs baseball has a 7 month fix all lined up.

A few years ago I was sitting out on my front stoop and I had the radio on listening to the Cubs. A neighbor of mine stopped by and asked what the score was. I told him, I suspect the Cubs were losing. He asked why I wasn’t inside watching the game. I told him it was a nice day and I actually enjoyed listening to baseball more than I did watching it. He looked at me like I had two heads. After that we sat their and chatted about something unimportant in between listening to pitches.  

I have no idea why, but even as a kid I remember feeling that way. I remember my Dad working in the garage and he would have the game on. I would be playing some sort of game with a couple of neighbor kids, and poke my head in every few minutes to listen to a pitch or two. During late summer nights I can recall trying to dial in games from Cincinnati, St. Louis, or Detroit. All of this seems simple today with mlb.com. But in those days getting a game from a Detroit station felt like I was listening to something from another world.

IMO Baseball lends itself to the radio. You don’t have to follow every single pitch. Unlike constant action sports like hockey and basketball there is plenty of time for the commentators to tell you stories about ballplayers or bygone days. 

The rise of internet and mlb.com has been great for those of us who want access to baseball on the radio without having to wait for those late nights when a radio signal might hit just right into your house. Baseball is available all the time from spring training to the World Series and you can hear broadcasts from coast to coast. I’ve really enjoyed listening to Len Kasper and Mick Gillespie call Cubs spring training games on cubs.com. It’s the new media at it’s best IMO. Bringing us games we wouldn’t otherwise hear on terrestrial radio. Truthfully, I never recognized Len’s talent as a broadcaster until I heard him calling these games. Like his hero Ernie Harwell he brings the game to life.

So here’s looking forward to a great summer. I can’t wait for that first Saturday when I can go outside, turn on the ballgame and do some yard work. Hell, I might even crack an Old Style or two.  

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Categories: Uncategorized

Author:smokiesradio

The Smokies Radio Network is the official radio network for the Chicago Cubs AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. Daily broadcasts begin with the Pilot-Oscar Mayer pre-game show airing 15 minutes before every game. Following the game the broadcast concludes with the Edward Jones Investments post-game show. The Smokies Radio Network staff includes the Director of Broadcasting Mick Gillispie, Sr. Broadcast Assistant Greg Young, Broadcast Assistant Keith Brake and Broadcast Intern James Rowe.

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