How to Become a Baseball Announcer

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To become a professional baseball announcer, one must have extensive training in radio or television broadcasting. A thorough knowledge of baseball history, statistics, current play, and a passion for the microphone is also required to make a success in the baseball broadcasting field. The prospective announcer may begin as a public address announcer at local youth and high school games and eventually pursue specialized training to become a professional announcer.


BaseballAnnouncer.jpg

Flickr: Official USS Theodore Roosevelt
Education Bachelor's degree or specialized training
Starting pay $20,000[1]
Median pay $37,161[1]
10 yr growth N/A
Related professions Journalist, reporter, sports writer, radio announcer, statistician
Author Raymond Bureau
 

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Contents

Baseball Announcer Overview

The job of a baseball announcer is to provide vocal descriptions of the play on the baseball field during a game. Part-time announcers typically work local games for a smaller radio or television station and not travel often. Full-time announcers, though, may find themselves traveling frequently. For most professional sports, baseball included, the announcers work for and travel with specific teams, which have contracts with particular radio or television stations. National broadcasters will work for a major radio or television network and travel where and when their employers deem necessary.[2]

Baseball Announcer Salary

The average salary ranges from approximately $20,000 to $155,000 depending on experience, market, and professional level. The median salary is approximately $37,000. [1] This range, though, considers all levels of professionalism. Major League announcers can make significantly more, while Minor League announcers may earn far less. Local announcers may do so as a part-time job for extra income. On average, a minor league baseball announcer earns between $1,200 and $1,500 per month.[2]

Baseball Announcer Education

Many professional baseball announcers have also played the sport professionally, so they know the insides of the game. Announcers who do not have a background in professional sports generally pursue extensive broadcasting education. An announcer typically holds at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as communications, journalism, or broadcasting. [3] Prospective baseball announcers should also learn baseball history, rules, statistics, commentary, and analysis.

Baseball Announcer Training

Specialized broadcasting schools exist throughout the country. For example, American Broadcasting School has both ground and online campuses. [4] [5] Students who join the program receive extensive voice training and learn to operate control panels and sound equipment.

Most announcers have to start low and work their ways up to the more-prestigious and higher-paying jobs. Baseball announcers typically begin their careers in small markets working for high school and/or college teams.[6] This allows beginners to practice with smaller audiences, develop their own on-air personalities, idiosyncrasies, and catch phrases that give them their own unique identities. For example, Chicago White Sox television announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrleson exclaims his catch phrase "You can put it on the board... Yes!" when a White Sox player hits a home run.

Vin Scully Announces Yasiel Puigs' MLB Debut Week

Hall-of-Fame announcer Vin Scully provides the play-by-play of Dodger rookie Yaseil Puig's MLB debut week.

Also See: How to Become a Professional Soccer Player, How to Become a Professional Baseball Player, How to Become a Soccer Coach, How to Become a General Manager of a Sports Team, How to Become a Journalist

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Sports_Announcer/Salary
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/season-preview/2010/269688.html
  3. http://education-portal.com/articles/Become_a_Professional_Baseball_Announcer_Career_Roadmap.html
  4. http://radioschool.com/home.htm
  5. http://radioschoolonline.com/
  6. http://www.milb.com/documents/2011/03/14/16948198/1/PA_Announcer_job_description.pdf