With the retirements of Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, the importance of the baseball radio broadcaster has never been more clear. It is the broadcaster who links the generations, shares the latest upcoming news from the ballpark, tells of the players’ humanity, and connects the fans to the team on a deeper, satisfying level.
Every autumn in our postseason awards, Ballpark Digest is proud to honor the top broadcaster in professional baseball, honoring longevity, outstanding on-air skill, and the tradition established through the lineage of those voices like Scully and Enberg who personify the heart of a team and the voice of a community.
The 2016 Ballpark Digest Broadcaster of the Year is Sean Aronson, voice of the St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association).
The 39-year-old Aronson has traveled a on a path from Northridge (CA), where he grew up listening to Scully, to the University of Colorado-Boulder, to interning with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, to directing the broadcasts for the Allentown Ambassadors and Fort Myers Miracle.
In 2007, he was officially Sainted, replacing Kris Atteberry behind the microphone. Nine years and ten season later, Sean Aronson is St. Paul baseball. He won a Regional Emmy for his work with St. Paul in 2010 and was previously recognized by BPD as the runner-up for the 2011 Broadcaster of the Year.
This past Labor Day, he reached a milestone unmatched among the pantheon of prior Saints voices, calling his 1,000th St. Paul game.
“Joining Sean in the booth has been one of the great pleasures and perks of publishing Ballpark Digest,” said founder Kevin Reichard. “His passion for the game shows every inning he announces the action, even on a night when the quality of play on the field doesn’t match the professionalism in the broadcast booth. He’s a true student of the game and very worthy of this award.”
“I first want to thank Kevin Reichard and the amazing people at Ballpark Digest,” writes Aronson. “This is truly a humbling honor. There are talented broadcasters all throughout Minor League Baseball, many I’m friends with and others I’ve listened to from afar. The industry has never been stronger and to be named Ballpark Digest’s Broadcaster of the Year is something I will cherish forever.”
“I also want to thank the entire Goldklang Group, especially Marv Goldklang and Mike Veeck. These two saw something in me 10 years ago, when I was with their organization in Fort Myers, and felt I would be an asset in St. Paul. I will forever be grateful to them. The staff with the St. Paul Saints, Derek Sharrer, Tom Whaley and everyone I’ve worked with during my time here share in this honor. Baseball is a team sport and this award would not be possible without all the dedicated people who have made the Saints what they are today.”
“I also want to thank Saints fans, both in the Twin Cities and around the world, many I’ve heard from in my time with the organization. While I’m living my dream of being a broadcaster, I also do this for them. My goal is to always be as prepared as possible, draw them into the game and maybe entertain them along the way.”
“I’ve spent each of my 10 seasons with the Saints alongside one of the greatest managers I’ve ever known, George Tsamis. He makes a broadcasters job extremely easy, is always willing to sit down for an interview and shares more information than I could ever ask. To him, the coaching staff and the countless players I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know I say thank you.”
“Finally, I want to thank my family. They’ve known this was a dream of mine since I was a little boy growing up in Los Angeles. They supported me from day one and the greatest moment of my broadcasting career happened this season when I shared my 1000th game in Saints history with them. I can never express how much they mean to me.”
Image courtesy Sean Aronson.
Past winners of Ballpark Digest Broadcaster of the Year honors:
2015: Josh Whetzel, Rochester Red Wings
2014: Steve Klauke, Salt Lake Bees
2013: John Sadak, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
2012: Donny Baarns, Visalia Rawhide
2011: Jay Burnham, Trenton Thunder
2010: No award
2009: Mike Capps, Round Rock Express
2008: Paul Edmonds, Winnipeg Goldeyes (now voice of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets)