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Tom Nichols Waits 31 Years to Call First MLB Game

Brandon Contes

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A new voice was in the radio booth for the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night.  It was just one game, three innings to be exact, but for Tom Nichols it was a dream come true.

After 31 years in the minor leagues and broadcasting his 4,000th game earlier in August, the radio voice of Cincinnati’s Class A affiliate, the Dayton Dragons, got the call to the big leagues.

“Once you enter the business, you’re just looking for that opportunity to work in the big leagues,” Nichols told Ryan O’Gara of the Muncie Star Press.  “That ship has sailed.  I’m 54 years old now, so it’s unlikely I’ll get a full-time MLB job at this point based on that they are looking for younger guys now.

“The fact that it’s happening now might mean even more, because it’s happening at a time where it’s pretty clear the minor leagues are pretty much as far as I’ll go.”

Nichols joined Marty Brennaman and analyst Jeff Brantley on the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings on Tuesday.  For Nichols, who grew up listening to Brennaman, the voice of the Reds since 1974, it was important to finally get the opportunity to be heard in the Majors.

“It’s important to me because I’ve put so much of my life into this career,” Nichols said.  “I think it’s similar to Moonlight Graham, the character in (the movie) ‘Field of Dreams’ who played one inning but never got to bat.

“It’s only one game, but it will mean a lot to me.  I’ve ridden the buses and called the games.  Now I get to sit in an MLB broadcast booth.”

Unbeknownst to Nichols, after he called his 4,000th career minor league game, the Dragons and Reds were working on a plan for the broadcaster to get his big league opportunity.  Nichols fittingly joined the Reds Radio Network on an off-day for the Dragons.  Prior to missing 15 games with kidney stones last year, Nichols called 27 consecutive minor league seasons without missing a day of work.

Even though he’s working for his seventh team in the minors and has gone 31 years without getting a call to the big leagues, Nichols still never wavered on his career choice.

“It’s been the best career for me, honestly,” Nichols said. “People have asked me that lately, did you ever think about just quitting and getting a different job? For me, this was the right career, whether it was major league or minor league. It was the correct career path, whether I get to MLB or not, and it was worth it. It’s something I’ve enjoyed entire career, and that’s why I continue to do it after 31 years.”

Nichols first major league opportunity went in the books as a win as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 9-7.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

 

Sports Radio News

Joy Taylor Says Aaron Rodgers Is More Likeable After Pardon My Take Appearance

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said.

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Joy Taylor

On Monday, the Pardon My Take podcast dropped their latest episode which featured an interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Big Cat, one of the show’s co-hosts, is a Chicago Bears fan and has spent a lot of time not liking Rodgers publicly.

Colin Cowherd saw one of the many clips that the show shared and brought up how much he thought that Rodgers took ribbing from Big Cat and the podcast in stride. That’s when Joy Taylor offered that the interview could help Rodgers in the long run.

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said. “When you can show that you don’t take yourself that seriously, all of the animosity that people have towards you just kind of starts to wither away.”

She added that the disarming quality helps if people don’t perceive Rodgers as thinking he has all the answers.

“When people feel like they are projecting ‘I know more than you’ and ‘I’ve got it all figured out’ energy, people are like: ‘you got to be the smartest guy on the room all time time? You’re not.’

This is so likeable,” Taylor said. “It’s really funny.”

Cowherd agreed and even said he is probably going to go listen to it after the show.

“Aaron is genuinely laughing as they make fun of him and that is an incredibly endearing quality.”

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Sports Radio News

WNSR Debuts ‘Power Hour’ with Sami Kincaid

Nashville’s WNSR debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

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Power Hour with Sami Kincaid

Nashville has a brand new voice to listen to on WNSR and her name is Sami Kincaid. On Saturday, the station debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

The debut show featured Associated Press writer Teresa Walker, Vanderbilt women’s basketball guard Jordyn Cambridge and North Georgia assistant softball coach Alea White. The show is focused on women that are operating inside sports.

The show airs Saturdays from 9-10a CT.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: Dennis Eckersley’s Retirement a “Huge Loss”

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that he was going to retire from the Boston Red Sox television booth at the end of this season. The current NESN analyst is leaving after twenty years on the air with the team.

The news broke during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub and it gave show co-host Rich Shertenlieb a chance to mention the news and praise the departing personality.

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

The show spent the rest of the segment talking about what Eckersley offered that made him so unique. That’s when Matt McCarthy, fill-in for Fred Toucher, said that Eckersley was exactly what you wanted in an analyst.

“You want someone that’s going to give you an opinion,” McCarthy said. “Eck gave you an opinion. He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy also pointed out that this is the latest major shakeup that has happened to the television broadcast in recent years.

“There’s no doubt this is a blow,” McCarthy added. “This is a tremendous loss to that Red Sox broadcast to which has taken a lot of hits over the years with the loss of Jerry Remy, the decision to move on from Don Orsillo and now Dennis Eckersley retiring… they are going to have to find an entertainer in there. Matt McCarthy

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