They say all good things must come to an end. I guess that must hold true for great things as well, since a great thing in my life is reaching its final days. This Wednesday will be the last day of the Padres 2011 season, and the final day of Channel 4 San Diego’s reign of being the home of Padres baseball.
For Channel 4, it has been a great and amazingly successful run since their first Padres broadcast back in 1997, with well over 2000 Padres regular season, post season, and special features being aired since its inception. For me, it has been a life changing experience to be a part of the CH4 broadcast team for the past 5-plus years. Talking baseball and Padres on the Pregame and Postgame show broadcasts has not only been fun, but transforming for me in my outlook on the game, my understanding of the connection that fans have with baseball and their team, and the role the media can play in nurturing that connection.
Each night I made it my goal to try to bring to our viewers entertaining, informative, and honest analysis of that night’s game, as well as the players and plays that were influential in the outcome. I hope that for those of you who joined us before or after the games that this was the experience you had, that you enjoyed it, and that you felt just a little more knowledgeable and therefore passionate about the game than when you first tuned in.
As I reflect on the incredible experience of the past 5 years sharing baseball with you, I can’t help but to feel a great sense of gratitude that extends in many directions. First to Channel 4, and it’s leadership for inviting me to be a part of the CH4 team. Dan Novak (thank you, Fr. Joe Masar, for the introduction!), Bill Geppert, and Craig Nichols were all part of the Cox Communications and CH4 leadership team that brought me on board, and I thank them for their trust. Also an integral part that leadership group was Dennis Morgigno, one of the original founders of Channel 4, and the person most directly responsible for bringing me into the Channel 4 family. Without Dennis’ support and mentoring, my channel 4 career never would have happened and I am eternally grateful to him for the chance he took in bringing me on board.
Part of what made the Channel 4 Padres’ broadcasts so excellent in my opinion, regardless of the win loss record of the team, was the quality of the people who brought it to life. I can’t say enough about the respect, admiration, and gratitude I have for everyone involved (and it is more people than I can possibly list) in the production and presentation of each broadcast. Behind the scenes of the game broadcasts and pregame shows it has been Tom Ceterski, Ed Barnes, Chyron Bob, J.T., and others in the truck, along with Dave, and Jim to at the pregame desk.
Every night on Pregame and Postgame our dedicated producers Jason Bott and Missy Moore were tremendous in keeping all the pieces moving in the same direction (sorry guys for all the late Scan’s Keys To The Game!), along with Ginger, Melinda, Knute, Matt G., Matt H., Justin, and Shane keeping us on air.
Two people that deserve a special thank you from me include Big John Spriet, who worked more hours and wore more hats than any stage director in television history, and associate producer Lorien Markuszka who was vital in bringing Scanalysis and Heyscan to life each night with her perfect video editing. Her ability to make video sense of all my baseball jargon directions, and last second game dictating changes allowed me the vehicle to be able to describe, explain, and teach the game every night – thanks!
Of course, I was not alone on either the pregame or post game desks and my co-hosts John Weisbarth, with whom I first cut my teeth with at the Pregame desk 7 years ago, Jenny Cavnar, and previously Steve Quis have not been just co-workers but close friends. Thanks to Johnny for always keeping me laughing and ready for anything, to Jenny for always sharing her great smile and supportive can do spirit with me everyday, and Steve during his time with us for exemplifying media professionalism and versatility no matter what the assignment.
To Mark “Mud” Grant (who first told me in an airport I should look into doing some broadcasting), Matt Vasgersian (who directed me to my first media gig doing Postgame on XX1090), Tony Gwynn, Mark Neely, and the iconic Dick Enberg, thanks to all of you for always being so helpful and supportive – all of you are exceptional broadcasters, and to quote Mud all “Good eggs”.
Thanks to the entire support staff at Channel 4 and Cox Communications in the production and sales departments, and to all the other on air personalities who I was fortunate to call co-workers and learn from over the years.
A sincere thank you must also go out to the Padres’ players, coaches, and front office members, who have always done everything possible to be available, answer questions, and support our broadcasts in every way.
Of course, none of what Channel 4 created over the past 15 years would mean anything if it weren’t for you the viewers! THANK YOU so much to all of you for joining us each night for the broadcasts, and for the great interaction you shared at public events, through the tens of thousands of Heyscan emails, and just simple hellos as we passed each other at games or randomly throughout this great city of San Diego. Thank you for your words of encouragement, the challenging questions that expanded my baseball knowledge, and yes even the sometimes contentious challenges that helped hold my feet to the fire.
Finally I want to thank my family. To my wife, Elisa, my daughter Ally, and my son Caden, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to continue to pursue my dream of being around the game of baseball that has been a part of my life for so many years. Thank you for all your love, support, and understanding during the long seasons, late nights, and missed events, that allows me to still go to work focused every day. You are the greatest blessings in my life.
Who knows where the next landing spot is for my Channel 4 compadres and me? In my perfect world we all continue to be a part of Padres baseball with the new broadcast entity that is taking over, but the reality will likely be much different. Wherever the winds of fate may scatter us to, I know those destinations will be better off with the addition of the spirit and commitment to excellence that was forged through our time together at Channel 4.
Thank you, and God speed to all…now GO PADS!