Contacts lead Oster into affiliated baseball

(March 31, 2011) The job market is frequently as much about whom you know as what you know. For Aaron Oster, the ‘who he knows’ has led to his first job in affiliated minor league baseball. An STAA client, Oster has been hired as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Lynchburg Hillcats (Atlanta Braves, Class-A).

The Hillcats opportunity came suddenly to Oster and developed quickly. The chain of events started when veteran Hillcats broadcaster Scott Bacon accepted a position with Longwood University. That led to the promotion of Erik Wilson, who the Hillcats had hired earlier this off-season to be their No. 2 broadcaster. Oster was recommended to replace Wilson by Frederick Keys announcer and mutual friend Adam Pohl.

Oster first learned he was being considered for the position when one of his references told Oster the Hillcats had contacted him.

“I got excited,” Oster recalls. “I figured if they were contacting my references even before contacting me, I must have at least a decent shot.”

The Hillcats contacted Oster on Friday March 25th. He interviewed by phone on Monday, did a second phone interview Tuesday morning and was offered the position later that day.

“It was really a mixture of good connections and dumb luck,” Oster smiles.

Oster moves to the Hillcats after spending last summer with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League.

“It’s my fist chance in affiliated ball,” says Oster. “While I’ve done college and independent ball, as far as the minors go, affiliated is one of the big hurdles you have to clear. It’s what I’ve been wanting for the past year.”

(Visit Aaron’s STAA Talent Page. Aaron has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).

Caray's new play-by-play job includes unique twist

(March 30, 2011) By the time this summer ends, Josh Caray will have done just about everything there is to do in minor league baseball. An STAA client, Caray is the new play-by-play broadcaster for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Caray will also serve as Director of Media and, in an unusual twist, Traveling Secretary. Caray’s minor league baseball resume includes plenty of broadcasting, media relations and sales, but traveling secretary responsibilities are a first.

“It’s a job that is not usually associated with broadcasting/media relations but it is another interesting caveat to put on my resume,” Caray says. “I know [Jim Weber] in Toledo does this for the Mud Hens and my dad’s (Skip) old partner, Pete Van Wieren, was the traveling secretary and broadcaster for the Norfolk Tides way back when.

“I really look forward to the level of play in the Atlantic League,” Caray says. “I understand the talent level is between AA and AAA ball. We even have some guys who have Major League baseball experience. Jose Herrera, formerly of the Oakland A’s, is one of our outfielders and pitcher John Halama used to be a member of the team, although not anymore.”

Caray spent last summer as Director of Media Relations with the San Angelo (TX) Colts. He is a former TV voice of the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves.

(Visit Josh’s STAA Talent Page. Josh has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).

Ludlow follows baseball passion to Lugnuts

(March 29, 2011) Many people choose sportscasting careers so they can watch their favorite sports everyday. That has long been one of Kyler Ludlow’s motivations and now his dream is becoming reality. An STAA client, Ludlow is joining the Lansing Lugnuts as their No.2 broadcaster and media relations assistant.

The Lugnuts are the Toronto Blue Jays Class-A affiliate.

“I’m excited to watch baseball every day,” Ludlow says excitedly. “It’s just something I’ve literally dreamed about since I was younger. Just the opportunity I’m going to get to share my passion for the game and try to bring it to life for the people listening is something I am really, really, looking forward to doing.”

Ludlow will broadcast three innings of play-by-play and six innings of color commentary during Lugnuts home games. He will also assist in hosting pre-game and post-game shows, conduct pre-game interviews, write post-game recaps, and participate in the team’s social networking.

Ludlow applied for the job after seeing it posted on the STAA forums. The baseball demo he submitted was from an Internet broadcast conducted via cell phone. The audio quality wasn’t what Ludlow preferred but it was all he had. After interviewing with Lugnuts Director of Broadcasting Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Ludlow thought he might be able to strengthen his candidacy by submitting cleaner audio. He sat in the stands at a Cedarville University game, recorded a couple of innings, and sent it to Goldberg-Strassler. The next day, Ludlow was offered the job.

“I just thought if I could get another sample to [Goldberg-Strassler] that was better quality and do it quickly, that would show some initiative my part,” Ludlow says. “I really did want the position. I was fortunate enough we had a home game where I could do it.”

A senior at Cedarville, Ludlow is set to graduate May 7th. Always determined, he is considering making the five-hour drive to Lansing to participate in the broadcast of that night’s Lugnut’s home game. After all, going the extra mile is what helped earn Ludlow the job in the first place.

(Visit Kyler’s STAA Talent Page).

Hasty achieves goal of returning to home state

(March 25, 2011) When Dan Hasty left his home state of Michigan two years ago to pursue sportscasting opportunities in North Carolina, he told his mother it was with the intent of preparing himself to eventually return to a full-time job in The Wolverine State. Hasty’s plan has come to fruition.

An STAA client, Hasty is joining the Traverse City Beach Bums as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. The Beach Bums play in minor league baseball’s Frontier League.

“Any opportunity is good if that opportunity allows you to not only validate, but exceed expectations. It’s not everyday you get the chance to do exactly what you want to do, in the place where you want to be.”

Unique challenges frequently arise during any job application process. When they came up for Hasty, he relied heavily upon STAA for guidance.

“The whole STAA thing has been amazing,” Hasty says. “The one-on-one counseling through this whole process has been outstanding. Thank you [STAA] a thousand times.”

Hasty is no stranger to minor league baseball in the state of Michigan. He spent the summers of 2007 and 2008 as a broadcast and media relations assistant for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons. In 2009, Hasty moved to North Carolina to accept a No. 1 broadcasting position with the Wilson Tobs. He later landed part-time work as a college football and basketball studio host with ISP before eventually joining WSJS in Winston-Salem last fall as a morning show producer and sports anchor. While he has very much enjoyed the past two years of his career, Hasty is eager to be heading home.

“This is very exciting,” he says. “I think they had a record-high temperature of 12 degrees today. Normally, this is tank-top weather in Michigan.”

Hasty is a 2008 graduate of Central Michigan University. He has been an STAA client since January 2008.

(Visit Dan’s STAA Talent Page. Dan has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).

Gagalis to get lots of innings with Worcester

(March 24, 2011) Nick Gagalis is ready for the grind of broadcasting more baseball games this summer. An STAA client, Gagalis is joining the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League as Marketing Manager and Radio Broadcaster.

A native of Boston, Gagalis moves to Worcester after spending last summer in Wappingers Falls, NY with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York Penn League.

“The biggest thing about [the new job] is it’s a slightly longer season, 94 games instead of 76,” says Gagalis. “It’s more games but with more off days. It’s a different environment but its closer to home.”

In addition to broadcasting, Gagalis will be taking care of social media, sponsorship fulfillment and the production of marketing materials for the Tornadoes.

“It’s another opportunity for me to get out there, prove what I’m worth and grow,” says Gagalis. “It’s the same opportunity I had with the Renegades but more. I’m getting into sales more than I’ve been before.”

A graduate of Boston University, Gagalis has also broadcast play-by-play for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League, and served internships with 890 ESPN Radio Boston and New England Sports Network. He has considerable experience in social media, PR and marketing.

(Visit Nick’s STAA Talent Page).

Kunkel fired up for TV gig in Fargo

(March 22, 2011) Will Kunkel’s first post-graduate sportscasting job is taking him from Chicago, IL to Fargo, ND. Based upon Kunkel’s excitement, there is little difference between the two cities.

An STAA client, Kunkel has joined Fargo’s KVRR Fox TV as a weekend sports anchor.

“It’s a great sports market,” Kunkel says excitedly. “It’s a small market but for sports you have UND Fighting Sioux hockey which is ranked No. 1 in the country, you have a USHL team, an independent league baseball team and North Dakota State University right in Fargo, and football is their big sport. You get all the sports, so it’s a blast. Getting to cover the number-one Division One hockey team in the country in your first job is not too shabby.”

Kunkel says his only prior knowledge of Fargo came from the 1990s movie of the same name.

“It’s much more of a city than I thought,” he says. “It’s a great college town. There are a lot of young professionals, so that makes it fun.”

A 2007 graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, Kunkel spent two years at ESPN in Bristol, CT as a production assistant before earning his masters from Northwestern University in Chicago in 2010.

A unique turn of events led Kunkel to Fargo. He had applied for a job in North Carolina. The employer wanted a more experienced broadcaster but Kunkel made such a good impression that the employer referred Kunkel to the news director in Fargo.

“Its great to see people helping each other out and lending a hand like that,” Kunkel grins. “I don’t mind being the recipient of that.”

Kunkel says networking is the key to success for anyone.

“Be persistent. It’s beating down doors and networking. Never not talk to somebody. It doesn’t matter who it is. Just keep talking to people. It’s who you know. People are willing to help others.”

Kunkel started his new job last month.

“I love it,” he says with a huge smile. “I know this is what I want to do for the long-term future. It’s a great time.”

(Visit Will’s STAA Talent Page).

Late Kinston Indians opening falls to Shreve

(March 21, 2011) When the Kinston Indians hired a broadcasting and media relations intern this winter, they thought their broadcast team was set for 2011. However, when the new hire left for a Triple-A job that was too good to pass up, the Indians were back to square one with the start of the season right around the corner. STAA client Connor Shreve is stepping in to fill the void.

“Kinston’s Director of Broadcasting Chris Hemeyer (also an STAA client) emailed me looking for someone to replace Darren Headrick, who had left for a job with Triple-A Oklahoma City,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “I recommended Connor and sent the link to Connor’s STAA Talent Page to Chris.”

STAA wasn’t Shreve’s only endorsement. Veteran Tennessee Smokies broadcaster Mick Gillispie also suggested Shreve to Hemeyer. Gillispie met Shreve last off-season when Shreve applied for the No.2 job with Tennessee. Shreve ended-up as a No. 2 in Huntsville but furthered his relationship with Gillispie as they repeatedly crossed paths in the Southern League.

Hemeyer says, “I loved Connor’s stuff and [STAA’s] recommendation sealed the deal.”

In addition to working in media relations, Shreve will broadcast the middle three innings for all home games, will broadcast 8 to 10 games solo, and will make select road trips.

“The [Kinston] position is very similar to what I did last year except there is an opportunity to do some TV with the team’s local cable access show,” says Shreve.

(Visit Connor’s STAA Talent Page).

Riggs joining Rockford RiverHawks baseball

(March 18, 2011) David Riggs knows sales experience is often key to advancing in minor league baseball broadcasting. His new position is going to give him the opportunity to learn sales from one of the more reputable mentors in minor league baseball. An STAA client, Riggs is joining the Rockford RiverHawks as a broadcasting and sales intern.

Riggs will learn under veteran broadcaster Bill Czaja, who has been with the RiverHawks since their inception in 2002.

“The opportunity to be in group sales is really important,” Riggs says. “Even though I don’t have any experience, its important to get it because a broadcaster who can sell in the off-season is going to have a better opportunity to stick with a team full-time. It’s going to be a challenge at first but it’s something I need to learn.”

Riggs is also eager to learn from Czaja.

“Just from the phone interview and talking with him after I accepted the job, he seems very open to answering questions,” Riggs says. “Considering he’s been with Rockford since they’ve been in Rockford is also important because he knows the team and community. To learn from someone like that is really important.”

A client since STAA’s inception in 2005, Riggs saw the job posted on the STAA website then submitted the demo and resume package built for him by STAA.

“It was all the STAA materials,” Riggs says. “After I accepted the position, [Bill] told me he had hired STAA clients in the past and it had worked out well for him. The STAA name just helps out — the fact people know STAA and it is well respected throughout the broadcasting community. [Being an STAA client] says ‘this guy knows how to present himself and is committed to being involved with this.’”

Riggs has broadcast baseball each of the past two summers, first for the Geneva Red Wings and last season for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. He has also broadcast men’s and women’s basketball for Bloomfield College in New Jersey. Riggs graduated Cum Laude in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University in 2008.

(Visit David’s STAA Talent Page. David has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).

Sacrifice leads Mundo to Oklahoma job

(March 18, 2011) Sacrifice has paid off for Peter Mundo. An STAA client, Mundo is joining KWOX/KMZE radio in Woodward, OK as a news and sports reporter and play-by-play broadcaster.

The new job means the end of a weekly 400-mile round trip commute for Mundo. Since September, Mundo has been hosting a show at a station in East Hampton Long Island during the week. On weekends, he’s been driving to Easton PA to do production work for the local ESPN affiliate. Those days, though, of long miles and high gas prices are over.

“Since I started making the commute, gas has gone from $2.40 per gallon to $3.40 per gallon,” Mundo says. “I was barely covering my gas costs. However, I always viewed putting these two positions together as springboard to somewhere, and so far, it’s worked out.”

Mundo’s work ethic is part of what impressed KWOX/KMZE Program Director and fellow STAA client Mike Pilosof. “I think he respected and appreciated that,” says Mundo. “We hit it off. It’s a job where you are going to need a guy you can work well with, and I think that is what sold him.”

As for the move from New York to Oklahoma, Mundo is unfazed. “I’m 22. You only get to do this once,” he smiles

“I think this is my first step to something even better down the road.”

(Visit Pete’s STAA Talent Page).

Cantor takes swing at minor league baseball

(March 17, 2011) Seth Cantor has considerable college football and basketball play-by-play experience but has always wanted to try his hand at minor league baseball. Now he is getting his chance. An STAA client, Cantor is joining the expansion Rockland Boulders as Corporate Sales Coordinator/Broadcaster.

“It combines my major market sales experience with my goals as a play-by-play broadcaster,” says Cantor.

With Rockland, Cantor will share the broadcasting booth with fellow STAA client Carmine Vetrano, who is also entering his first season as a minor league baseball broadcaster.

“The sales aspect is good,” says Cantor, who has billed more than $2-million in sales as a former account executive for WWFS radio in New York, NY “I told myself if I were to get back into sales it would be with a baseball team or some other team. I believe in sports, so the sales comes naturally for me.”

A client since STAA’s inception in 2005, Cantor recently finished his second season as play-by-play voice of NCAA Division I St. Francis College men’s basketball. He also broadcasts U.S. Merchant Marine Academy football and has done freelance work for Cornell University, St. John’s University and Manhattan College. He is a graduate of Ithaca College.

(Visit Seth’s STAA Talent Page. Seth has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).