Sports broadcasting veteran Marky Billson is eager to call baseball for the first time in five years. An STAA member, Billson will broadcast this summer for the West Virginia Miners, a collegiate summer baseball team in Beckley, WV.
Billson will call Miners’ road games. Fred Persinger II calls home games. “And he’s pretty smooth, if I may say so myself,” says Billson.
He learned of the Miners opportunity through an STAA Job Leads email. “I would say [the STAA job leads] are the best in the business,” he states.
Billson has called baseball In Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. His first impression is that Beckley embraces the Miners as much as any other baseball community he’s called home. “I’ve been involved with other baseball teams and when I would tell people I was the broadcaster I would often get indifference or maybe ‘can you get us tickets?’ Here they want to talk about yesterday’s game,” he says.
Something else that excites Billson is the fact that the games are broadcast on radio versus Internet. “I’m loving turning on the radio and hearing my name on a promo. Let’s face it, when you’re a broadcaster, that always puts a skip in your heart,” he smiles.
Feeling at home
It’s a bonus for Billson that Beckley is in a region where he has deep roots. “I’ve lived practically everywhere but I guess you could say primarily in the Tri-Cities, Tennessee area and Western Pennsylvania. Beckley is halfway between those locales, so culturally it’s a good fit. And when I have free time I can watch the Pittsburgh sports channel (Root) on cable! Don’t discount the latter,” he grins.
Billson’s sports media resume is impressive. Besides baseball, he’s also called football, basketball and soccer play-by-play. He’s hosted sports talk shows in Pittsburgh, PA and Johnson City, TN. He’s been a football field reporter on the sidelines of the Tennessee Volunteers and Pitt Panthers. And he’s a writer whose bylines include the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, SI.com, Athlon Sports and Baseball Digest.