(February 19. 2015) Ten months ago, Jared Sandler was broadcasting Class-A baseball and hosting a sports talk show in Midland, MI. Today, he is the new pre and post game host and fill-in play-by-play broadcaster for the Texas Rangers.
The opportunity came because Sandler had faith in himself and was willing to take a risk.
A Dallas native and STAA member since 2010, Sandler attended college at the University of Southern California, graduating in 2011. After spending that summer calling games for the Great Falls Voyagers, Sandler moved to Midland in March 2012 to take over as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Great Lakes Loons and Program Director and sports talk host at ESPN 100.9. Two years later, in April 2014, he decided to roll the dice. Sandler left minor league baseball for a major market radio job in his hometown — an anchor/reporter/weekend host position at ESPN Radio Dallas. He banked on the fact that a major market would mean major opportunities.
“Moving to Dallas was a risk but one I wanted to take,” says Sandler. “My program director with 103.3 FM ESPN, Jeff Catlin, told me I’d have opportunities to host various programming and hold certain roles. And, I want to make it clear that he delivered on everything he told me, and then some. Beyond the opportunities he promised me, I was willing to bet on myself to eventually earn roles with greater responsibility. I didn’t know when that would happen or what that next step would be, but I knew I was going to work my tail off to earn that next step.”
Not even Sandler thought a big-time play-by-play opportunity was realistic at age 25. “Haha, no,” he laughs. “But there are two things to note. First, that opportunity is more a reflection of the tremendous support I’ve received from [various] people. If I don’t take the time to thank the people who’ve played a role in this along the way, I’m letting myself down. Secondly, I don’t get this role if I’m not in Dallas already, and it was a possibility like this as to why I wanted to come back home.”
Less than eight months after Sandler joined ESPN Dallas, the Rangers gig opened across town at 105.3 The Fan. After getting the job, the first person Sandler shared the news with was his father.
“It was important for me that my dad was the first to know. He’s been there for me every step of the way, encouraging me at every turn, and supporting the journey, which, for a father probably isn’t always easy. Our exchange (after sharing the Rangers news) wasn’t loud and boisterous. It was more that quiet demonstration of pride and gratitude.”
Sandler feels deep appreciation for his new opportunity He never imagined that being part of the broadcast crew for his hometown team could become a reality.
“As I became more and more familiar with how tough this industry is, I really didn’t think it was possible at all,” he says. “After spending three seasons in minor league baseball, I have so much respect for the talent pool of broadcasters. Thinking this was a strong possibility would almost be disrespectful to them. I’m not close to the best play-by-play guy in my age range, but I know that no one will outwork me and that I’ll continue to strive to be better and better each day.
“Some kids grow up listening to Vin Scully or Jon Miller or Ernie Harwell–I grew up listening to (Rangers voice) Eric Nadel. I’ve been so fortunate to develop a friendship with him over the years as he’s become more than just a mentor and getting the chance to share a booth with him and Matt Hicks is truly an honor.”
Sandler joined STAA five years ago, when he was still a junior in college.
“I believe so much in the services STAA offers,” he says. “Thanks to the hard work of [Jon], Melodie, and everyone else that is a part of the efforts.”
(Visit Jared’s STAA Talent Page).