Rob Shadow was a 58 year old attorney in 2016 when he decided he wanted to pursue his lifelong passion for play-by-play. Since then, he’s been hired for three sportscasting positions. The latest is calling college baseball for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League.
The Mallards have scheduled a full slate of summer games starting May 29, and will play 72 regular season games in 77 days. Shadow will make the trek north from his San Antonio home after completing his second season this spring broadcasting home baseball and softball for the NCAA Division I University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals. The Mallards job opening was first published on STAA.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this opportunity,” said Shadow. “The Mallards led the entire country again in summer collegiate wood bat league attendance in 2017, averaging more than 6,000 fans for each home game.” “They attract Division I players from all over the country, including some Texas and Louisiana guys from the Southland Conference. I’m real impressed that the Northwoods League is trying to simulate a professional MiLB environment, even including the long bus rides, for these promising college athletes. The schedule will be a grind, with only five off days all summer, but I view it as an opportunity to totally immerse myself in the world of baseball broadcasting. By the time the summer is over, I will have called over 120 baseball and softball games since the college seasons started, and I think I’ll still love the games.”
The Northwoods League is the largest collegiate summer wood bat league in the country, expanding to 20 teams in 2017, and with further plans to expand in 2019. Over 185 Northwoods players have graduated to MLB, including Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer, Cy Young runner-up Chris Sale, and two-time World Series champion Ben Zobrist.
“This is also a great time to be calling Cardinals baseball and softball,” added Shadow. Both NCAA Division I programs enter their first season as being fully eligible for the Southland Conference tournament, and have hired new head coaches after national searches, Patrick Hallmark from Rice and Missouri to lead baseball, and Joe DiPietro from Temple and LaSalle to lead softball. Cardinals’ baseball is in a midst of a program turnaround, on track to qualify for the postseason Southland Conference tournament, with a defining win against Notre Dame.
“I’ve had a lot of important and generous mentors along the way – Mike Saeger of the soon to be AAA San Antonio Missions encouraged me to latch onto a college team and get as many reps as possible; Mike Coffin of the AA Corpus Christi Hooks gave me the opportunity to call innings at two Texas League games – those clips got employers’ attention; Bobby Stautzenberger and Mark Kusenberger at the Texas Sports Radio Network threw me into the fire and gave me opportunities to call high school baseball and Friday night Texas football; and Dustin York at UIW took a leap of faith to hire a relatively inexperienced guy to call Division I college baseball and softball.”