(March 5, 2015) For the past 16 months, Marshall Kelner has been pursuing a No.1 broadcasting job in affiliated minor league baseball. He experienced the repeated rejection that prompts many people to quit trying. Kelner, though, was undeterred and now he has been rewarded. An STAA member, Kelner is the new play-by-play voice for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Dunedin is the advanced Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
After spending the 2013 season as a Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, Kelner knew he was ready for a No. 1 job. However, openings were limited last off-season. The fact that there have been considerably more openings this year certainly played to Kelner’s advantage.
“I was a finalist for a couple of jobs last off-season, so that gave me confidence that I was doing a lot of things right,” says Kelner. “Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. This year, I was more patient. I didn’t send e-mails to GMs unless I actually knew there was or might be an opening. When it came to Dunedin, I saw that their former broadcaster [and fellow STAA member] Tyler Murray had left for Daytona, so I knew there was an opening. I e-mailed the GM Shelby Nelson and luckily he got back to me within hours to schedule a phone interview.
“I appreciate the advice of my former boss in Harrisburg, Terry Byrom, and [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik. Without their guidance throughout the past couple off-seasons, I wouldn’t have been able to secure this opportunity.”
While Kelner was out of baseball broadcasting last season, he wasn’t completely out of baseball. “I had the opportunity to be an assistant varsity baseball coach at my former high school and we qualified for the state tournament for the first time in school history. That is something I’m very proud of and I’m glad I had the chance to do it.”
Kelner says staying positive and keeping busy helped him through the most frustrating times of his job search.
“I would by lying if I said I didn’t experience any discouragement or self-doubt while looking for a position the past couple years. However, I think everyone in this business has experienced those feelings at one time or another. It is very competitive and you have to realize that you might do everything right in the application process, but for whatever reason you don’t get hired. Staying busy and keeping a positive attitude helped me minimize the times when those feelings crept in.
“To be honest, staying motivated wasn’t that difficult for me. I have wanted to do this since I was a little kid, growing up without cable TV, and listening to every Minnesota Twins game on the radio. I’m also a very competitive person by nature. So, when those feelings of self-doubt did creep in, I wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed in this field.”
Kelner found additional motivation in a book by NFL Coach Pete Carroll, who Kelner covered during Kelner’s time as a student at USC.
“A lot of people doubted him after he was fired by the Jets and Patriots, but look where he is now. He emphasizes to his teams to just worry about what they can control, not everything else. That’s what I did more than anything and I had faith that eventually someone would give me an opportunity.”
“I’m looking forward to being a No. 1 broadcaster in Minor League Baseball for the first time. I will have an opportunity to get a lot better throughout the course of the season and it will be the most innings I have ever called in one season by far.
“I certainly couldn’t have done it without [STAA]. Your constant encouragement, guidance, and sound advice was all very important these past couple years.”
(Visit Marshall’s STAA Talent Page).