(February 18, 2016) Many STAA members are accepting broadcasting and media relations assistant positions as they begin their climb up the minor league baseball ladder. Among them are Mike Monaco, Fort Wayne TinCaps; Max Gun, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; Lance Ragland, Quad Cities River Bandits; Greg Wong (broadcasting and sales), West Virginia Power; Will DeBoer, York Revolution; Erik Oas, Kannapolis Intimidators, and Joe Vasile, Salem Red Sox.
Here is a look at each hire:
Mike Monaco, Fort Wayne TinCaps
As a senior at Notre Dame last year, Monaco was named an STAA All-American as one of the top six collegiate sports broadcasters in the country. Ironically, the man who hired him in Fort Wayne, John Nolan, was a 2012 STAA All-American. Monaco spent last summer as a media assistant and fill-in play-by-play broadcaster for the South Bend Cubs (Class A). This winter, he has been broadcasting Western Michigan University men’s and women’s basketball home games on ESPN3.
Max Gun, Rancho Cucamonga
The opportunity to spend the summer in Southern California came after Gun met Quakes Director of Broadcasting Mike Lindskog at December’s baseball Winter Meetings. Gun will host the Quakes pre and post game shows and call play-by-play for the middle three innings of home games. He is a December 2015 graduate of Michigan State University.
Lance Ragland, Quad Cities
Ragland joins Quad Cities after spending last season as a media relations assistant, with no play-by-play duties, for the Frisco Roughriders. Ragland was hired by fellow STAA member Jake Levy, who is entering his first season as the River Bandits’ Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.
Greg Wong, West Virginia Power
Wong moves cross-country from California to join the Power as a broadcasting and sales assistant. A 2015 graduate of UC-Davis, Wong cut his baseball chops broadcasting Aggies games on the campus radio station. He was honored as the nation’s 18th-best collegiate sports broadcaster in STAA’s 2015 All-America ranking.
Will DeBoer, York Revolution
DeBoer is especially fortunate because his job with the Revolution is a full-time position. DeBoer earned his undergraduate degree from Hope College in Holland, MI in 2014 before getting his Masters last year from Columbus State University in Georgia. While at CSU, he provided play-by-play and color commentary for online streaming of six sports. DeBoer was honored as the country’s 20th best collegiate sports broadcaster in STAA’s 2015 All-America program.
Erik Oas, Kannapolis Intimidators
A San Diego area native, Oas returns to the States after spending the past six months broadcasting in the Australian Baseball League. With Kannapolis, Oas will work under the team’s Director of Broadcasting and fellow STAA member Josh Feldman. Oas spent last summer broadcasting college games for the Bellingham (WA) Bells.
Joe Vasile, Salem Red Sox
Vasile moves to affiliated baseball after spending the past two seasons with the Fayetteville SwampDogs of the summer collegiate Coastal Plain League. In addition to broadcasting, Vasile spent 2015 as the SwampDogs assistant GM.
A 2014 graduate of the College of New Jersey, Vasile is looking forward to a heavy summer workload. “Unlike a lot of No. 2 jobs I’ll have the opportunity to go on most road trips and continue to get innings,” he says. “There were very few, if any No. 2 positions this offseason that offered as many innings as Salem.”
Vasile’s advice to other minor league baseball job seekers is to get as much feedback as possible. “John Wooden defined success as ‘The peace of mind which is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.’ I believe that you should always work on trying to improve yourself so you can become the best that you are capable of becoming.”