(February 22, 2012) Justin Shackil was torn between three career opportunities and which one would get him closer to his ultimate goal of becoming a Major League Baseball play-by-play broadcaster. After long and careful deliberation, Shackil is joining the Mobile BayBears as Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations.
The BayBears are the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Shackil replaces fellow STAA client Wayne Randazzo, who recently resigned to accept a similar position with the Kane County Cougars.
A 2009 graduate of Fordham University, Shackil was a member of STAA’s inaugural class of All-American’s, finishing as the second ranked collegiate sports broadcaster in the country and runner up for the Jim Nantz Award. After spending the past two summers as a broadcasting and media assistant at the AA level with the Trenton Thunder and Tennessee Smokies, Shackil was determined to land a No.1 job. “It was very important. I’m not sure if it’s all for the right reasons but some of it is for perception purposes. I honestly think it’s a big factor. I don’t think I would be able to rise to a higher level of baseball [broadcasting] without lead experience.
“I love the Smokies and loved going there every day. I had a lot of fun and I know I’ll have a lot of fun in Mobile as well.”
Shackil’s decision to accept the Mobile position was not easy. He had another opportunity in minor league baseball, and a good sportscasting job with SiriusXM in New York City. To help make the decision, Shackil the advice of colleagues. “I had to ask myself ‘does taking a pretty big pay cut and leaving New York City feel right,’ and it does feel right,” he says. “I’m a person who goes a lot on what they’re feeling. That is why I reached out to [others]. I wanted to hear more people say it was okay.”
STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik is among those from whom Shackil sought council. “By itself, the career planning and consulting is really worth being a part of something special like [STAA],” Shackil says. “Jon Chelesnik is there, and especially for younger people, is like a guidance counselor, which is especially nice. Jon has really helped clear my head many times. Based on where I’m from (New York) it’s tough to leave here and tough to convince yourself you have to get out of here. To just be reassured by certain people, including Jon, that you are making the right decision is something many people can benefit from by being part of STAA.
“I want to prove to myself more than anybody that I can succeed in a lead job.”
(Visit Justin’s STAA Talent Page).