(May 9, 2019) Mitch Vareldzis has landed his first minor league baseball play-by-play opportunity, and it’s just 20 minutes from his hometown. An STAA member, Vareldzis is joining the Rocky Mountain Vibes as an associate broadcaster.
Local Colorado Springs TV sports anchor Rob Namnoum will broadcast home games. Vareldzis will do color at home and play-by-play by himself on the road.
Three additional STAA members who we have yet to publicize are in No. 2 positions with affiliated teams. Ray Jensen is working alongside fellow STAA member John Kocsis with the Hagerstown Suns. Matt Davis is with the Peoria Chiefs and Andrew Chapman is helping fellow STAA member Garrett Greene with the Biloxi Shuckers.
Colorado Springs is the longtime home of the Triple-A Sky Sox. When the team relocated to Frisco, TX after last season, the short-season Helena Brewers moved to Colorado to replace them.
Vareldzis, who is from nearby Castle Rock, CO, followed the movement intently.
“I reached out to the Sky Sox longtime broadcaster Dan Karcher,” says Vareldzis. “He told me they were possibly looking for a new broadcaster for the new organization. He gave me the contact of GM Chris Phillips.”
After not hearing from the team for several months, Vareldzis began applying elsewhere for fear the Vibes had moved on with other candidates. “Then about a month ago [Media Relations Director] Travis Arnold called me and asked if I was still interested in the associate position. I was ecstatic,” Vareldzis recalls.
Vareldzis is a 2018 graduate of Arizona State University. He joined STAA in February. “The STAA name had been dropped in my lap several times before I decided to join. As time passed it seemed every professional in the field I talked with about it highly suggested it. Eventually, I became so frustrated with my job pursuits I bit the bullet and joined. Boy what a great decision I made to join.
“I quickly utilized the resources to retool my resumes and cover letters. I felt more in the loop regarding opportunities in the field I want to be in. I was also able to waive my second month fees because of a job tip I shared! I can’t wait to see where this agency takes my career!
“I learned of several more job opportunities than I would have as someone just viewing the job board.”
A challenge Vareldzis is learning to address is how to communicate with employers. “I always have felt like there was something that was keeping me behind others in my field. It would make me doubt my ability to get a job in the industry.”
Vareldzis has overcome the challenge through polite persistence. “Continue to stay in their inbox at a moderate pace,” he suggests. “Continue to show your interest in the position and how dedicated you will be to the position. In between, give space so that enough time will allow for them to make a decision.
“It is easy to get self-conscious or down on your product, but you and only you can fix it or do something about it. I utilized my resources and eventually joining STAA pushed those products that extra step further.”
Something Vareldzis is especially looking forward to with the Vibes is working with Namnoum. “He and I [have] discussed our backgrounds and had a great conversation about what we are looking forward to and hoping to gain from this. I know he is a Colorado Springs icon and I can only hope to compliment his broadcasting style and demeanor.
“I’d hoped my first minor league opportunity would come at a lower level with less pressure yet many opportunities to grow, learn and build connections. I couldn’t have dreamed of a greater start for my career.”
(Visit Mitch’s STAA Talent Page).