Kercheval joins Quad Cities River Bandits after punch from pandemic

Kyle KerchevalKyle Kercheval was furloughed from his Minor League Baseball broadcasting job last July. Seven months later he learned his team was losing its Major League Baseball affiliation. Today, though, Kercheval is back in affiliated ball. He’s the new Broadcaster and Manager of Media Relations and Season Tickets for the Quad Cities River Bandits.

QC is Kansas City Royals High-A affiliate.

“The opportunity to join an affiliated club within an organization like Kansas City was one that I couldn’t pass up. It’s an adventure that I’m tremendously excited to start, Kercheval smiles.

Building relationships

Kercheval broke into Minor League Baseball in early 2019 when General Manager Joe Kubly hired him to be the voice of the Grand Junction Rockies.

“After the 2019 season, Joe returned to Quad Cities, where he had been in 2014, to take over as the new GM. I was then hired-on full-time in GJ for the 2020 season,” Kercheval states.

The 2020 season didn’t happen but Kercheval and Kubly stayed in touch. “At the end of February, he asked if I was interested in the position with the River Bandits,” Kercheval recalls.

Kercheval is honored that Kubly likes him enough to have hired him twice. “It just goes to show that you never know where relationships can lead. And the impression you leave on those around you is as—if not more—important than the work you produce.”

Climbing the ladder

A 2018 graduate of Arizona State University, Kercheval started his baseball broadcast career as a reporter for Bourne of the Cape Cod League in 2016. He spent the next summer as the team’s play-by-play voice. In 2018, Kercheval joined STAA.

“I really love everything about STAA,” he grins. “The team and everyone who is a member has fostered such a unique community of professionals who truly care about seeing one another succeed. From job postings, to critiques, to the guest speakers, to career advice, there are so many resources in place to help you succeed.

“I can say unequivocally that I would not be in this position today if not for STAA. I’m so much better prepared for the challenges and opportunities that await me in my career.”

Challenging times

While Kercheval is excited to move to Quad Cities, he’ll miss Grand Junction. “I absolutely love everything about the team in GJ— the city, the fans, the guys in the front office, everything. I owe that organization so much for taking a chance on a kid fresh out of college and for allowing me the chance to start a career doing what I love.”

The past year has been the most challenging of Kercheval’s life. “Emotionally going from the highs of finally getting my foot in the door and starting a new full-time job within the organization of the team I grew up a die-hard fan of, to not knowing if I’d be calling baseball in 2021 — all while the framework of the industry I was working in was being significantly altered — was quite unsettling.”

Watching talented broadcasters lose their jobs at the highest levels of baseball and sports contributed to Kercheval’s anxiety. “I was the new kid over in rookie ball who was going to somehow have to figure out how to survive,” he recalls.

Fortunately, Kercheval has a strong group of family and friends who supported him through the disappointment and uncertainty. “While we’re still not totally out of those pandemic-plagued woods yet, the parts I’ve overcome I attribute to the unyielding support of my friends and family. I’m so incredibly lucky to have an extraordinary circle filled with wonderful people and that I am able to lean on them and recall what really is most important.”

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