COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech broadcaster Dylan Vazzano, whose on-air calls have become familiar on the Golden Eagle Sports Network and Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network, has gone north for the summer, journeying to Cape Cod, Mass., to broadcast in the famed Cape Cod Baseball League.
A Los Angeles native, Vazzano will serve as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks for the fifth consecutive season, while also taking the reins as the play-by-play voice of the 2014 Friendly’s Cape League All-Star Game to be aired on National Public Radio. Vazzano was on the call for last year’s All-Star Game, providing color commentary.
Vazzano's first game broadcast is slated for Wedneday night's season opener (June 11).
The premier amateur baseball league in the nation since 1885, the Cape League welcomes the country’s best collegiate players to the majestic seashores of the Northeast for the summer months of June, July, and August. The wood bat league features a 44-game regular season slate, with 10 teams in two divisions spread throughout the Cape competing for the shot to hoist the Arnold Mycock Trophy, presented to the league’s champion.
Hyannis plays in the West Division along with the Bourne Braves, Cotuit Kettleers, Falmouth Commodores, and Wareham Gatemen. The East Division is home to the Brewster Whitecaps, Chatham Anglers, Harwich Mariners, Orleans Firebirds, and Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
With more than 1,000 CCBL alumni performing at all levels of professional baseball in 2013, a record total of 257 former Cape Leaguers found themselves on major league rosters and in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, 208 CCBL alumni were drafted, with 15 going in the first round. In fact one in seven current MLB players spent time in the Cape League, and one in three big leaguers who went to college came from Cape Cod, a statistic that helped drive the league’s slogan of “Where the stars of tomorrow shine tonight.”
“It’s flat out awesome, and truly an honor and a privilege to be able to call games in the Cape Cod Baseball League,” Vazzano claimed on taking the mic over the summer. “When you look over the years and see the kind of MLB superstars that have come through the Cape and see the kind of competition that is right in front of you, night in and night out, I mean what a thrill.”
Some of the stars Vazzano alluded to include former NL MVP Buster Posey, Tampa Bay Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria, New York Yankee centerfield Jacoby Ellsbury, former NL CY Young award winner Tim Lincecum, former AL batting champion Nomar Garciaparra, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, member of the 3,000 hit club, Craig Biggio, and countless others.
“The Hyannis Harbor Hawks are elated to have Dylan back for a fifth season,” Hyannis Director of Baseball Operations Nick Johnson said on welcoming Vazzano back. “His passion, dedication, and professionalism are unparalleled and his return to the booth make our broadcast a can’t miss baseball experience.”
The Hyannis Harbor Hawks begin the season June 11, matching up against long-time rival and defending champion Cotuit Kettleers. Formerly known as the Mets, the Harbor Hawks will be searching for their first CCBL title since 1991 when two-time World Series champion Jason Varitek and long-time San Francisco Giant Rich Aurilia were on the ball club.
The All-Star Game will be a showdown of the best of the West Division and the cream of the crop in the East Division, and will be held at Doran Park, home of the Bourne Braves, on July 27.
“The opportunity to call the All-Star Game on NPR is something that I will cherish for years to come,” Vazzano said. “Year-in and year-out, there are a number of future major leaguer’s that make up the All-Star rosters and I expect this year to be the same. Doing color commentary for last year’s game was an incredible experience, and to be able to do play-by-play for this season’s game is more than exciting.”
Vazzano just completed his first year as Sports Information Coordinator and Broadcaster at Tennessee Tech, broadcasting the audio portion of webstreams of soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball games on the OVC Digital Network. He also served as the sidelines reporter during football broadcasts on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, and provided play-by-play for selected men’s and women’s basketball games. He is scheduled to return to Tech in August to resume his on-air role for the Golden Eagles.
“For Dylan to be able to return to the Cape League this summer is a tremendous opportunity, not only for his own continued professional development but also to add to his experience in the broadcast booth, something that will benefit Tech’s broadcasts once again in 2014-15,” said Rob Schabert, TTU Assisstant Athletic Director for Sports Information and Broadcasting.
“Having seen his work ethic and preparation for game broadcasts, and having worked alongside him in the booth, I have seen and heard Dylan’s dedication to his craft and his outstanding ability to portray the action. He has really been a great addition to our staff and productions,” Schabert said.
For more information on the Cape Cod Baseball League visit the league’s official website at http://capecodbaseball.org/