The group of announcers bringing Milwaukee Brewers baseball to the masses this year includes a number of familiar faces and voices. Here are the names to know:
Bob Uecker, radio
The man needs no introduction. He’s 88 years old but still going strong in his 52nd year as a Brewers broadcaster, calling home games for WTMJ-AM (620). Though he’s undergone a number of health scares in recent years, he remains the beating heart of Brewers baseball to generations of fans, known for his endless supply of humor, often self-deprecating. For those who are somehow uninitiated, just remember that he was never as bad of a big-league catcher as he’ll let you believe. The man has two statues in his honor at American Family Field, a place on the franchise’s Walk of Fame and a commemorative “50” on the façade alongside the organization’s retired numbers to mark his 50 years of broadcasting. It’s not summer until we hear, “Get up, get up, get outta here, gone.”
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Since 2007, the native of Texas has been a staple of Brewers broadcasts, authoring some memorable moments in the franchise’s rise to perennial contender. He’s also a fixture on national broadcasts for Turner sports, including high-profile NBA and MLB games on TBS and TNT, major golf events and the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament. With all that in mind, he’s cutting back to roughly 50 broadcasts this season, though he lives in the Milwaukee area and insists he has no intention of completely walking away from his gig with the Brewers.
“Rock” has been a fixture in the organization for decades, with 28 years in the booth, not to mention his seasons as a Brewers player from 1983-88. He’s also coordinator of the franchise’s annual fantasy camp, and only Uecker has broadcast more Brewers games in club history. You’ll forgive him if he occasionally mentions 1987, when he posted a career year at the plate and also caught the first no-hitter in franchise history, authored by Juan Nieves during the 13-game winning streak that kicked off the “Team Streak season.
Jeff Levering, TV and radio
It’s Levering’s eighth season calling Brewers games, but this year he’ll be more prominently featured on TV than on radio. He’s sliding over a booth with play-by-play announcer Anderson less available, and fans can expect to see him paired with Schroeder for 100 to 110 broadcasts. Before Milwaukee, Levering worked for the Boston Red Sox’s Class AAA club in Pawtucket, and he’s a former baseball player for Division III national champion Chapman University in Orange, California. When Anderson is back in house, Levering will return to radio broadcasts alongside Uecker at home and Lane Grindle on the road.
It’ll be her 10th year as the sideline reporter for the TV broadcasts and fifth year working with digital features content. The Madison native graduated from Edgewood High School and attended Marquette University, where her degrees included Spanish language and literature. She that’s been put to good use on broadcasts, where she seamlessly conducts bilingual interviews.
Lane Grindle, radio
You’ll hear more from Grindle in his seventh year with the club now that Levering will spend more time on the TV broadcast. Grindle will work alongside Uecker on home broadcasts when Levering is on the TV call and will also work road games, either with Levering or newcomer Josh Maurer. Formerly an announcer at the University of Nebraska, Grindle hails originally from Iowa and graduated from South Dakota.
The new kid on the block was hired in February, and like Levering most recently worked as the Class AAA broadcaster for the Red Sox organization. He’ll call games with Grindle on the road when Levering is in the TV booth. He’s originally from Philadelphia and has done radio work on the East Coast.
Don’t forget about the Bally Sports Wisconsin studio hosts who will provide coverage for Brewers pregame and postgame shows. They include:
Craig Coshun. Entering his 22nd season, the native of suburban Milwaukee has occasionally worked traditional play-by-play in the TV booth, as well.
Darius Melendez. In his fifth season, Melendez has worked on TV in both his native Florida and Milwaukee, where he’s also appeared on Bucks pregame and postgame broadcasts. He’ll only be in this spot until April 18, however, at which point he’ll step away to focus on his new full-time gig as WISN (Channel 12) sports director.
Tim Dillard. The former Brewers minor- and major-leaguer has developed a social media following thanks to his comedic sensibilities, and enters his second year in his role on the broadcasts. He may also occasionally fill in as color commentator when Schroeder is unavailable for TV broadcasts.
Vinny Rottino. The Racine native who briefly played in the big leagues with the Brewers (including a memorable walk-off hit on the penultimate day of the 2007 season) also enters his second season on broadcasts.
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.