Sportsnet and the Blue Jays announced, on Baseball Central today with Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker, that (former) Buffalo Bisons Play-by-Play announcer Ben Wagner will be the new voice of the Blue Jays on radio.
In addition to “calling Ben Wagner up” from the minor leagues, Sportsnet is going to have Mike Wilner in the booth and Wilner will continue to host Blue Jays Talk following the games. Dan Shulman is also going to join the Blue Jays in both the radio and the TV booth for select games and there will be a “rotating team of analysts” involved (likely including Kevin Barker).
For someone who follows the Blue Jays’ minor leagues, it’s great to see one of our own getting the call to the majors. While minor league players are “called up to the bigs” all the time, in broadcasting, breaking through to the major leagues is a much rarer event. Wagner has been broadcasting in Buffalo for 11 seasons and has called over 1500 games for The Herd, showing that it takes a lot longer for a minor league broadcaster to get to the major leagues than it takes for a player. Pat Malacaro, who has also been working with the Bisons on their broadcasts for many years, takes over as the “Voice of the Bisons.”
Dan Shulman will also host a podcast for Sportsnet called “A Swing and a Belt” which will premiere on April 5. Hazel Mae and Arash Madani will be on the field during broadcasts while Joe Siddall moves over to the TV side of things to join Jamie Campbell on Blue Jays Central with guest analysts Kevin Barker and Cliff Floyd.
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