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Bricktown Showdown to be televised live on ESPN208/27/2008 12:00 PM ET
Triple-A Baseball (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) announced today that the 2008 Express Employment Professionals Bricktown Showdown Championship Game will be televised live across the ESPN2 network on Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Triple-A Baseball and ESPN2 have enjoyed a 14-year partnership involving the annual Triple-A All-Star Game, the Las Vegas Triple-A World Series from 1998-2000, and since 2006, the Bricktown Showdown. Launched in October of 1993, ESPN2 is now available in approximately 94 million homes.
Triple-A Baseball, Minor League Baseball's highest classification, is comprised of 30 teams throughout North America which develop talent for Major League affiliates while providing affordable entertainment for fans of all ages. The 2008 campaign was the 105th season of operation for the Pacific Coast League and the 125th season for the International League.
The 2008 Express Employment Professionals Bricktown Showdown will determine the overall champion of the Triple-A Baseball classification. On September 16 the International League's Governors' Cup Champion and the Pacific Coast League Champion will meet in Oklahoma City's AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (home of the Oklahoma RedHawks) in a winner-take-all championship game. The Pacific Coast League club will be considered the home team for this year's game, thanks to the PCL's 6-5 win over the IL All-Stars in July.
33-year Triple-A veteran Howard Kellman of the Indianapolis Indians will once again serve as the play-by-play voice of the broadcast, to be joined by Ron Swoboda, former Major League outfielder and current radio voice of the New Orleans Zephyrs. For the third consecutive Showdown, Oklahoma RedHawks broadcaster Jim Byers will serve as the field reporter.
Returning to the booth for the third straight year to call play-by-play at the Bricktown Showdown is Indianapolis Indians broadcaster Howard Kellman. Since 1974, Kellman has been the Voice of the Tribe, recently completing his 33rd season with the Indians. He's also called games for the Chicago White Sox (1984) and Cleveland Cavaliers (1988-89), as well as IHSAA football and basketball games since 1990. In 2002 Kellman was honored as the Indiana Sportscaster of the Year, and it was recently announced he will be a 2009 inductee into the Indiana Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Joining Kellman in the booth will be former World Series hero Ron Swoboda. After completing a nine-year Major League career with the Mets (including the 1969 World Champions), Expos and Yankees, Swoboda spent twenty years as an anchor and reporter in local television news in New York, Milwaukee, Phoenix and finally New Orleans. Swoboda provides commentary for the New Orleans Zephyrs for both radio and television broadcasts.
The field reporter will be Jim Byers, who just concluded his ninth season as voice of the Oklahoma RedHawks. A veteran of many sports, Byers joined the RedHawks in 1999 and has been their broadcaster every year since except 2003, when he hosted a local sports talk show. Byers' experience includes 15 years as a horse racing announcer and six seasons of hockey play-by-play. He currently serves as play-by-play voice of the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League in addition to his duties with the RedHawks.