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Behind the Man Behind the Mic03/04/2010 7:19 PM ET
By Noah Frank / Fresno Grizzlies
FRESNO, CA- Some people take years, jumping from job to job, trying to find what they want to do with their lives. Others are simply born into their profession. When your last name is Greenwald, broadcasting baseball is pretty much your destiny.
Such is the case for the voice of the Grizzlies Doug Greenwald, son of legendary Giants broadcaster Hank who spent 16 of his 20 years of professional baseball broadcasting in the booth at Candlestick Park. Doug started attending games with his father at age five, and by the time he hit adolescence, there was only one path that made any sense to him.
"Once I realized I couldn't catch up with a fastball, I had to call an audible and go into broadcasting," says the 35-year-old Doug, who will call his eighth consecutive season of Grizzlies baseball this spring and summer on 790 ESPN Radio The Deuce in Fresno. "We would always go to Arizona for Spring Training, so I just grew up around the game from a very early age."
Now Greenwald returns to Arizona in a professional capacity, calling the Giants Cactus League games for the team's internet broadcast. He even got his first taste of regular season Big League action on September 6th last season, filling in for the Giants regular broadcaster Dave Fleming whose wife was expecting at the time.
Calling games for an affiliate of the team with which his father spent most of his own professional career only makes sense.
"It's a natural tie-in," admits Greenwald of the Grizzlies continuing affiliation with the Giants. "It makes everything smoother in general. I knew Fresno back when it was a Cal League town. It's a thrill to be able to see these places after reading about them on a baseball card as a kid."
It's also nice to watch from a stadium like Chukchansi Park, which was built in 2002, making it one of the newest parks in the Pacific Coast League.
"It's a palace every night. I come into work and think 'This is my office? This is where I get to go to work?' It's great to hear other people say about Fresno that it's a great place to watch a game. Players talk about it too. If you have to be in Triple-A, this is the place to be."
While Greenwald has the same aspirations as the players he describes, to make it to The Show, Fresno is home for now. He relishes the chance to see players as they develop into Major League-ready talent.
"My favorite part of the job is getting to see guys go to the Big Leagues for the first time," reflects Greenwald. "It's gratifying to see them getting hugs and handshakes. Some even have tears in their eyes. Fresno is the last minor league step for them before they graduate to that next level, so it's fun to be here and watch that."
Although there is much still to be decided about the Opening Day roster, it seems clear that with the Giants farm system ranked tops in the National League by Baseball America, that Fresno may showcase more future stars this season than ever before.
"It's very exciting," says Greenwald, and you can hear it in his voice. He has watched the Giants slowly build their minor league system over the last several seasons. "There's a possibility of Buster Posey coming back to Fresno every day. With Thomas Neal, Darren Ford and Roger Kieschnick you could be talking about the starting outfield of the Giants in a couple years. There has been a lot of success with (Single-A) San Jose and (Double-A) Connecticut, and we're going to get a more advanced version of that here this year."
You can listen to Doug call Giants Spring Training games this March through sfgiants.com, and all 144 regular season Grizzlies games on 790 ESPN Radio The Deuce and at FresnoGrizzlies.com.