Moosic, Pa. - It is awards season for minor league baseball. And one of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' own has added to the franchise's swelling off-season trophy case. The RailRiders' lead radio and TV play-by-play announcer, John Sadak, has been named 2013 Broadcaster of the Year by Ballpark Digest.
"Talk about a commanding presence on the airwaves," said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. "John is the ultimate professional in calling a game. He tells a great story and is always compelling in his descriptions of the action."
Last off-season, the New York City native ascended to the minors' top level with the Triple-A International League affiliate of the New York Yankees. He became just the third play-by-play voice in the history of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise.
"John calls the game with such smoothness and such eloquent detail," said RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain. "Going through the hiring process, John separated himself with his detailed description of the game without speaking too much. He was fluid, he was descriptive, he spoke to the listeners as if they were having a casual conversation over coffee."
Sadak had previously worked for the New York Yankees, Lakewood BlueClaws, MLB Productions and, most recently, as the Voice of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. With Wilmington, he was named the 2012 Carolina League Broadcaster of the Year and twice received Delaware Sportscaster of the Year accolades from the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association.
In addition to his baseball work, Sadak also handles national play-by-play duties for a variety of sports including football and basketball with WestwoodOne, CBS Sports Network and the ESPN family of networks.
"What a surprise and what an honor," said Sadak. "I offer my sincere thanks to Kevin Reicherd and Ballpark Digest. This humbling award in a field full of tremendous talent marks the exclamation point to a fantastic year. My incredibly supportive wife Colleen and I welcomed our first baby into the world the same day I was offered the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre job. It appears our beautiful little Claire brought abundant luck along with her that has stretched beyond that October morning. None of this would have been possible without my family's loving support.
"And many thanks to my boss and friend with the RailRiders, Rob Crain, for giving me the opportunity to call Triple-A baseball, along with my former boss with the New York Yankees, Mike Bonner, for seeing something in me years ago and all of his help since."
RailRiders' fans can catch Sadak's award-winning radio play-by-play once more starting in April on NEPA Sports Radio - The GAME, Northeast PA's largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. He will also handle all of the team's television tilts on My Network TV once again. My Network TV serves nearly 600,000 households in the nation's 54th-largest television market. In addition to RailRiders baseball, My Network TV is NEPA's home for Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees baseball, ACC football and basketball, and Big East football and basketball.
The RailRiders' 2014 season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals). The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. For season ticket information, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
ABOUT THE BALLPARK DIGEST AWARDS
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go through the submissions (numbering some 300 pages of documentation last year). The awards cover both individual accomplishments as well as team accomplishments. This is the fifth season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards.
ABOUT BALLPARK DIGEST/AUGUST PUBLICATIONS
The leading website covering the culture and business of baseball since its inception in 2002, Ballpark Digest (www.ballparkdigest.com) has been called an "indispensable" guide to baseball and ballparks by The New York Times; it's been used as a source by publications and websites ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Epicurious.com. August Publications is a publisher based in Middleton, Wis. Besides Ballpark Digest, August Publications websites include SpringTrainingOnline.com, ArenaDigest.com, YellowstoneInsider.com and NewWest.net.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.