As the Vancouver Canadians get closer to the start of the 2010 season, broadcaster Rob Fai
continues to prep for the upcoming campaign.
Promoted to Assistant General Manager shortly after the conclusion of last seasons efforts, Fai has been working with the front office staff to help reach many of the team's goals. But as the native of Scarborough, Ontario will tell you, he's come a long way from his first go around in professional baseball.
"I remember my first experience here with the Canadians back in 2001 as the team's Media Relations Director, it was a bit of a struggle for me. I was young, didn't really appreciate some of the responsibilities that came with the position and to be honest, fell on my face a bit," says Fai who is suddenly entering his fifth season with the franchise.
Fai would part ways with the seasonal job back in 2001, focusing his efforts on establishing himself in the local media even spending a year away from his comfort zone in Powell River. There he would host the six-hour morning show and then put his manager's hat on and work several more hour to gain valuable experience.
"I believe in my heart that the turning point in my career was the year I spent away in Powell River. I absolutely fell in love with that community and really appreciated the opportunity that was presented to me by the Browne family. I owe them a lot and really feel the gaining of that opportunity turned my career around".
Upon return from Powell River, Fai seemed to have turned the corner in the world of broadcasting taking a position with News1130 that lasted just over three years.
"To come back to Vancouver and then work under Garry Raible (Canadians Hall of Fame member) was for me an amazing blessing. Garry is to me one of the best 'teachers' I have ever come across and I am proud to say that I came out of his sports department. I would also have to say that Greg Douglas was also instrumental in my humble growth in this city's media landscape".
Fai left News1130 in the spring on 2007 to try his efforts with the organization that had gone through a few changes.
"It was a lot different (referring to the ownership change that took place shortly before Fai joined the C's) because Jake (Kerr) and Jeff (Mooney) had taken the reigns and really changed the culture of the organization. I was thrilled to be a part of the movement towards long term stability and feel that along with an extraordinary staff led by Andy Dunn and a cast of others, we have raised the bar of expectation when it comes to what people expect from us".
Fai has been the lead voice for the franchise since his arrival and enters his fourth year as play-by-play voice for the team this coming season.
"I love the responsibility that comes with being a part of a Vancouver Canadians broadcast. You look down the list of broadcasters that have been a part of baseball in this city and it is very humbling. To get the chance to broadcast from the same vantage point that Jim Robson broadcast his old Mounties games is something I am proud of every day".
Fai not only calls the games both on Team1040 Sports Radio, but also hosts the C's weekly baseball show titled "Vancouver Canadians Game Day" also heard on Team1040 Sports Radio.
"I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of great people. I think the work that Lou Filippo has done not only with our broadcasts but in our media department has been extraordinary. Jason Takefman, JC Fraser, Allan (Bailey), Spiro (Khouri), Graham (Wall), Cynthia (Wildman), Dolores (Sebellin), Tom (Archibald), Trevor (Sheffield) and a cast of others have made this place a very fun and enjoyable place to come to work".
What lies ahead for the Canadians broadcaster? If you are a fan of video games, his efforts with EA Sports might be of interest to you.
Fai has been brought on by EA Sports as the newest voice for its National Hockey League brand.
"I have to admit I still think of it is a bit surreal. To be added as a voice actor to one of the coolest brands around for me is a real treat. I have played those games for years and to think that in just a few months I will become a small part of that link is really humbling".
Fai adds that having the chance for his children to enjoy his efforts on-air and in the studio is what drives him to work at his craft.
"My kids love video games for the brief periods of times that I let them indulge," admits Fai.
My kids and I are all big baseball fans and even though I don't see them as much as I would like too during the season, hopefully when they look back at what I tried to accomplish, it will all make sense at the end of the day. I love being the broadcaster for this team and hope they will let me do this job in this city forever".
The Canadians open up the 2010 Northwest League season on the road in Eugene, Oregon before returning home to kick off their home schedule on Monday, June21st at 7:05pm versus the Spokane Indians.
Tickets to Vancouver Canadians Baseball can be purchased by calling 604.872.5232, by visiting the Canadians Box Office at 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver or here on-line by clicking on the links at the top of this page.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.