The Wareham Gatemen have established a recent tradition of bringing in college journalism majors from the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University to be the “Voice of the Gatemen” as play-by-play broadcasters. The Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) “recognizes the most outstanding collegiate radio sportscasters in the country” recognizing 20 All-Americans and presenting the Jim Nantz Trophy to the nation’s most outstanding sportscaster.
Eric Silverman, one of the recent Gatemen broadcasters from Syracuse, was named one of the 2012 STAA All-Americans. It was Eric, as the 2010 Cape Cod Baseball League season was coming to a conclusion that recommended fellow Syracuse student Bill Spaulding to the Gatemen for the following summer; saying that Bill was an “out-of-this-world talent” even as a freshman at the time. Bill Spaulding spent 2011 as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Wareham Gatemen and at the 2012 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) awards ceremony on June 11th in Salsibury, NC, he was presented with the Jim Nantz Trophy.
Much like the players in the Cape Cod Baseball League, the team broadcasters are challenged by the grind of 44 games plus the playoffs in a short period of time; testing their ability to deliver quality broadcasts on an almost daily basis as they prepare for a career in broadcast journalism. “My time in Wareham was monumental for my development as a broadcaster. The challenge of calling a game day in, day out really pushed me to become a better story teller, expand my vocabulary and find different ways to make the broadcast interesting every day.”, said Bill Spaulding the day after being presented his award.
Also like most of the collegiate players coming to Cape Cod, many of the broadcasters around the league are spending a summer away from home after recently completing a year at college. They are meeting new people, developing relationships with players and established organizational players alike, managing technical issues, conducting interviews and helping out with the team’s website. Bill excelled in all of these areas for the Gatemen last summer; not to mention his talent behind the microphone.
His game preparation, well-rounded knowledge of the game and his professionalism all lended itself to a smooth & relaxed delivery – supported by enough facts for baseball purists to absorb yet entertaining and welcoming to the more casual listeners. Whether delivering play-by-play from the John Wylde Press Box in Wareham or dodging rain drops while sitting at a small table behind home plate at an away game, the Wareham Gatemen organization was proud to have Bill Spaulding setting the scene for parents and fans across the country and representing the organization in such a public way.
Bill was in good company at the awards ceremony in North Carolina as the evening included the induction of Bob Costas into the NSSA Hall of Fame as well as attendees Dick Vitale, Terry Francona, Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas. “The weekend in Salisbury was an outstanding experience. To meet some of the leaders in the sports broadcasting industry was was so eye opening. To win an award that has Jim Nantz’s name on it is really hard for me to fathom. He is a tremendous broadcaster and I am so grateful for the opportunity”.
From Eric Silverman: “It was truly an honor to be named as one of the top 20 student sports broadcasters in the nation, but the biggest thrill was learning that one of my best friends, Bill Spaulding received the Jim Nantz Trophy as the nation’s best student sports broadcaster. Bill has always been a standout talent, and his honor came of no surprise. He and I are two of many Syracuse guys over the years fortunate enough to have benefited from a summer in the Cape League to develop our baseball broadcasting skills.”
Born in California and raided in Horseheads, New York, Bill is currently the sports director at WAER in Syracuse which broadcasts Syracuse Football, Basketball and Lacrosse.
Also named as an All-American and ranked as the #2 broadcaster in the nation was John Nolan; also from Syracuse University and the current play-by-play broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. The complete list of All-American is found in the provided in the following article that was posted on the STAA website .http://staatalent.com/all-america-program/