Better Know A Broadcaster: John Nolan

With baseball paused for the foreseeable future, Baseball America has decided to introduce you to some of the men and women who work as broadcasters for each club.

What Is Your Name?

John Nolan

Which Team Do You Work For?

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres, low Class A)—since 2013

Which Other Baseball Teams Have You Broadcasted For?

Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League (2011); interned for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs (2012)

What Other Sports Have You Broadcasted?

Basketball, Field Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All Time?

Gary Cohen of the New York Mets

Where Is Your Favorite Road City?

There are many great cities in the Midwest League, but I’ll give the nod to Dayton, Ohio, on account of how its fans fill the ballpark.

What Is Your Career Highlight?

I’ve been lucky to primarily work for a first-class organization in the TinCaps, who in 2016 won Minor League Baseball’s top honor, the John H. Johnson President’s Award for organizational excellence.

A personal highlight that stands out is having the opportunity to meet Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, who was kind enough to join our broadcast, too.

What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?

As others in this space have described, the short answer is that being a broadcaster in minor league baseball usually means you have other responsibilities outside of broadcasting. In fact, it can be somewhat rare to feel fully prepared to call a game by the time first pitch arrives.

Other duties can include everything from media relations (preparing rosters, lineups, stat packets, game notes, press releases, social media, interview requests, hosting media, etc.) to being on call for a tarp pull, and anything in between, like driving a player to a community appearance or even the airport.

The list can go on. And, yes, I have worn the mascot costume on a handful of occasions. (It is easier to dance like no one’s watching.)

What’s Your Best Story From The Road?

Last August I was fortunate to have missed our bus breaking down in the middle of the night after a road trip finale 19-1 loss—the rare situation where I drove myself separate from the team. But to follow on the heels of a story Jason Kempf recently told, I had an adventure of my own in Beloit last May.

Again, outside of the norm, I needed to leave the team for a couple of days to attend a wedding. I was scheduled to take an early morning bus from South Beloit to O’Hare for a flight to New Jersey. Naively, I presumed I’d be able to order a rideshare. Well, it turned out that there were no drivers in the area (Beloit has a population of about 36,000). As a result, I went to the front desk of the Rodeway Inn for help ordering a taxi. But the receptionist couldn’t find any taxis available either.

Now I was panicking because if I missed the bus, then I’d miss my flight. Frantically, the woman at the desk called her ex-husband. Sure enough, he begrudgingly arrived at 5-something in the morning and drove me to the bus stop that was in a gas station parking lot. Thankfully, I made it on time.

For consolation: Several years ago in Clinton, Iowa, an elderly female fan used profanity near my crowd microphone. After I asked her to move her seat, in the mostly empty ballpark, if she was going to continue using that kind of language, she proceeded to flip me off. As a New Jersey native, I actually found that all somewhat endearing.

You can catch John calling TinCaps home games on MiLB.TV (as well as Comcast Network 81 in Indiana) and road games on ESPN Radio 1380 & 100.9 FM.

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