Better Know A Broadcaster: Jon Mozes
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?
Which Team Do You Work For?
Which Other Baseball Teams Have You Broadcasted For?
2012-Abilene Prairie Dogs (Independent, United Baseball League)
2013-Gary SouthShore RailCats (Independent, American Association)
What Other Sports Have You Broadcasted?
Including my college days and professionally: Men's and Women's Volleyball, Field Hockey, Men's and Women's Soccer, Football, Basketball, Men's and Women's Lacrosse, Softball and Baseball
Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All-Time?
Harry Kalas. It dawned on me during my freshman year in college when he passed that I had only known Phillies baseball through his voice. I can still hear him to this day when I listen back to my games sometimes, always loved the way he referred to players and actions within the game. He had an unforgettable tone to his delivery that I can still hear to this day.
Where Is Your Favorite Road City?
Portland is the current favorite. There is certainly a weather challenge in April and May, but hard to beat Old Port and its afternoon offerings of museums, shops and restaurants on the water. If you're into seafood, Portland is a must.
What Is Your Career Highlight?
Winning championships in Gary in 2013 and with the Thunder in 2019 will be memories that stay with me for an entire lifetime, but, I have to say the Chase Utley rehab hosted by Trenton in 2015. Utley was my favorite player to watch growing up and I just loved everything about him: a calm demeanor, a short swing with serious power, a flare for the dramatic and always appeared to be one of the smartest guys on the field. In 2015 he was making his way back to the active roster before the Phillies would eventually trade him to the Dodgers that August and he played a couple games with Reading at Trenton. Rehabs are always a little bit of a hectic day for radio/media relations representatives for minor league teams and this was no different.
Once the news was announced in the late morning, I was quickly dashing off to create a press conference room while simultaneously fielding calls and emails from Philadelphia media making their way up for the game that night or looking for highlights of Utley for their reports. Things finally calmed down around 3:30 p.m. when everything was set up and all we had to do was wait for players and Utley to show up.
It was strange at that point that Reading's bus hadn't arrived. As it turned out, it was stuck in a massive traffic jam on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and a few Reading staff members were there since they drove on their own and left before the bus, thus missing the accident that the bus was behind. Utley drove himself up from Philadelphia and didn't really know where to go when he arrived, so he just wandered into the front office and started introducing himself to Thunder front office folks that he saw and asking where to go. Eventually we got him to the right place to park and to the clubhouse, where he started to get into his routine and prepare for the game with Reading's trainer and strength coach, who had driven themselves.
After he was settled in, I went down to the clubhouse with Mike Ventola (Reading's radio and media relations contact at the time) to chat about the timeline for a pregame media session, what we would do after he came out, etc. and after our quick five-minute chat we all just sorta sat around for nearly 30 minutes chatting away about life.
I believe it was me, Mike, Chase, Mickey Morandini and their trainer Mickey Kozack for most of that time and the conversation ranged from prospects on the way in the Phillies system (like Roman Quinn) to fantasy football to the best road cities in the Eastern League (which Chase never got to experience on his way up as a minor leaguer, he played rehab games at Reading in 2007 and 2013) and I was struck by just how down to earth he was.
Everything about those two days was unforgettable; there's a different buzz around the ballpark when a player of that stature is on the field, and when the park is absolutely packed like it was on those two nights, it takes your game as a broadcaster up a notch. There's nothing to replace the energy of a big crowd to draw off of as you sit in the booth.
What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?
On a near daily basis I have to be hyper-focused on today's game (in terms of media relations, notes, preparing for the broadcast) while also keeping an eye on the future.
In my role with the Thunder, I coordinate a lot of our marketing partnerships in addition to sales, all of our media relations and broadcasting. So in a given day, I have to think ahead to upcoming promotions and homestands and be sure that all of our advertisements in various places have the correct messaging and promotions listed and are in place far enough in advance that they can make an impact.
We have partnerships with various local newspapers, radio and TV stations and they all require something a little bit different to be effective. I wouldn't be able to successfully do my job without a cohesive approach from our ticketing and creative departments, and it takes a lot of communication from a relatively small staff to pull off everything we do every night at home.
Because We Could All Use A Little Sunshine, Meet Dash
The newest Trenton Thunder batdog will be ready to continue the family business once the season starts.
What's Your Best Story From The Road?
Mid-July 2019, we're in Altoona for the second leg of a two-city trip out of the all-star break. First day of the series at about 1:30 p.m. the Wi-Fi goes out and I'm thinking, huh, weird. About 30 minutes later, I get up to get some coffee from the lobby and the sliding doors are open, and it turns out the power is out in half of the hotel from a construction project on a neighboring property.
I overheard a clerk at the desk saying that they'll have to cut power off to the entire hotel to fix the problem and I quickly ran back to my room to shower and got myself ready to go to the field. The team bus was coming at around 2:30 and we all just went about our day, crossing our fingers that everything would be normal when we came back after.
Postgame, we heard that the power wasn't back on, so we would go to Champs Sports Grill to get something to eat and hang out until the power was back. About 11:30 we got the word, everything was good! And off we went back to the hotel where the manager greeted us in the lobby with an apology and an offer of free pizza in the hotel bar. The manager opened up the bar just for us as a thank you for our patience and after about 20 minutes of enjoying the pool and skee-ball tables, the power went out again.
Thinking quickly, the hotel manager started to light candles on the bar, people brought out the Bluetooth speakers and we kept hanging out because with no air conditioning running in the rooms, it was going to be a nightmare for everyone to try to sleep. Things calmed down at about 1 a.m. and many of us tried to make our way back to our rooms by cell phone light. Now, the The Altoona Grand is a spooky place—even with the lights on, so this was no picnic.
I made it back to my first floor room and managed to sleep a few hours, but apparently quite a few of our guys were spooked by one of our players crouching in the corner of hallways upstairs and jumping out at them as they looked for their rooms. Certainly made it feel haunted for them!