Better Know A Broadcaster: Matt Dean
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?
Previously, Charleston RiverDogs (2016-19) and St. Paul Saints (2015)
What Other Sports Have You Broadcasted?
I've done some freelance gigs for a wide range of college sports on ESPN+ in Charleston: FCS football, basketball, and wrestling for The Citadel, Charleston Southern, and University of South Carolina.
Back in college at the University of Wisconsin, I got to dabble in pretty much every sport, including getting some tape through the Big Ten Network Student U program in basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, volleyball, and softball.
Attending the only Big Ten school without a baseball program, I landed my first baseball job with a tape of Wisconsin women's softball, which had a couple of NCAA Tournament teams during my time on campus.
Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All Time?
On radio, I grew up listening to Bob Uecker every summer, especially when I got into the game early in high school and went to Marquette High School blocks away from Miller Park. There's no one you'd rather have on a call for a simple call in a big moment (i.e. 'he just hit a walk-off homer...") or when the Brewers are getting blown out and he goes off the cuff with some hilarious stories from back in the day.
On TV, I've become accustomed to coming home from a 7 p.m. game and watching Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser for Dodgers baseball. Those guys are the best in the business in my opinion.
Where Is Your Favorite Road City?
No doubt Asheville, N.C. It's a terrific combination of a unique ballpark in McCormick Field that has aged incredibly well, beautiful views, and a phenomenal beer town. It's the only city I pray for a rainout because I'd love to have a night off to hit up some breweries and restaurants and get in a little hiking the next morning.
What Is Your Career Highlight?
More than anything, I've always wanted to call a home run robbery and Yankees prospect Pablo Olivares gave me this joy in 2018, pulling back what would have been a game-tying shot in the ninth inning in 2018 for Charleston.
I also got to call a no-hitter on the road that season, but everything is always more fun when it's at home, and I used to often joke with the RiverDogs front office that the most exciting moments always happened when I was on the road.
What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?
Every role is different with every team, but I don't think that many people know about all of the different hats minor league broadcasters wear for their clubs. In addition to calling the game, they're often salespeople, tarp-pullers, SID's, beat writers, itinerary schedulers, etc. Don't feel bad for us; we have tremendous gigs. I just think it's a part of the job a lot of people maybe don't realize.
What's Your Best Story From The Road?
There are so many but I'll try to limit it to a brief two. In 2018, the RiverDogs had an awful road trip to Hagerstown, Md. and Lakewood, N.J. It's the worst road trip in terms of distance from Charleston and the Dogs were ice cold with the bats.
After losing three of four in Hagerstown and being shut out in back-to-back games in Lakewood if I recall, manager Julio Mosquera in the middle of a game took all the bats out of the bat rack and threw them in the garbage can to send a message to the team what he thought of the offense.
Mosquera was usually pretty laid back but he picked his spots to get fired up, and it was usually can't-miss.
Off the field, there was an infamous road trip to Lakewood last season (There is a recurring theme here: Don't drive 13 hours to get to New Jersey), where as a team we would split up between two buses for longer trips so guys can spread out and sleep.
Some players in the back of the bus were being extremely loud and rowdy so at a stop in the middle of the night, Mosquera heard what had gone on and silently instructed every player to get on the other bus and cram together for the final 7-8 hours of the trip.
The other bus was left for just myself, our trainer, video guy, strength guy, and clubbie to spread out and relax while the team was packed together like sardines until we arrived to the hotel at about 6 a.m. for an off day.
Everyone was well-behaved on the bus the rest of the year.