Jesse Goldberg-Strassler Joins ‘From Phenom To The Farm’: Episode 98


Image credit: Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

If you ask Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the longtime voice of the Lansing Lugnuts, a baseball
broadcast well-done doesn’t stem from natural talent—it’s instead the result of a lifetime of
baseball osmosis.

“I don’t think anything is purely innate—I think you learn everything,” said Goldberg-Strassler.
“The way that we talk baseball has been picked up from hearing somebody else talking it.”

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Goldberg-Strassler grew up in Maryland in a house full of baseball fans. From an early age, if
there was baseball on TV or the radio, Jesse was taking it in. Post–high school, Goldberg-
Strassler knew he wanted a career path that involved writing, and hoped to find a college where
he could broadcast sports—a tougher task around the turn of the century than it is now. His
home state University of Maryland didn’t have a broadcast program, and hopping on mic for
game reps at broadcasting powerhouse Syracuse was typically reserved for upperclassmen.
Goldberg-Strassler found a home at Ithaca College in South Hill, New York.

“I went to Ithaca, and they said, ‘You can get on air your first week,’” said Goldberg-Strassler. “I
needed it, because I’d never done it before—and it is really hard to broadcast.”

Goldberg-Strassler got on mic plenty during his time in college, but in his first post-grad job in
professional baseball, interning in 2005 with the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am league, he found
himself doing a bit of everything around the ballpark. He tacked on skills that helped with his
career path, like creating game notes and hosting pre-game and post-game call-in shows, but also
spent more time as the Rox mascot than calling play-by-play.

His first extended in-game stint behind the microphone was his next stop as the number two
broadcaster for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits, followed by two seasons as the main
broadcaster for the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League. At each stop, Goldberg-
Strassler never got too far ahead, instead soaking in the unique experience offered at each

“I’ve also been so aware of my own limitations,” said Goldberg-Strassler. “I got to Montgomery,
I understood I needed to work on my vocal stamina, I needed to learn how to use Dreamweaver
to work on the website (…) and then I was getting so many more reps. I was getting regular
innings of play-by-play, and regular innings of play, and all of that challenged me to say what
more can I do, what more can I learn.”

The 2009 season brought Goldberg-Strassler to what would eventually be his long-term home,
and even though he didn’t know he’d spend over a decade in Lansing upon arrival, from day one Goldberg-Strassler knew he had to act as though that’d be the case.

“I think if you don’t treat a stop like a home immediately, you get found out,” said Goldberg-
Strasser. “The people who you’re calling the games for, the fans, the family members—they
need to feel like you care. The players, the coaches, they need to feel like you care.”

The 2024 season finds Jesse heading into year 15 calling Lugnuts games, still honing his
craft every day by talking and listening to baseball.

On the latest episode of ‘From Phenom to the Farm,’ longtime Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler discusses life behind the microphone in MiLB. He talks his steps in getting to a play-by-play job, crafting a broadcasting style, his big league debut and seeing future all-stars come through the Midwest League.

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