Flagship: WXYT (1270 AM, 97.1 FM)
PxP: Dan Dickerson (10th season as play by play man)
Color: Jim Price (14 years on the Tigers radio network)
Reviewer: Dave Bodemer
Category: Play by Play
Dan Dickerson has spent his entire career in the broadcasting industry. He was teamed up with Ernie Harwell for 3 years before assuming the full time job in 2003, and it’s evident that he learned his lessons thoroughly from the legendary broadcaster.
His play by play can rightly be described as just right. It combines the perfect amount of descriptive action, excitement, and background stories of the game. The account of the game captivates the listener and keeps them on the edge of their seat awaiting the next play.
His style is reserved; he saves his dramatics for big events throughout the game. He doesn’t overwhelm the listener with endless stats by referring to only the current series or for the last 20 games. While they occasionally might reflect a small sample size, the stats Dickerson provides seem to be just enough to give the listener a view of how well the player is doing now. It’s obvious he spends endless hours on baseball related homework.
Category: Color Commentary
Jim Price has worked for the Tigers for 20 years; 14 of them as part of the Tiger radio network. He’s been has teamed up with Dan Dickerson since 2000.
Because Price played in the majors as a catcher, it gives him a unique and qualified perspective of the game. His insights are accurate and with his folksy charm and easy-going manner provide a perfect pairing to Dickerson’s competent and direct play-by-play. Price is a bit of a homer but not to the point of being an annoyance. The back-and-forth banter seems unrehearsed and reflects the length of time they’ve spent together side by side in the booth.
Category: Broadcast Team Commentary
This team primarily focuses on the game and very rarely let the outside world sneak in to their broadcasts. They offer professional insights into the Tigers as well as the visiting teams.
They are fans of the Tigers but they do not let that fact cloud their judgment and affect the broadcast. They recognize both good play along with bad and are not afraid to voice their opinion even if it doesn’t reflect well on Detroit. Price will, from time to time, bring up a story from the Tigers’ past to emphasize his opinion during the broadcast.
Category: Charisma and Chemistry
From the conversations that this broadcast team initiates, a listener can tell that this duo has forged a friendship. The years of experience make their friendly interactions appear to be second nature. It is easy listening and Tiger fans are lucky this team tells the story of the Tigers season for them.
They are extremely listenable and likeable. One could argue that after hearing them over the course of several seasons one’s ears would perk up when hearing their voices for the first time after a long off season.
Dickerson and Price keep the listener well informed for both the Tigers and the visiting team. It is in-depth and it is obvious that this team does their homework.
Any MLB fan would benefit from listening to Dickerson and Price call a game or a series of their favorite team because of the quality and depth of their analysis.
Surprisingly, advanced statistics are left out of their analysis as the broadcast appears to be geared to the average fan.
They also use stories from conversations with the players as they come to bat to give insight on the team or players performance that go beyond the normal statistics.
Category: Production Values
The production and sound quality of the WXYT broadcast is well up to professional baseball standards. Detroit fans will appreciate that they play a song clip to let the audience know the commercials are over and the game action is returning. They might appreciate it a little more if the sound clips paid more homage to Motown, Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger or other Detroit music legends. After all, Detroit is billed as the Rock City.
All in all, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd come in loud and clear. WXYT manages to capture the electricity of the ballpark.
Category: Commercialism and Cutaways
The commercialism of the broadcast is typical of a major league baseball game in that Dickerson and Price seamlessly segue to sponsored advertisements along with ticket deals and promotions for future Tiger games. Listeners might be better served if the broadcast incorporated the use of sideline reporters or a studio host that would give updates on the major league scores.
The Dickerson-Price team is very solid and professional and is an above average broadcast team. A Detroit fan or for that matter a baseball fan would learn a lot about the state of the Tigers and all of baseball by listening to this team.
It doesn’t take Dickerson-Price long to make the listener feel comfortable and welcome. One could imagine sitting down with the two of them and enjoying a baseball game from the stands.
This rating rises to the above average range based on this broadcast team’s ability to make the game enjoyable as well as educational.
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this evaluation are solely those of the author. As such, the views expressed by the author should not be interpreted as representing the opinions of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), its board, or anyone otherwise affiliated with SABR. Likewise, the conclusions included in these evaluations are not to be viewed or interpreted as official endorsements (or lack thereof) by SABR, or of anyone affiliated with SABR, of any particular broadcasters or broadcast organizations.