One of the oddities of working in the minor leagues is that you might end up working for completely different parent clubs from season to season, even though you continue to work for the same employer.
That’s what happened to Doug Greenwald of the Fresno Grizzlies, Johnny Doskow of the Sacramento River Cats, and several other baseball play-by-play guys when their Pacific Coast League employers went through a daisy chain of affiliate change during the past offseason.
Greenwald, a SABR member who is also a legacy baseball broadcaster (his father is Hank Greenwald, former Giants play-by-play announcer and current SABR Baseball and the Media Committee member), finds himself shilling prospects for the Houston Astros after having called players in the San Francisco Giants system for most of the past 15 years; while Doskow now broadcasts games on behalf of a now Giants affiliate which had been the long-time top farm club of the Oakland A’s.
It’s an odd mix of continuity and landscape shift, but it’s one that is not unfamiliar to long-time minor league broadcasters, many of whom accumulate plenty of stickers on their trunks if they manage to fashion long careers, anyway. Both Greenwald and Doskow have worked in seven and four different cities, respectively, in the two or more decades they’ve each spent in the play-by-play biz.
But as with any other long-time minor league employee, including the Memphis Redbirds’ Don Wade, whom we met in yesterday’s post, all the travel, all the grind, all the effort, all of it, point toward a single goal: making it to the major leagues. And you will see within this article that they would drop their mikes in a second—no offense, various PCL clubs—to make that final move up to the top.
The article below is reproduced in full with the permission of the author, John Shea, who penned it for his own employer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and if you prefer, you can read this same article in full there:
Even in the minors, it’s a special calling
Minor league baseball announcers Doug Greenwald, (left) and Johnny Doskow up in the press box before the start of the game at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., as seen on Sat.. April 4, 2015. (Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle)
The kid went to work with his baseball-broadcasting father and always assumed he would be in the same line of work.
“I didn’t know there were other jobs out there,” said Doug Greenwald, who spent much of his childhood in the ’80s sitting in the Giants’ Candlestick Park radio booth with his dad, former play-by-play man Hank Greenwald.
This is the 20th season that Greenwald the younger, 40, has called baseball, but 2015 is providing a new twist. After calling Giants minor-league games 14 of the past 15 years, the past 12 in Triple-A, he’s the voice of the top affiliate for the Houston Astros.
But still sitting in the same seat.
While six Pacific Coast League teams played an unusual game of musical chairs in the offseason, a chain reaction of PCL relocation, Greenwald stayed with the Fresno Grizzlies because they’re his employers.
Just as Johnny Doskow, 49, stuck with the Sacramento River Cats, now the Giants’ top affiliate after 15 years under the A’s umbrella.
“The A’s were good to me. Those relationships will last forever. They gave me 34 big-league games in 2012,” Doskow said. “It’s been a fun transition. There are more Giants fans than A’s fans in the (Sacramento) area. It’s cool to cover the Giants again.”