CINCINNATI — John Sadak is the new Reds television play-by-play broadcaster, after the resignation of Thom Brennaman last season.
“It’s amazing," Sadak said. "It’s a true pinch-me opportunity on every level.”
Sadak spent 15 years calling minor league games for the Class A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks and, since 2013, the Yankees’ AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“There was a long span where I was in the minors that I got rather down on the chance of getting a big-league job, because when they did come open, as rare as that was, it didn’t go to career minor league guys increasingly,” Sadak said.
In January, minutes before he was set to call a college basketball game between VCU and St. Bonaventure for CBS Sports, he finally got the call up.
“I was shocked, I was overwhelmed, I was ecstatic," Sadak said. "I had to hurriedly end the call with my agent, who put in a lot of work to make this deal happen, because I had to call my wife. I only had two minutes to tell her. I did that game with probably the biggest beaming smile that I’ve ever had in my life. That was probably the most up I’ve ever been for a college basketball game because I knew what had just happened with the Reds.”
Reds radio play-by-play voice Tommy Thrall was in Sadak’s shoes last year, taking over for Marty Brennaman.
“He has asked me several times, ‘Is this real?’ And you tell him yeah, but it’s going to take a while before it actually feels like that," Thrall said.
Sadak and Thrall are longtime friends who share a similar path.
“We both were in the same league when we were both in A ball.” Thrall said. “John’s a tremendous broadcaster. I think fans have already had a chance to realize that. He does great work. That’s why he is where he is. He’s certainly very, very deserving of where he is. In an ideal world, we’ll both be here together, for a long time, in Cincinnati.”
Sadak’s already gotten some practice this spring calling Reds games, but he's excited for Opening Day.
“Spring training, I was very nervous before my first game," Sadak said. "I wanted to be as prepared as possible. You’re learning so many people. I think the opener will have that to some extent. There are parts of it that are journalistic, but in large part I’m an entertainer. My job is to make the game is fun and I really look forward to the challenge of trying to do that every single day. That's the hard part and, to me, the fun part.”