Spokesman, broadcaster celebrates 10 years with teamWritten by Mark Hensch | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A 6-year-old Jason Griffin discovered his favorite sport at a Cleveland Indians home game in 1978.
“The Cleveland Indians were terrible when I was growing up, but I loved it,” Griffin said. “There was nothing like going up there and watching a game, seeing batting practice, eating a hot dog.”
Griffin hoped for a career in sports when he was attending college at Miami University in Oxford.
He eventually became a producer for Chicago’s 670 AM The Score radio station and ended up hosting a talk show on the sports network. His work attracted the attention of the Toledo Storm, earning him a role as the team’s broadcaster. After serving two seasons, he joined the Toledo Mud Hens in April 2000, hitting what he considers a career home run.
“What brought me to Toledo was the Toledo Storm,” Griffin said. “I love all sports, but there is just something about baseball. Baseball is my true passion. It is a pretty neat feeling working at a ballpark.”
Griffin switch-hits between two positions, performing as the director of public and media relations, as well as a broadcaster. Griffin initially started in public relations, and then started calling the entire playoff schedule, as well as home games on radio and television.
“I’ve heard people say broadcasting is like a blank canvas, as you have to paint a picture for the listeners,” Griffin said. “It’s a big responsibility.”
Griffin said he mixes insightful play-by-plays with clear language for the audience. A speaker utilizing too much jargon, he said, risks losing fans.
“Part of being a good broadcaster is not just sitting there and rattling off statistics the whole game,” Griffin said. “People get numb to it. You have to keep everyone in tune with what’s going on at all times”.
Scott Jeffer, the Mud Hens’ assistant general manager and director of marketing, advertising and sales, said Griffin possesses a wealth of baseball lore.
Citing Griffin’s list of every baseball player who has played at Fifth Third Field, Jeffer said baseball’s rich history is a frequent source of pleasure for his fellow Mud Hen.
“Jason gets a thrill knowing the minutiae of baseball,” Jeffer said. “He knows the game inside out.”
Larry Parrish, the team’s manager, said Griffin’s treasure trove of statistics stems from his long-time involvement with the sport. It is this relationship, he said, which makes Griffin such a valuable part of the Mud Hens organization.
“Jason wears many hats with the club,” Parrish said. “He does whatever he needs to do to make the organization a success.
“Anybody who stays in the game for a long time like that has it become a part of them.”
Griffin remembers purchasing his first pack of baseball cards in 1988. Since then, he has collected and traded one million cards.
Now, as his 10th season with the Mud Hens approaches, he is passing his love for baseball onto his family.
“My oldest son is starting to get into collecting baseball cards,” Griffin said. “Baseball is such a simple game, but yet there is so much complexity.
“You can watch a game and see something you’ve never seen before. How many other sports can you say that about?”
Tags: Mud Hens