On September 16, Jim Rosenhaus '82, a fourteen-season veteran of the Cleveland Indians (soon-to-be-renamed 'Guardians') radio broadcast team, returned to Delbarton to speak with boys about his career as a professional sports broadcaster. Click here to view his Q&A with Delbarton students.
During the season, Rosenhaus teams with Tom Hamilton ('The Voice of the Indians') on every Indians game broadcast. He also hosts Indians Warm Up and Tribe Talk on the Indians Radio Network. His work includes webcasts on Indians.com for spring training games and, for the past eight seasons, he has served as Indians team correspondent for MLB Network.
After delivering a brief intro about his education and career path, Rosenhaus took questions from aspiring Delbarton broadcasters. Asked how to break into the field, he compared and contrasted his experience -- which included job fairs and submitting cassettes -- remember those? -- with the many opportunities young people today have to create and share great content. One suggestion: find ways to develop content at your high school and continue the process in college. In the audience was Delbarton podcaster Hayden Kim '22 who did just that, developing his freshman podcast project Green Wave Radio into a growing collection of podcasts (36 at last count) about Delbarton life and people.
Jim Rosenhaus encouraged boys to find ways to build personal portfolios and develop contacts with professionals in the field. Mentors are key. He credited several minor league bosses who helped him develop skills by pointing out ways to improve. He once prematurely called a non-homerun during a minor league game. His mentor's advice? Watch the ump's signal, then make the call, and if you can't see the signal, stretch your play-by-play until you can. "You learn by doing," says Jim. "And that's also how you improve."
Getting to know players and coaches is also important, and a way to bring sports coverage to life with storytelling. Anyone can repeat statistics; Today, everyone with a smartphone has access to them. A successful broadcaster is also a connector, getting to know players and coaches, and mentally filing away their stories. Nine innings is a long time to hold a listener's attention, so top broadcasters pepper their patter with tidbits they pick up in locker rooms and back offices. Balancing the play-by-play with stories is another art: "You never want to interrupt a story with 'Oh, by the way, there goes a home run'," says Jim.
A proud member of the Class of 1982, Rosenhaus is the brother of Mike Rosenhaus '80, on left, Delbarton Director of Senior Guidance. His classmate and friend Craig Paris '82, on right, Delbarton Assistant Headmaster for Advancement, was also in attendance.
After graduating from Delbarton, Rosenhaus moved on to Lafayette College where he ran track and majored in Economics with a Computer Science minor ("Not such a great idea pre-computers," he said). He discovered that his passion for baseball, and broadcasting experience he acquired in college, eclipsed his academic studies. Actively avoiding a desk job after college graduation, he set his sights on combining both interests, and advised our students to "Do what you like -- everything will fall into place if you do what you like."
Rosenhaus joined the Indians in 2007 after eleven years as the play-by-play voice of then-Indians affiliate the Buffalo Bisons. He began his broadcasting career with the Tribe's long-time Single A affiliate in Kinston, NC. Prior to professional baseball, Rosenhaus spent eleven years as the official voice of the University of Buffalo men's basketball team. in 2011, he was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame, together with former Indians catcher Tony Pena.
He lives a labor-intensive professional life from mid-February through October, covering 162 games in 180 days. A sample: Last night he was in Minnesota until 11pm (after a 12-3 win over the Twins), and arrived in NJ at 5am this morning. Today was a rare day off. Tomorrow, when the Indians face the Yankees for a three-game series opener, Rosenhaus will arrive at Yankee Stadium by 1pm to set up the broadcast booth, do a player interview at 4:30pm and a pre-game show at 6:30pm. Game time is 7:05pm and he'll be on air for nine action-packed innings. Sunday night, it's a flight back to Cleveland to start a four-game series against the KC Royals. Rosenhaus works hard and clearly loves every minute of it.
The pace lightens dramatically during the off season. He has worked various televised events for SportsTime Ohio, including college and high school basketball, OHSAA football state playoffs, and college and high school volleyball. Jim Rosenhaus and his wife Carole live in Bay Village, Ohio with their sons Nathan and Cole. He is a great example of a Delbarton alumnus who, through focus, hard work and strategic risk-taking, took a different path that led to a gratifying career. We thank him for sharing his time, expertise, insights and some excellent anecdotes with Delbarton students!