Tuesday, August 1, 2017

LLWS - WRAK’s Streak Continues at Little League Baseball World Series

A www.LittleLeague.News File Photo
Williamsport, PA - Streaks are etched in baseball lore. Cal Ripken Jr. playing in 2,632 consecutive games. Orel Hershiser pitching 59 straight scoreless innings. Joe DiMaggio collecting a hit in 56 consecutive games.

When the first pitch is thrown at the 2017 Little League Baseball® World Series, another impressive streak can be added to the books: NewsRadio 1400 AM WRAK will be broadcasting the world’s premier youth sporting event for the 71st consecutive year.

The station has broadcast every Little League® World Series, dating back to the inaugural event in 1947 when it was known as the National Little League Tournament.

The combination of WRAK and its iHeart Media Williamsport sister stations Bill 95.5/95.3 FM and 102.7 KISS-FM will offer exclusive U.S. radio play-by-play coverage of all 32 games of the Series, scheduled for Aug. 17-27 in South Williamsport. The broadcasts of the U.S. and world championship games will be carried by Sports USA Radio, which will feed stations throughout the country.

“We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with Little League and our devotion to the Series” said Troy Lee Poorman, program director for iHeart Media Williamsport. “Broadcasting an event for 71 consecutive years is an amazing accomplishment in today’s ever-changing media landscape. I think what’s even more impressive are the dedication and experience of our Little League World Series broadcast team.”

No members of WRAK’s 2017 broadcast team were behind the microphone in 1947. However, the current crew’s years of experience more than double the number of Series played.

Play-by-play announcers Gary Chrisman and Ken Sawyer, color commentators Tom O’Malley, Scott Lowery and Mike Fogarty, and “Man in the Crowd” Tom Speicher have a combined 166 years broadcasting the event.

Chrisman (44th year) is in his fifth decade as a Williamsport radio mainstay. For the past 30 years, he has fronted the successful “Chrisman Morning Show” for 102.7 KISS-FM. He is also the owner and play-by-play announcer for Cable Sports Productions, which has televised high school and college football and basketball on regional cable for 30 years. A Williamsport native, Chrisman attended his first Series as a 5-year-old.

Sawyer (49th year) was Williamsport’s prominent radio voice from 1970 until he retired from WRAK in 2013. During his award-winning career, Sawyer fulfilled roles ranging from talk show host to sports director to operations manager. He was the voice of Williamsport High School football and basketball for 35 years and Lycoming College football for 20 years.

Fogarty (33rd year) first worked the Series in 1962 as a member of the Little League grounds crew. Later, he served for several years as a Little League summer camp instructor. He also umpired high school girls’ softball for 35 years. Fogarty is a retired public school teacher.

Lowery (17th year) is a former regional director for Little League. He’s also worked the Series as a newspaper reporter, official scorer and public address announcer. Lowery coached Little League for 22 years. He recently retired from his post as executive director of the Lycoming County United Way.

O’Malley (3rd year) played for six teams during his nine-year major league career before a stellar six-year stint in the Japanese Central League. The third baseman was the league’s MVP in 1995. In recent years, the Montoursville resident has coached in Japan and served as the head softball coach at Loyalsock Township High School.

Speicher (20th year) interviews parents, spectators and special guests and provides tidbits every half inning as the “Man in the Crowd.” He is an award-winning writer/video editor at Pennsylvania College of Technology and has done considerable freelance national media work.

Chrisman and O’Malley will cover the U.S. games, as well as the world championship matchup. Sawyer, Lowery and Fogerty will team for the international contests. Speicher will work all U.S. and select international games and the world championship.

“We are very fortunate to have two broadcast teams reflecting unique backgrounds and perspectives,” Poorman said. “The winners are the listeners. Our announcers are passionate about the Little League World Series and are committed to producing the best broadcast possible.”

“For generations, WRAK has showed tremendous dedication to the Little League Baseball World Series,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with the broadcast team again this year and hearing their calls of the great game action and the impactful Little League moments that capture the hearts of Little League fans around the world.”

Until championship weekend, all U.S. games can be heard on Bill 95.5/95.3 FM. International games through Aug. 21 will air on WRAK before switching to Bill 95.5/95.3 FM for Aug. 22-24 action. The international and U.S. title games on Aug. 26 and the world championship contest on Aug. 27 will be broadcast on WRAK and 102.7 KISS-FM

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