Garagiola brings new voice, familiar name

New D-backs broadcaster carries on family legacy

January 10th, 2022

As he prepares for his first season behind the microphone, Chris Garagiola, the newly-named D-backs pre-and- postgame radio host and secondary play-by-play announcer, has one wish.

He would like a few more minutes with his grandfather, Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola Sr., who passed away in 2016.

"I would do anything just to have a five-minute phone call," Garagiola said. "And I would ask him, 'What would you say in this situation? How would you prepare for this?' I wish, because of how good he was, I could lean on him when I didn't know what to do, or what to say. He was just, he was so good. And I understand that more as I realized how much work goes into this."

Garagiola learned about that as he worked his way up the ranks.

He started by broadcasting Trinity University and serving internships with the Reds and MLB Network before traveling to Australia to serve as the broadcaster for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League in 2017.

The last four years he's been broadcasting for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

Chris Garagiola (right) has spent the last four years broadcasting games for Double-A Pensacola.

The Garagiola name is familiar to D-backs fans and not just because Chris' grandfather broadcast games in the franchise's early days.

Chris' father, Joe Garagiola Jr., was the D-backs first general manager and the architect of the 2001 World Series team. Now back with the organization as a senior director of special projects, he is proud of the way his son worked for this opportunity.

"As I have said to a lot of people around here, had this happened three years ago, four years ago, it would have had, I think, a real element of stunt casting to it," Joe Jr. said. "But look at what he's done. He put in the work. He has put in the work and now this moment comes along and it's not too big for him and he's ready to do it."

When Chris made the decision in college to pursue a career in broadcasting, Joe Sr. had one major piece of advice for him: Do your homework.

While Joe Sr. came across as a natural on the air, it was because he had prepared in advance. He didn't walk into the broadcast booth without being well versed in the teams that were playing.

Do that, he would tell Chris, and your mind is freed up so you can see and react to what's happening in front of you on the field.

In order to get to the home radio booth at Chase Field, where Chris will spend his summer evenings, he will have to walk by a large mural that spans the hallway commemorating Joe Sr.'s long and distinguished career.

Then he'll take his seat at the far-right corner of the booth and at least for the first time, he'll try not to let the emotion of his one wish overwhelm him.

"I hope that the first day I'll be able to keep it together," Chris said. "But I'll be thinking a lot about just that one wish, and I hope to have some dry eyes, but we'll see."