MLB Network Personalities
Greg Amsinger is a studio host appearing across MLB Network's programming, including MLB Tonight, MLB Network's Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show. Amsinger also hosts MLB Network's exclusive telecast of the MLB Draft as well as its special event coverage of the All-Star Game and World Series.
Prior to joining MLB Network in 2009, Amsinger worked at CBS Sports Network, where he served as the primary host for their college sports coverage, including Inside College Football and NCAA Basketball. Amsinger also hosted the Tour de France and the World Series of Video Games while at CBS. Amsinger joined CBS' College Sports Television (CSTV) in 2003 as its first on-air host and maintained an interactive blog on the CSTV/CBS College Sports website.
Prior to joining CSTV, Amsinger was the sports director at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Ind. Before graduating from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., Amsinger served as network radio producer for the St. Louis Cardinals and the team's flagship radio station, KMOX-AM.
Scott Braun is a host and reporter appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight as well as MLB Now, The Rundown, High Heat, Quick Pitch, Plays of the Week and MLB Network Strike Zone. In addition to his studio work, Braun is a play-by-play announcer for MLB Network game telecasts. Braun joined MLB Network in 2012.
Braun also serves as a studio host on NHL Network, a play-by-play broadcaster for Pac-12 Network and SportsNet New York (SNY), including New York Mets games, and a host on sports talk radio shows on SiriusXM.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Braun served as a college basketball play-by-play announcer and the host of ESPN.com's Heat Index, covering the Miami Heat. In addition to his work for ESPN, Braun reported feature stories around the country for CBS Sports Network and was a studio host on CBSSports.com, including Fantasy Football Today. Previously, Braun was an anchor for Westwood One National Radio during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Braun was the play-by-play voice for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League for two seasons. Braun has previously reported on the Red Carpet for E! and served as a host and reporter for NBC-6 Miami and SunSports.
Braun graduated from the University of Miami, with a double-major in broadcast journalism and sport administration. In 2008, Braun received the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Journalism Excellence in Miami.
Eric Byrnes, an 11-year Major League outfielder, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball and the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days.
Byrnes, who played from 2000 to 2010, hit 109 home runs, 396 RBI and stole 129 bases in his career. Byrnes played for the Oakland Athletics (2000-2005), Colorado Rockies (2005), Baltimore Orioles (2005), Arizona Diamondbacks (2006-2009) and Seattle Mariners (2010). Byrnes was a key member of the 2007 NL West champion D-backs, hitting 21 home runs, scoring 103 runs and stealing 50 bases for the season. As a member of the A's, he batted .462 in the 2003 ALDS against the Red Sox.
Byrnes' previous experience in broadcasting includes roles as a studio analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight and as a contributor to MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Arizona, The Best Damn Sports Show Period, MLB Home Plate on SiriusXM and KNBR in San Francisco.
Sean Casey, a three-time All-Star and 12-year Major League first baseman, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days, the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
Casey batted .302 with 130 home runs and 735 RBI in his career. Casey played for the Cleveland Indians (1997), Cincinnati Reds (1998-2005), Pittsburgh Pirates (2006), Detroit Tigers (2006-2007) and Boston Red Sox (2008). Casey finished in the top-10 in National League batting average three times in his career and had six seasons in which he hit better than .300.
After being traded to Detroit on the 2006 Trade Deadline day, Casey quickly became an integral part of Detroit's lineup and helped spur the club to its first American League pennant in 22 years. Casey was the Tigers' most productive hitter in the Postseason, going 16-for-37 overall - good for a .432 average - and shined in the World Series, his first, going 9-for-17 (.529) with a pair of home runs and five RBI.
The University of Richmond graduate received the Ernie Lombardi Award in 2004 as the Reds' most valuable player, and in June 2012, Casey was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame.
Known as "The Mayor," Casey, one of baseball's most outgoing and likeable players, was voted "Friendliest Player in Baseball" by his fellow players in a May 2007 Sports Illustrated poll. Casey has received many honors for his service to the community, including the Hutch Award in 1999 and the Joe Nuxhall "Good Guy" Award in both 1999 and 2004. His charity, Casey's Clubhouse, founded the Miracle League of the South Hills in Pennsylvania to provide children with a place to play baseball no matter their physical challenges.
Fran Charles is a studio host appearing across MLB Network's programming, including Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight. Charles joined MLB Network in March of 2013.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Charles served as a studio host for NFL Network, where he contributed to NFL GameDay Final, NFL Total Access and Around the League. Charles previously hosted PGA Tour Sunday on USA Network and served as the play-by-play announcer for the HBO Sports series Boxing After Dark and KO Nation. While at HBO, Charles contributed to HBO Pay-Per-View Boxing and World Championship Boxing.
Before joining USA Network and HBO Sports, Charles worked as a sports anchor and reporter for NBC Sports and WNBC-TV in New York, WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts and WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio. Charles began his broadcast career in the news department of KSDK-TV in St. Louis, Miss.
Charles earned his Bachelor's degree in Communications at Stanford University and his Master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Twenty-eight-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame award-winning broadcaster Bob Costas is a host and announcer for MLB Network, serving as host of the documentary series MLB Network Presents and the lead play-by-play announcer on MLB Network Showcase. Costas also appears on the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
Regarded as one of the best interviewers in broadcasting, Costas has spoken with the biggest names in baseball and beyond for MLB Network, including Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout; Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Tony La Russa, Don Larsen, Juan Marichal, Tom Seaver and Joe Torre; Hall of Fame Award-winning broadcaster Ernie Harwell; and President Barack Obama at the 2009 All-Star Game.
In 2018, Costas was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball, voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and awarded during the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, New York.
In 2011, Costas co-hosted with Tom Verducci MLB Network's landmark series MLB's 20 Greatest Games, which ranked the top-20 games of the previous 50 seasons. The series featured interviews with key players, managers and broadcasters from each game, including Jack Morris and John Smoltz discussing Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, the No. 2-ranked game, and Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, 1975 MVP and Rookie of the Year Fred Lynn, Pete Rose, Bernie Carbo, Dwight Evans, Pat Darcy and Denny Doyle talking about Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, which was ranked by MLB Network as the No. 1 greatest game of the previous 50 seasons.
Costas also contributes to MLB Network's breaking news coverage throughout the year. In January 2010, Costas conducted the exclusive first television interview with Mark McGwire following his admission of steroid use during his playing career. Costas also secured the first interview with Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts after she broke the news in February 2009 of Alex Rodriguez's use of performance enhancing drugs.
Throughout his career, Costas has hosted coverage of many significant baseball events, covering the American League Championship Series in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Costas covered the NLCS in 1999, and called the 1995, 1997 and 1999 World Series and the 2000 All-Star Game. From 1982 to 1989, Costas was the play-by-play announcer on NBC's Baseball Game of the Week telecasts.
Costas is the author of Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball, which received excellent reviews and made the New York Times Best Seller list in 2002. The book's net proceeds were donated to B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team), a charity providing financial assistance to those in need in the baseball family.
Outside of MLB Network, Costas served as NBC's primetime host for a U.S.-television record 11 Olympic Games - every Olympics on NBC since 1992, including the 2012 London Games, which is the most-watched television event in U.S. history, reaching 217 million viewers - before passing the torch to Mike Tirico in February 2017. From 2006 to 2016, Costas served as the host of the critically acclaimed and most-watched weekly studio show in sports, Football Night in America. He was also host of Football Night, the pregame show for NBC's Thursday Night Football package, in its debut 2016 season. Costas has also served as host of NBC's presentation of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as U.S. Open and Ryder Cup coverage.
From 2005 to 2009, Costas hosted Costas Now on HBO, a quarterly one-hour sports magazine program. From 2001 to 2005, Costas hosted HBO's On The Record, a weekly interview program. Costas also hosted HBO's Inside the NFL from 2002 to 2008.
Costas hosted NBA Showtime, NBC Sports' NBA pregame show, from 1991 through the 1996 season, and was NBC's top play-by-play man for NBA on NBC game telecasts between 1997 and 2000. Costas' call of Michael Jordan's game-winning shot in the deciding Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals is considered one of sportscasting's most memorable calls of the modern era.
Costas began the popular Costas Coast-to-Coast nationally syndicated Sunday night sports radio talk and interview show, which ran from 1986 to 1996. From 1988 to 1994, he hosted his own Emmy Award-winning late-night interview television show for NBC, Later.
Costas handled regional NFL and NBA assignments for CBS Sports from 1976 to 1981, while working as the radio voice of University of Missouri basketball.
Costas has been honored as Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (NSSA) a record eight times, and was the youngest to receive such an honor when he won the award in 1985. Costas was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in June 2012 and he received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University in October 2012. He also received the 2019 Sam Lacy-Wendell Smith Award from the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. In March 2000, Costas was named Favorite Sportscaster at the TV Guide Awards.
Costas began his broadcasting career in 1974 at WSYR in Syracuse, where he attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Ron Darling, a 1985 National League All-Star and 13-year Major League pitcher, is an MLB Network offseason studio analyst, where he regularly appears on the Emmy Award-winning flagship show MLB Tonight and the daily offseason morning show Hot Stove. Darling joined MLB Network in 2013.
Since beginning his broadcasting career in 2000, Darling has won two Emmy Awards for Best Sports Analyst for his work covering the New York Mets on SportsNet New York (SNY), and he works as a game analyst for Turner Sports' MLB regular season and Postseason coverage.
Over his pitching career, Darling collected 136 wins with a 3.87 ERA and won the World Series with the Mets in 1986. Darling also won 17 games for the 1988 NL East champion Mets and was the first Mets pitcher to be awarded the Gold Glove Award in 1989. Darling began his MLB career with the Mets (1983-1991) and spent time with the Montreal Expos (1991) and Oakland Athletics (1991-1995).
Alexa Datt is an MLB Network studio host appearing across multiple programs, including the regular season studio show The Rundown, which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET.
Launched in April 2011, The Rundown reviews and previews each day in baseball, featuring interviews with local correspondents, behind-the-scenes access at batting practice, highlights and look-ins to live games in progress. The Rundown also provides updates on trade rumors, injury reports and more.
In addition to her role at MLB Network, Datt serves as a studio host for NHL Network.
Before joining MLB Network, Datt served as the host of MLB.com's 12:25 Live With Alexa daily program covering the top storylines in Major League Baseball. Prior to joining MLB.com, Datt co-hosted The Morning Run on 120Sports.com, served as the in-stadium host for New York Mets games at Citi Field and contributed to Mets Spring Training telecasts on SportsNet New York (SNY) as an on-field reporter.
Ryan Dempster, a 16-year MLB pitcher and 2013 World Series champion, is a studio analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and the regular season morning show MLB Central.
A two-time National League All-Star, Dempster won 132 games and saved 87 games during 16 seasons as a starter and a reliever. He pitched 200 innings or more in seven seasons, including two seasons with more than 200 strikeouts.
Dempster began his career with the Florida Marlins (1998-2002) and Cincinnati Reds (2002-2003), and after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2003, Dempster spent nine seasons with the Chicago Cubs (2004-2012) before joining the Texas Rangers (2012). After starting 29 games in 2013 for the Boston Red Sox, Dempster closed out Game 1 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, on the way to the Red Sox's third championship in 10 years. Dempster currently serves as a special advisor to the Chicago Cubs.
In 2000, Dempster received the James "Tip" O'Neill Award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, and he was the Chicago Cubs' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for community service in 2006 and 2008. A native of Gibsons, British Columbia, Dempster was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Mark DeRosa, a 16-year Major League veteran, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming. During the regular season, DeRosa co-hosts MLB Network's weekday morning show MLB Central alongside Robert Flores and Lauren Shehadi. MLB Central features extensive on-field highlights, context on the latest news and interviews with guests, celebrities and insiders from around the league. DeRosa initially served as a guest analyst on MLB Network during the 2011 and 2013 Postseasons, and joined MLB Network in November of 2013. He also appears on the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days, as well as the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball.
Known for his versatility, DeRosa played six different positions and batted .268 with 100 home runs and 494 RBI in his career. DeRosa batted .358 with 10 RBIs in 22 career Postseason games and was a member of the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants. DeRosa spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Atlanta Braves (1998-2004) before joining the Texas Rangers (2005-2006), Chicago Cubs (2007-2008), Cleveland Indians (2009), St. Louis Cardinals (2009), Giants (2010-2011), Washington Nationals (2012) and Toronto Blue Jays (2013).
DeRosa received the John Cerutti Award after the 2013 season, presented annually by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to the player who best represents the spirit of the late Blue Jays pitcher. DeRosa attended the University of Pennsylvania where he was the starting shortstop for the baseball team and the starting quarterback for the football team.
Robert Flores is a host appearing across MLB Network's studio programming. During the regular season, Flores co-hosts MLB Network's weekday morning show MLB Central alongside Mark DeRosa and Lauren Shehadi. MLB Central features extensive on-field highlights, context on the latest news and interviews with guests, celebrities and insiders from around the league.
In addition to his role at MLB Network, Flores serves as a studio host for NHL Network.
Flores joined MLB Network and NHL Network in 2016 from ESPN, where he anchored SportsCenter, ABC's college football studio updates and ESPN2's Fantasy Football Now. Flores joined ESPN in 2005 as an ESPNews anchor and later contributed to a variety of studio shows, including Baseball Tonight, NBA Fastbreak and Friday Night Fights.
A native of Houston, Texas, Flores earned his bachelor's degree in radio and television from the University of Houston in 1992. Flores attended J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston and is a member of their JFD Hall of Fame.
Cliff Floyd, a 17-year Major League veteran and 1997 World Series champion, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight.
During his playing career, Floyd batted .278 with 1,479 hits, 233 home runs and 865 RBI as an outfielder and first baseman. Floyd was named to the National League All-Star team in 2001, when he batted .317 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI for the Florida Marlins. Defensively, Floyd led all National League outfielders with 15 assists in 2005 while with the New York Mets. Floyd was a part of four Postseason teams, including the 1997 World Series champion Marlins. Floyd broke into MLB with the Montreal Expos (1993-1996, 2002), and spent time with the Marlins (1997-2002), Boston Red Sox (2002), Mets (2003-2006), Chicago Cubs (2007), Tampa Bay Rays (2008) and San Diego Padres (2009).
Floyd's previous experience in broadcasting includes serving as an expert host on SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball. Floyd has also worked as a pre- and postgame analyst for Marlins games on FOX Sports Florida and has worked an analyst on NBC Sports Network's SportsTalk.
Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons is an MLB Network insider, continuing an illustrious 50-year career in journalism that has reshaped the very coverage of the game. Gammons provides analysis and commentary on breaking news and special events, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame election announcement, Trade Deadline, First-Year Player Draft, Winter Meetings, All-Star Game and Postseason coverage. Gammons regularly appears on MLB Tonight, MLB Network's Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show, as well as The Rundown and the offseason morning show Hot Stove. Gammons also contributes to the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days and does studio work for short documentary-style pieces.
In 2005, Gammons was honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing, voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and awarded during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, New York. Gammons earned National Sportswriter of the Year honors in 1989, 1990 and 1993 from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and was awarded an honorary Poynter Fellow from Yale University. In 2018, the Cape Cod Baseball League announced the unveiling of their new "Peter Gammons Award for Excellence and Distinction," which is given to a person or an organization that has made unique and exceptional contributions to the league through development and performance.
Prior to joining MLB Network in 2009, Gammons served as a baseball analyst for ESPN, beginning in 1988, and was a writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He began reporting in 1969, for the Boston Globe, where he began a signature weekly Sunday baseball notes column that has been since become a staple of baseball news coverage. Gammons covered the NHL, college basketball and Major League Baseball for Sports Illustrated between 1976 and 1990, and serves as a contributor to Baseball America. In 1984, Gammons wrote the critically acclaimed book Beyond the Sixth Game, a look at free agency.
Lauren Gardner is a studio host appearing across MLB Network's programming, including MLB Tonight, MLB Network's Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show. In addition to her role with MLB Network, Gardner also hosts ChangeUp, a live MLB whip-around show, for DAZN.
Prior to arriving at MLB Network, Gardner appeared on Altitude Sports Network, hosting pre and postgame shows for the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets. Gardner has covered the NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA, college football, college basketball and multiple Super Bowls for CBS Sports, AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports Ohio, MTV2, ESPN and the Smithsonian Channel.
Gardner, a Denver native, began her professional career as an intern at FOX Sports Rocky Mountain and Mile High Sports Magazine. Gardner graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a political science degree, before becoming a Denver Broncos cheerleader.
John Hart, the 1994 and 1995 Sporting News Major League Executive of the Year, is an MLB Network analyst, regularly appearing on the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Hart served as a senior adviser for the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves.
Hart was the Cleveland Indians general manager and executive vice president from 1991 to 2001. During Hart's tenure, Cleveland won six AL Central division titles (1995-1999 and 2001), and reached the World Series in 1995 and 1997. Hart joined the Cleveland organization in 1989 as a special assignment scout and acted as the club's manager for the final 19 games of that regular season. Hart served as Cleveland's director of baseball operations in 1990 and 1991 before becoming general manager in September of 1991. Following his time in Cleveland, Hart served as the Rangers' general manager from 2001 until 2005.
Hart became the Orioles' third-base coach in 1988 after managing in Baltimore's Minor League system for six years, where he earned 1982 Appalachian League Manager of the Year honors and was named International League Manager of the Year in 1986.
Hart was an All-American catcher at Seminole Junior College and began his professional baseball career in 1969 in the Montreal Expos organization. Hart would catch in the Expos system for three seasons before returning to college to graduate from the University of Central Florida with degrees in history and physical education in 1973.
Jon Heyman is an insider appearing across MLB Network's programming. Throughout the year, Heyman contributes to the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight as well as MLB Network's Trade Deadline coverage and National Baseball Hall of Fame coverage, and the offseason morning show Hot Stove.
In addition to his work for MLB Network, Heyman is an MLB insider for Fancred Sports and regularly contributes to WFAN Radio in New York.
Prior to joining Fancred Sports, Heyman was a baseball insider for CBSSports.com and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, where he wrote the "Inside Baseball" column, and "The Daily Scoop" for SI.com, a twice-daily in-season baseball notes column. Heyman came to Sports Illustrated in July 2006 after 16 years at Newsday, where he developed a reputation for breaking major baseball stories while serving as a Yankees beat writer and both a baseball and general sports columnist.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @JonHeyman.
Jim Kaat is a game analyst for the MLB Network Showcase series, following a distinguished 25-year playing career.
Kaat, who has been with MLB Network since 2009, earned Sports Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Event Analyst category in 2013 and 2012 for his work on MLB Network's live game telecasts.
Kaat has been in the MLB Network broadcast booth for many notable games, including new Yankee Stadium's opening game on April 16, 2009, Stephen Strasburg's MLB debut for the Washington Nationals on June 8, 2010, MLB Network's first-ever Postseason telecast on October 7, 2012, featuring the Oakland Athletics against the Detroit Tigers and the 2013 World Baseball Classic championship game featuring the Dominican Republic against Puerto Rico on March 19.
Kaat, who made his Major League debut in 1959 with the Washington Senators, compiled 283 wins with a 3.45 ERA over a 25-year playing career. Kaat was a three-time All-Star, won a record 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and was a member of the 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Following his playing career, Kaat has had a successful broadcast career, including doing commentary for New York Yankees telecasts on MSG and YES from 1995 to 2006. Kaat has won seven local Emmy Awards for sports broadcasting, including a New York Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage Series in 1998.
Kaat was a lead analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight in 1994, and was the primary Twins in-game analyst on WCCO-TV from 1988 until 1993. Kaat covered baseball during the 1988 Olympics on NBC and was an analyst for the College World Series, the MLB Postseason and the World Series for ESPN.
Kaat was an analyst and play-by-play announcer on WPIX-TV's Yankees broadcasts in 1986. In 1984 and 1985, Kaat was Good Morning America's chief sports correspondent, covering the World Series. He began broadcasting during the strike-shortened 1981 season as a Minor League analyst for the Home Team Sports Network.
Brian Kenny is a host appearing across MLB Network's studio programming, including as the host of the analytics-focused panel program MLB Now and as a host of MLB Network's special event coverage and the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show, MLB Tonight. He also appears on the offseason countdown series Top 10 Right Now. Kenny is the author of Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution (Simon & Schuster, 2016).
On MLB Now, Kenny hosts a one-hour live daily panel discussion that covers breaking news and the latest trends in the game with perspectives from baseball journalists, sabermetricians, broadcasters and current and former players and managers.
Kenny joined MLB Network from ESPN, where he was anchor of the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, host of the Brian Kenny Show on ESPN Radio and Friday Night Fights on ESPN2. He previously served as an ESPN anchor for "Baseball Tonight," receiving a Sports Emmy Award in 2003. Kenny called play-by-play for ESPN's Wednesday Night Baseball and the World Baseball Classic, and hosted ESPN's coverage of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, New York.
Kenny was named "Media Personality of the Year" by SI.com in 2004, and in 2005 he was the recipient of the Sam Taub Award, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America to the Boxing Broadcaster of the Year. Kenny appeared as himself in the 2006 film "Rocky Balboa," in the 2007 film "Resurrecting the Champ" and in the IFC series "Brockmire" in 2017.
Prior to joining ESPN, Kenny was Sports Director at WTZA-TV in Kingston, New York, for 11 years (1986-1997). While at WTZA, he won 11 New York State Broadcasters Association Awards and five Associated Press Awards for Journalistic Excellence. From 1985-86, he was a news reporter, then sports anchor at WLIG-TV in Riverhead, New York.
Kenny attended St. John's University and the New York Institute of Technology. He graduated magna cum laude from New York Tech in 1985. He and his wife Nicole have five children.
Al Leiter, a 19-year Major League veteran and two-time World Series champion, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, MLB Network's special event coverage and the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days.
Leiter, who was part of MLB Network's original on-air talent roster, earned Sports Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Analyst category in 2016, 2014, 2012 and 2010 for his work on MLB Network.
Leiter also serves as a color commentator for YES Network and previously worked as a Postseason game analyst for ESPN and FOX Sports.
Leiter was drafted by the New York Yankees and debuted with the club in 1987. He went on to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays (1989-1995), Florida Marlins (1996-1997 and 2005) and New York Mets (1998-2004) before retiring as a Yankee in 2005 with a 162-132 record and 3.80 ERA. Leiter won World Series rings with the Blue Jays (1993) and Marlins (1997) and was an NL All-Star in 1996 and 2000. Leiter threw the first no-hitter in Marlins franchise history on May 11, 1996, against the Colorado Rockies, and he was the first pitcher to earn a victory against all 30 Major League teams.
Leiter received the Roberto Clemente Award in 2000 for his community service and philanthropic efforts.
Follow Leiter on Twitter at @AlLeiter22.
Mike Lowell, a two-time World Series champion, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
Lowell, who joined MLB Network in 2011, is a four-time All-Star and 2005 Gold Glove Award winner. Lowell batted .279 with 223 home runs and 952 RBI in his 13-year playing career. Lowell played for the New York Yankees (1998), Florida Marlins (1999-2005) and Boston Red Sox (2006-2010). He is the recipient of the 2006 MLB.com Defensive Player of the Year Award and the 2006 Jackie Jensen Spirit Award.
As the 2007 World Series MVP, Lowell was a key member of Boston's second World Series championship in four years, batting .400 with four RBI and six runs scored during the series.
Lowell was also part of the 2003 World Series champion Marlins, hitting 32 home runs and recording 105 RBI during the season to win the NL Silver Slugger Award at third base.
Lowell's autobiography, Deep Drive: A Long Journey to Finding the Champion Within, was published in 2008, detailing his recovery from cancer and rise to World Series champion.
Pedro Martinez, a 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, is a studio analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
During his illustrious 18-year career, Martinez recorded a 2.93 ERA, won three Cy Young Awards and was a 2004 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, and in 2018 he was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame for his tenure with the Montreal Expos.
An eight-time All-Star, Martinez posted a 219-100 career record. He is the only pitcher in history to lead the Major Leagues in ERA in five different seasons. Martinez's .687 winning percentage trails only Hall of Famer Whitey Ford's .690 winning percentage among modern-era pitchers with at least 150 victories.
Known as a power pitcher, Martinez captured the 1999 All-Star Game MVP Award at Fenway Park, when he struck out five batters in two scoreless innings, including Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell. Martinez's 3,154 strikeouts rank 13th all-time, and his career WHIP of 1.054 is the best of any modern-era starter.
Martinez began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-1993) before joining the Montreal Expos (1994-1997), Red Sox (1998-2004), New York Mets (2005-2008) and Philadelphia Phillies (2009).
Martinez's work with MLB Network is in addition to his role as a Postseason analyst with Turner Sports, which began in 2013.
Kevin Millar, a 12-year Major League first baseman and outfielder, co-hosts Intentional Talk with Chris Rose year-round on MLB Network. He also appears on the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
Launched in April of 2011, Intentional Talk is an open forum hosted by Rose and Millar, where everyone and everything are the subject of discussion and opinion. During the regular season, Intentional Talk airs weekdays live at 5:00 p.m. ET and during the offseason, it airs live at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Millar, who joined MLB Network in April of 2010, initially served as a guest analyst during MLB Network's 2009 Postseason coverage.
Millar batted .274 with 170 home runs and 699 RBI in his 12-year playing career, which began with the Florida Marlins in 1998. Following his time with Florida, Millar played for the Boston Red Sox (2003-2005), Baltimore Orioles (2006-2008) and Toronto Blue Jays (2009). Millar was a key contributor to Boston's 2004 World Series championship, the first title for the club in 86 years.
Millar previously contributed to NESN's Red Sox coverage and FOX's baseball coverage following his retirement.
Known for his outgoing personality, Millar received the Jackie Jensen Award after the 2003 season, presented annually by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to the player who best embodies the spirit and desire of the former Red Sox outfielder. Following the 2001 season, Millar was presented with the Charlie Hough Good Guy Award from the Florida chapter of the BBWAA.
Millar went undrafted out of college and was signed by Marlins scout Gary Hughes after playing one season in the independent Northern League with the St. Paul Saints.
Millar grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from University (California) High School. Millar then went on to study business at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Millar and his wife, Jeana, live with their four children in Austin, Texas.
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KMillar15.
Jon Morosi is an insider appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight. Throughout the year, Morosi regularly contributes to the regular season morning show MLB Central and the offseason morning Hot Stove, in addition to MLB Network's coverage of the Trade Deadline, Postseason and World Series.
Morosi also serves as a columnist for MLB.com, an on-air reporter for FOX Sports and FS1, and regularly contributes to SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio, FOX Sports Radio and Sportsnet Radio THE FAN in Toronto. Prior to joining MLB Network, Morosi was a columnist and national baseball writer for FOXSports.com, beginning in 2009.
Previously, Morosi was a beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, covering the Tigers from 2006 to 2009. Morosi came to the Free Press after serving as a backup beat writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer during the Seattle Mariners' 2005 season.
In addition to his coverage of Major League Baseball, Morosi serves as a reporter for NHL Network.
Morosi, a Marquette, Michigan native, graduated with honors from Harvard University with a degree in environmental science and public policy. While attending Harvard, Morosi played on the junior varsity baseball team for four seasons while covering the men's hockey team for the school's newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, for three seasons. Morosi also served as a hockey play-by-play broadcaster for the campus radio station, WHRB. One claim to fame: He was one of the first 5,000 people to sign up for Facebook.
Kelly Nash is an MLB Network studio host appearing across multiple programs, including the nightly highlights show of record, Quick Pitch, and The Rundown.
In addition to her role at MLB Network, Nash serves as a studio host for NHL Network where she hosts On the Fly.
Nash previously was a sideline reporter for FOX Sports Florida, covering the Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning. Before joining FOX Sports Florida, Nash began her career with the ACC Digital Network as a production assistant and host.
Nash graduated with a Master's in Youth Development Leadership from Clemson University and a Master's in TV Broadcast Journalism from the University of Miami.
Stephen Nelson is an MLB Network studio host appearing across multiple programs, including the regular season studio show The Rundown, which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET.
Launched in April 2011, The Rundown reviews and previews each day in baseball, featuring interviews with local correspondents, behind-the-scenes access at batting practice, highlights and look-ins to live games in progress. The Rundown also provides updates on trade rumors, injury reports and more.
Nelson, who was named to Forbes' "30 Under 30" in sports list in 2016, also serves as a studio host on NHL Network.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Nelson served as a studio and field host for Bleacher Report, covering a wide variety of sports. Nelson previously worked as an anchor and reporter at KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon, covering the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers, and as a studio host, color commentator and play-by-play broadcaster for the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.
Nelson graduated magna cum laude from Chapman University with a degree in broadcast journalism and public relations.
Dan O'Dowd, the longtime Colorado Rockies general manager, is a studio analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight. O'Dowd joined MLB Network in February 2015 after serving as a guest analyst during MLB Network's 2014 Winter Meetings coverage in San Diego.
In 15 seasons as the Rockies' general manager and executive vice president, O'Dowd guided Colorado to a World Series appearance in 2007 and a Postseason appearance in 2009. O'Dowd joined the Rockies' Baseball Operations department in 1999, and in 2010 he was named the club's chief baseball officer in addition to his role as general manager and executive vice president.
Prior to joining the Rockies, O'Dowd was the vice president of baseball operations and assistant general manager for the Cleveland Indians, where he first joined as director of player development in 1988 and spent 11 years in the club's front office.
O'Dowd, who is a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, began his baseball career in 1983 with the Baltimore Orioles organization, where he worked in the player development, broadcasting and marketing departments for five seasons.
Carlos Peña, a 14-year Major League veteran and 2009 American League All-Star, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, and the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball, the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year. Peña initially served as a guest analyst on MLB Network during the 2009 and 2014 Postseasons and joined MLB Network in December 2014.
Peña, a 2008 Gold Glove Award winner, hit 286 home runs and recorded 818 RBI in his career. Peña hit more than 25 home runs in six different seasons, including 46 in 2007 when he won the Silver Slugger Award for American League first basemen as well as the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
As a member of the 2008 AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays, Peña finished the season tied for the most home runs in the AL with 39.
A first baseman and designated hitter, Peña played his final season with the Texas Rangers, with whom he debuted in 2001. He also spent time with the Oakland Athletics (2002), Detroit Tigers (2002-2005), Boston Red Sox (2006), Tampa Bay Rays (2007-2010 and 2012), Chicago Cubs (2011), Houston Astros (2013) and Kansas City Royals (2013).
Dan Plesac, a three-time American League All-Star and 18-year Major League veteran, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, the Spring Training special 30 Clubs in 30 Days and MLB Network's special event coverage. Plesac has been part of MLB Network's on-air roster since its launch in 2009.
Plesac, who holds a 3.64 lifetime ERA with 158 career saves, played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1986-1992), Chicago Cubs (1993-1994), Pittsburgh Pirates (1995-1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1999 and 2001-2002), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2000) and Philadelphia Phillies (2002-2003). Plesac's 1,064 games pitched rank sixth in baseball history, and he remains Milwaukee's all-time leader in games pitched (365), saves (133) and ERA (3.21; minimum 500 IP). Plesac was a member of the 1999 NL West champion D-backs and was the last Phillies pitcher to pitch at Veterans Stadium in 2003.
Before joining MLB Network, Plesac was a studio analyst for Comcast Sportsnet's Chicago Cubs Pre- and Postgame Live and a contributor to Chicago Tribune Live.
Harold Reynolds, a two-time American League All-Star and 12-year MLB veteran, is a three-time Sports Emmy Award-winning analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming. Reynolds appears on the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball during the regular season and MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year. During the offseason, Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian co-host the weekday morning show Hot Stove.
Reynolds, who is part of MLB Network's original on-air talent roster at its launch in 2009, is a three-time Sports Emmy Award winner in the Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Analyst category for his work on MLB Network.
Previously, Reynolds was a studio analyst for TBS' regular season and Postseason baseball coverage in 2008. Reynolds was also a studio analyst for New York Mets pre- and postgame coverage on SportsNet New York (SNY) in 2008. Prior to contributing to TBS and SNY, Reynolds was part of MLB.com's baseball coverage in 2007. Reynolds began his broadcast career at ESPN in 1996.
Reynolds began his professional career with the Seattle Mariners in 1983 and spent 10 of his 12 Major League seasons with the club, making two All-Star teams (1987 and 1988) and winning three Gold Glove awards (1988-1990).
Reynolds, who compiled 250 stolen bases during his career, would finish his career with the Baltimore Orioles (1993) and California Angels (1994). Reynolds led the American League with 60 stolen bases in 1987 and is among the Mariners' top-10 career leaders in games played (4,593), at-bats (4,090), runs (543), hits (1,063), triples (48) and stolen bases (228).
In 1991, Reynolds received the Roberto Clemente Award for his community service and philanthropic efforts.
Bill Ripken, a 12-year major league veteran, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight.
Ripken earned the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Analyst in 2016 for his work on MLB Network. Ripken has been nominated in the category three times since joining MLB Network in 2009.
Ripken began his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1987, under the direction of his father, Cal Ripken, Sr., and alongside his brother Cal Ripken, Jr. This was the first and remains the only time in Major League Baseball history that a father simultaneously managed two of his sons. After playing for Baltimore through 1992 and again in 1996, Ripken played for the Texas Rangers (1993-1994 and 1997), Cleveland Indians (1995) and Detroit Tigers (1998). In 1988, Ripken was second among American League second basemen in double plays turned with 110 and his .9927 fielding percentage in 1992 was the best of any Major League second baseman that season. Ripken led the Orioles in hitting with a .291 average and was tied for first on the team with 28 doubles in 1990.
In the spring of 2002, Ripken was honored for his achievements in MLB with an induction into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame.
After his playing career, Bill joined his brother in the formation of Ripken Baseball, a sales and marketing company that handles all business interests of the Ripken's, is a parent company to divisions that work to grow baseball at the youth and professional levels. Ripken Professional Baseball owns and operates three minor league teams: the Aberdeen (Maryland) IronBirds (www.IronBirdsBaseball.com), the Class A affiliate of the Orioles; the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants; and the Charlotte (Florida) Stone Crabs (www.StoneCrabsBaseball.com), the Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
In 2001 Bill and Cal Ripken established The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, in memory of the family's patriarch. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, working throughout the country with Boys & Girls Clubs, P.A.L. centers, inner-city schools, and other youth serving organizations supporting programs in America's most distressed communities.
Bill is also a best-selling author and sought after public speaker. In 2005, he and his brother co-authored Play Baseball The Ripken Way: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals.
Chris Rose is the co-host of Intentional Talk with Kevin Millar year-round on MLB Network and also appears on MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year. Rose joined MLB Network in March 2010.
Launched in April of 2011, Intentional Talk is an open forum where everyone and everything are the subject of discussion and opinion. During the regular season, Intentional Talk airs weekdays live at 5:00 p.m. ET and during the offseason, it airs live at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Rose also currently serves as a studio host for NFL Network. Rose was previously an on-air host at FOX Sports from 2000 to 2012 where he served as the on-site pregame show host and called play-by-play for select games for MLB on FOX. Rose also hosted FOX's pre- and postgame coverage for the 2009 All-Star Game and World Series. In addition to his baseball work, Rose called play-by-play for FOX NFL Sunday and hosted FOX Sports' Bowl Championship Series coverage for the last four years. Rose served as a studio host for FOX's The Best Damn Sports Show Period from 2001 to 2009.
Ken Rosenthal is an Emmy Award-winning insider appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the flagship studio show MLB Tonight. Throughout the year, Rosenthal contributes to MLB Network's Trade Deadline coverage and National Baseball Hall of Fame coverage, as well as the offseason weekday morning show Hot Stove.
In addition to his role at MLB Network, Rosenthal is a field reporter for MLB on FOX, a contributor to FOXSports.com, and a senior writer at The Athletic. Rosenthal covers the All-Star Game and World Series for FOX Sports, and he is a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The early part of Rosenthal's professional career as a baseball writer and columnist was spent at The Baltimore Sun from 1987 to 2000. Simultaneously, Rosenthal was a contributor to Sports Illustrated from 1990 to 2000, serving as one of 12 national writers providing weekly notes during baseball season. Rosenthal was named Maryland Sportswriter of the Year five times while at the Sun. Rosenthal also spent five years as senior baseball writer at The Sporting News, writing a weekly column for the magazine, as well as breaking news and writing features for its website.
Rosenthal is a contributor to FOX Sports Radio, and had a 14-year run as a radio personality in Baltimore on WJFK and WBAL.
Rosenthal also has authored and contributed to three books. Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul was released in 2001, while Best of the Best - 35 Major League Superstars produced in partnership with and licensed by MLB Properties, Inc., was published in 1998. His third book, Dean Smith: A Tribute, was published in 2001. One claim to fame: His laptop once got smashed by a Cal Ripken, Jr. foul ball.
In 2016 and 2015, Rosenthal won a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Reporter for his work with MLB Network, FOX and FS1.
Renowned sports talk personality Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo joined MLB Network in 2014 to host his first TV-based baseball talk show, High Heat with Christopher Russo.
Launched Opening Day 2014, High Heat with Christopher Russo features Russo's signature energetic delivery and passionate opinions on all 30 Major League Baseball clubs, plus interviews with players, club personnel, baseball writers and broadcasters.
In addition to his work at MLB Network, Russo headlines SiriusXM's all-sports talk channel, Mad Dog Sports Radio, and hosts its anchor program, Mad Dog Unleashed, live every weekday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. Russo also serves as SiriusXM's "baseball ambassador," hosting shows and specials and appearing regularly on the channel to comment on MLB news and issues. Russo joined SiriusXM Radio in 2008.
Known for having helped popularize the sports talk radio format across the country, Russo is a fan favorite for his feisty, unflinchingly candid approach to talking sports, and the unrestrained, rapid-fire delivery earned him the nickname "Mad Dog." Russo joined SiriusXM after nearly 20 years in New York hosting the popular Mike and the Mad Dog show.
Russo is the author of two books - The Mad Dog 100: The Greatest Sports Arguments of All Time and, most recently, The Mad Dog Hall of Fame: The Ultimate Top-Ten Rankings of The Best In Sports.
Lauren Shehadi is a host and reporter appearing across MLB Network's studio programming. During the regular season, Shehadi co-hosts MLB Network's weekday morning show MLB Central alongside Mark DeRosa and Robert Flores. MLB Central features extensive on-field highlights, context on the latest news and interviews with guests, celebrities and insiders from around the league. She also appears on MLB Network's special event coverage throughout the year.
Shehadi also serves as a regular contributor to Hot Stove, MLB Network's weekday morning show during the offseason. During the MLB Postseason, Shehadi has served as a field reporter for TBS.
Shehadi previously served as an anchor and reporter for CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network. Shehadi hosted the ALT Games, The SEC Tailgate Show and Fantasy Football Today. She was a contributor to the 2011 College World Series Home Run Derby in Omaha on CBS.
Before joining CBS, Shehadi worked as a weekend sports anchor at KXMC-TV in Minot, North Dakota. Shehadi also worked as a producer at SNN in Sarasota, Florida, and behind the scenes at Comcast Sportsnet Washington.
A native of McLean, Virginia, Shehadi graduated from the University of Florida, where she was a host of Gatorzone, an internet sports web show.
Joel Sherman is an insider appearing across MLB Network's programming. Throughout the year, Sherman contributes to the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, MLB Now, MLB Network's Trade Deadline and National Baseball Hall of Fame coverage, and the offseason weekday morning show Hot Stove.
In addition to his role with MLB Network, Sherman is a national baseball columnist for the New York Post. Sherman began working at United Press International in 1984, a year before he graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Sherman joined the New York Post in February 1989, serving as the beat writer for the Yankees from 1989 to 1995 and as the baseball columnist ever since.
Besides his regular column in the Post, Sherman has served as a baseball contributor to SI.com, MSG Network's SportsDesk, New York 1's Sports on One, MSNBC's The Last Word, ESPN New York and the YES Network.
Sherman has written freelance articles for many publications, including ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids and New York magazine. Sherman's book, Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees, was published in 2006 and told the detailed story of how the Yankees' dynasty in the 1990s was constructed.
Sherman was chairman of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America from 1997 to 1998 after serving as vice chairman the previous two years. Sherman has served on several national committees for the BBWAA, including the one that created the ballot for the redesigned voting structure for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee. Sherman has been a Hall of Fame voter since 1998. Sherman is a recipient of the Dick Young Award for excellence in baseball reporting given annually by the New York area scouts.
John Smoltz, a 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, is an MLB Network game and studio analyst. Smoltz, who joined MLB Network in 2010, appears across MLB Network's studio programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight and the live game series MLB Network Showcase, the kids-focused weekly interview and demonstration show Play Ball and the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days.
An eight-time National League All-Star and the 1996 NL Cy Young Award winner, Smoltz was a key member of the 1995 World Series champion Atlanta Braves, and he is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to record at least 200 wins and 150 saves. He spent the first 20 years of his 21-year career with Atlanta before finishing with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals in 2009.
Smoltz is known as one of the greatest Postseason pitchers in MLB history with a lifetime record of 15-4 and 2.67 ERA. Smoltz holds a career 2.47 ERA in eight World Series games pitched, including 52 strikeouts in 51 innings. Smoltz has the most strikeouts in Postseason history (199), the second most Postseason wins (15), and is the winner of the 1992 NLCS MVP award. His classic duel against the Minnesota Twins' Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series was ranked as second greatest game of the last 50 years in MLB Network's 2011 series, MLB's 20 Greatest Games.
Smoltz is the recipient of the 2003 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, the 2005 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, the 2005 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2007 Branch Rickey Award. The Braves retired Smoltz's jersey, No. 29, in June 2012.
In addition to his work on MLB Network, Smoltz serves as FOX's lead MLB game analyst, calling the World Series, Postseason, All-Star Game and games throughout the regular season.
Smoltz was nominated for a Sports Emmy Award in 2017 for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst for his work with MLB Network and FOX.
Jayson Stark is a Hall of Fame award-winning writer and insider appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight, MLB Now and MLB Central.
Stark, who joined MLB Network in 2018, is the 2019 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing" and will be presented with the award in Cooperstown in July, during the Hall of Fame's annual induction weekend. In addition to his work at MLB Network, he is also a senior baseball writer at The Athletic and the host of "Baseball Stories" on Stadium TV.
In his profile on the Hall of Fame's website following the Spink Award announcement, Stark was described as "a curator for all things weird, wacky, unique, statistically inclined and historically rare in the game." His popular "Useless Information" column at The Athletic is a regular collection of notes, quotes, numbers, oddities and laughs. And in his previous stops at ESPN.com and the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was the creator and author of the nationally syndicated "Baseball Week in Review" column, which looked at the sport in a similar irreverent vein.
Before arriving at MLB Network and The Athletic, Stark spent 17 years covering baseball for ESPN and ESPN.com. Besides writing columns for the website, he made numerous television appearances on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter and Outside the Lines, and won an Emmy for his work on Baseball Tonight. He was also a regular guest on the Mike and Mike show, where he contributed his famous weekly trivia question.
Stark previously spent 21 years covering baseball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was twice named Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year. He appears regularly on radio stations around the country and formerly hosted "The Jayson Stark Show" on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia.
He is the author of three books, "Wild Pitches: Rumblings, Grumblings and Reflections on the Game I Love" (Triumph Books, 2014), "The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History" (Triumph Books, 2006) and "Worth The Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies" (Triumph Books, 2009).
In 2019, Stark was honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing, voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which is awarded during the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, New York. He was a finalist for the 2019 National Sports Media Association's National Sportswriter of the Year Award. In May 2017, Stark was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored in 2010 by Penn State's Foster Conference for Distinguished Writers, for his books and other work. Stark also appeared in the 2014 film, "Million Dollar Arm," starring Jon Hamm. And in 2018, Topps issued an actual Jayson Stark baseball card.
Follow Jayson on Twitter at @jaysonst.
Jim Thome, a 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and 22-year Major League third baseman, first baseman and designated hitter, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight.
A five-time All-Star, Thome accumulated 2,328 hits, 1,699 RBI and 612 home runs throughout his career. The Illinois native played for the Cleveland Indians (1991-2002, 2011), Philadelphia Phillies (2003-2005, 2012), Chicago White Sox (2006-2009), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009), Minnesota Twins (2010-2011) and Baltimore Orioles (2012). Thome was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
Known for his home run prowess, Thome's 368 home runs in the 2000's (2000-2009) were the second-most among Major League players, behind only Alex Rodriguez. Thome hit at least 40 home runs in six different seasons and notched his 300th, 400th, 500th and 600th career home runs each with a different team (Indians, Phillies, White Sox and Twins).
Thome owns the Indians' franchise record for home runs with 337, and as a member of the Phillies he tied Alex Rodriguez in 2003 for the Major League lead in home runs with 47. He hit his 500th home run in his 6,809th career at-bat as a member of the White Sox, making him the fourth-fastest to reach that mark at the time (Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Harmon Killebrew) and the only player to join the 500 home run club with a walk-off home run. Thome was the eighth player in Major League history to join the 600 home run club while a member of the Twins. He reached that final home run milestone in his 8,167th career at-bat, making him the second-fastest, behind only Ruth.
A 1996 Silver Slugger Award winner at third base, Thome was a four-time American League All-Star (1997-1999 and 2006) and was a National League All-Star in 2004. Thome is a member of both the Indians Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame. Thome is the recipient of the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award for his community service and philanthropic efforts, the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, the 2004 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award and the 2006 Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Thome's position with MLB Network is in addition to his role with the Chicago White Sox as a special assistant to senior vice president and general manager Rick Hahn, which he began in 2013.
Dave Valle, a 13-year Major League veteran, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight. Valle joined MLB Network in 2009.
Before joining MLB Network, Valle was a color commentator for Seattle Mariners TV and radio broadcasts from 1997 through 2008 and again from 2011 through 2012.
Valle spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Mariners (1984-1993) before joining the Boston Red Sox (1994), Milwaukee Brewers (1994) and Texas Rangers (1995-1996). Known for being an excellent defensive catcher, Valle finished in the top-five in fielding percentage as a catcher in three different seasons (1989, 1990 and 1993). He received the 2007 Moose Clausen Award for his contributions to the community of Seattle.
Valle is president, co-founder and board chairman of Esperanza International, a non-profit community development organization established in 1995 and based in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Esperanza International serves economically disadvantaged people through microfinance loans, health care and education by facilitating community-based sustainable development programs.
Veteran sports broadcaster Matt Vasgersian is a host appearing across MLB Network's studio programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight. In his role at MLB Network since its launch in 2009, Vasgersian previously served as a play-by-play announcer for MLB Network Showcase game telecasts.
During the offseason, Vasgersian co-hosts MLB Network's weekday morning show Hot Stove with Harold Reynolds, and he regularly serves as a host across MLB Network's special event coverage and feature programming throughout the year.
In addition to his roles on MLB Network, Vasgersian serves as the play-by-play voice for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball game telecasts. Vasgersian has also called play-by-play for MLB on FOX, and since 2005 he has been the voice of Sony PlayStation's MLB The Show.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Vasgersian was the San Diego Padres' lead play-by-play announcer for seven years. Vasgersian previously manned the Milwaukee Brewers' broadcast booth for five seasons after spending six years as an announcer in the Minor Leagues.
Vasgersian has also had a longstanding national role with the NBC Sports Olympic broadcast team, most recently handling play-by-play duties in freestyle skiing during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
Tom Verducci is an Emmy Award-winning insider and analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming, including the Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show MLB Tonight.
Verducci, who joined MLB Network in 2009, was honored with a Sports Emmy Award in the Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Reporter category for his work on MLB Network and TBS in 2013 and 2018. Verducci earned his second Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Analyst in 2014, marking the first time a non-former college or pro athlete won in the category, and the first time for a previous Outstanding Sports Reporter award winner also won for Outstanding Studio Analyst.
A renowned baseball writer, Verducci also serves as a senior baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and contributes analysis to SI.com. Additionally, Verducci is an analyst for FOX's MLB coverage throughout the year. Verducci was in the broadcast booth alongside analyst Harold Reynolds and play-by-play announcer Joe Buck for FOX's presentation of the All-Star Game and World Series in 2014 and 2015.
In 2009, Verducci co-authored Joe Torre's The Yankee Years, chronicling Torre's years as Yankees manager from 1996 to 2007. Verducci became the first SI writer to both write a cover story and serve as its subject. Verducci's story, I Was a Toronto Blue Jay recounted his experiences playing for the Blue Jays over five Spring Training days. Verducci's cover story for SI's 2004 Sportsman of the Year (the Boston Red Sox) was included in The Best American Sports Writing 2005 anthology.
Another compelling and personal story Verducci has written for SI is his 1995 cover story The Dead End Kids, in which he profiled Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Verducci's 1999 cover story about Sandy Koufax, The Left Arm of God, was another classic, in which he wrote that the pitching legend should not be referred to as a recluse, as "a recluse doesn't touch so many people with lifelong lessons of generosity, humility and the Zen of the curveball."
Verducci has written multiple books, including Chasing the Dream; My Lifelong Journey to the World Series, Joe Torre's path from growing up in Brooklyn to leading the Yankees to the 1996 World Series, and Inside Baseball: The Best of Tom Verducci, featuring 21 of the author's most gripping SI essays.
Before joining SI, Verducci spent 10 years with Newsday as a baseball writer, including a three-year stint as the paper's national baseball columnist. He also spent a year in Cocoa, Florida, as a sports reporter for Florida Today.
Verducci led his high school football team to a state championship and caught the winning touchdown pass in the title game. Verducci attended Penn State University, where he graduated in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and was named the Most Outstanding Journalism Graduate in that class. As a volunteer for the Montgomery Baseball Association youth program, Verducci managed the 10-year old travel team to the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Region championship and the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series.
Adnan Virk is a studio host appearing across MLB Network's programming, including MLB Tonight, MLB Network's Emmy Award-winning flagship studio show. In addition to his role with MLB Network, Virk also hosts the weeknight editions of ChangeUp, a live MLB whip-around show, for DAZN.
Prior to joining MLB Network in March 2019, Virk worked at ESPN as a studio host for Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. Virk also spent seven years with The Score in Canada, where he hosted several programs for the 24-hour sports network. Virk began his career at TSN in 1998 as a producer.
Prior to joining TSN, Virk studied radio and television arts at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Heidi Watney is a studio host and reporter appearing across MLB Network's studio programming. During the regular season, Watney hosts Quick Pitch, MLB Network's nightly highlights show of record. During the offseason, Watney is a contributor to the weekday morning show Hot Stove. She also appears on MLB Network's special events coverage throughout the year.
Watney also appears on MLB Network's special event coverage, serving as a reporter at the World Series, Postseason and All-Star Game.
Before joining MLB Network, Watney covered the Los Angeles Galaxy for Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Watney previously served as the Boston Red Sox field reporter for New England Sports Network (NESN) from 2008 to 2011. In addition to providing live in-game updates and reporting for NESN's pre- and postgame show, Watney hosted the Red Sox Report and the Ultimate Red Sox Show.
Before joining NESN, Watney worked as a sports anchor and host for KMPH-TV and KFIG radio in Fresno, California. Watney also worked as a sports reporter and assistant producer for KUSI News in San Diego.
A native of Fresno, California, Watney graduated with honors from the University of San Diego on an academic scholarship.
Matt Yallof is a host and reporter appearing across MLB Network's programming, including studio shows, updates and breaking news coverage.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Yallof served as the primary studio host for the Emmy-nominated New York Mets pre- and postgame coverage on SportsNet New York (SNY). From 2000 until 2006, Yallof worked at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, winning four Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for his work as an anchor and a reporter. His duties included hosting the Philadelphia Phillies postgame show, working as the in-game reporter for the Philadelphia Flyers and co-anchoring Sportsnite, the primetime local and national sports news report.
Prior to joining Comcast SportsNet, Yallof worked as a sports anchor and reporter at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York covering the Bisons, Bills and Sabres, including the Bills' "Music City Miracle" loss and Sabres' 1999 Stanley Cup Final run.
From 1993 to 1998, Yallof worked at CNN, CNN Sports and CNNSI. After transitioning from news to sports, he anchored Headline Sports and spent time in CNN's international sports division. Upon graduating from Muhlenberg College in 1990, Yallof worked behind-the-scenes at CNBC.
In addition to his role at MLB Network, Yallof is an active supporter of the National Stroke Association, working to spread awareness, counsel stroke patients and raise funds for care.