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Cavnar makes inroads as female broadcaster

Root Sports reporter handles color commentary for weekend series

PHOENIX -- Jenny Cavnar of Root Sports Rocky Mountain joined the 850 KOA radio booth as color commentator for the Rockies game Thursday against the D-backs, and will also serve in that capacity Friday and Saturday.

A female baseball broadcaster on the radio is a rare event. Suzyn Waldman has been color commentator on Yankees games since 2005. Waldman also recalls announcing a Mets-Astros game on the radio in the 1990s. A Rockies inquiry of MLB officials and historians did not unearth another case of a female announcer doing an NL game.

It will not be the first time a woman has made a significant broadcasting achievement with the Rockies involved. Gayle Gardner was the first female play-by-play announcer for a Major League team when she called a Reds-Rockies game on Aug. 3, 1993.

Cavnar, a pregame and postgame host/reporter during Padres telecasts 2007-11 and Rockies telecasts since 2012, is handling color commentary alongside play-by-play broadcasters Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel, who will be rotating to the Root Sports telecasts. Drew Goodman, the usual Root Sports play-by-play announcer, is off.

Cavnar, who played high school softball at Smoky Hill (Colo.) and club lacrosse at Colorado State, is daughter of Steve Cavnar, a Colorado High School Hall of Fame baseball coach.

Baseball continues to be a family affair. Cavnar's husband, Steve Spurgeon, a former pitcher in the White Sox organization, is pitching coach at Colorado Christian University and in the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League.

Corrigan approached Cavnar at the start of the season.

"That is the biggest honor," Cavnar said. "It's not just, 'Let's throw you in there.' It's not just, 'We want you to be a female voice on the air.' It's, 'You know the game of baseball and you can fill in for that position.'

"Fans that watch on Root Sports know that about me through, hopefully, the way I present the game. I'm not looking to be a pioneer or do anything different. I'm just looking to be me, add my personality to the game and the way I see the game of baseball. I hope that comes across."

In recent seasons, fans and bloggers who follow Cavnar on social media have asked if play-by-play is in her future. She said she would have to prepare before seeking such an opportunity.

"It's a craft that needs to be practiced before you just go do something, but I consider myself a broadcaster and something that I may want to try in the future," Cavnar said. "I enjoy the role that I'm in and I appreciate the role I'm in and the respect I have at Root Sports, to be able to talk baseball for a living. I take that really serious."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page.
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