Broadcaster's 1st game in booth is a no-no ... AND he's the Mayor?!

Canadian native Hawkins keys Lake Elsinore no-hitter on Canada Day

July 2nd, 2022

It took the San Diego Padres over 50 years and over 8,000 games to throw their first no-hitter. For the broadcaster of one of their Minor League affiliates, he witnessed the milestone in Game 1.

Tim Sheridan isn’t the usual broadcaster for the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm. He’s actually the mayor of Lake Elsinore, Calif. And making his baseball broadcasting debut Friday, Sheridan called the Storm’s combined no-hitter of the Inland Empire 66ers.

Garrett Hawkins spun seven perfect innings before Alan Mundo tacked on two frames to seal the 15-0 win and the first no-hitter in Storm franchise history.

“It was just an amazing experience,” Sheridan said. “I’m a big fan of baseball. I love the city, and I love the Lake Elsinore Storm.”

The mayor had long discussed the idea of joining the booth for an inning with Storm CEO and co-general manager Shaun Brock. Sheridan, a former high school football radio broadcaster on WZZZ in Fulton, N.Y., near Syracuse, wanted one chance to call his favorite sport. With the full-time Storm announcer out sick, Brock gave him a day’s notice that he wouldn’t just be calling an inning -- he’d have the entire game.

“I studied the rosters,” Sheridan said. “I keep a scorebook whenever I go to a game, so I brought it along. And I’ve listened to baseball [broadcasts] forever. So I kind of had an idea how to do it.”

Sheridan also brought with him the inspiration of two of his baseball broadcasting idols. He paid homage to legendary announcers Mel Allen and Vin Scully upon first going out over the Lake Elsinore airwaves.

“Welcome to Lake Elsinore Storm baseball,” Sheridan said, a tribute to Allen’s famous This Week in Baseball sign-on. And as a nod to Scully: “A very pleasant evening to you wherever you may be.”

Sheridan very much made the rest of the game his own, riding solo without a color commentator. He calmly brought listeners through Hawkins’ dazzling start and rose to the occasion as Mundo briefly bent, losing the perfect game bid on a hit by pitch in the ninth, but did not break.

“I knew that he had gotten through the first three innings perfect,” Sheridan said. “But it wasn’t until the seventh inning that I really made the point that we were just a couple of outs away from a perfect game. [Hawkins] was really dealing. I mean, just throwing [well]. There were some good defensive plays behind him too, but he was really pitching well.”

It was a breakout outing for Hawkins, the Padres’ ninth-round Draft pick in 2021, who worked seven innings for the first time as a professional. It was also a much-needed bounce-back effort after allowing three home runs in five innings in his last start.

“I just got in a groove and was going out each inning trying to get the next out,” Hawkins said. “My changeup was really on tonight. We noticed that they struggled with it earlier in the week, so it helped my fastball play up and my changeup worked low.”

There was added emotion behind the outing as well. The Biggar, Saskatchewan, native and former University of British Columbia pitcher was taking the mound on Canada Day.

“Not a lot of people at the field knew, but it was a big day for [Canadians],” Hawkins said. “When I came into the locker room after the game, they had the Canadian national anthem playing, which was pretty cool. It was just special to do it on this day specifically.”

While Hawkins might have been one of the only people in the ballpark celebrating the Canadian holiday, a patriotically appropriate 1,776 fans watched history being made at the Lake Elsinore Diamond, just three days out from Independence Day.

“The Lake Elsinore Storm fans are great and they are just a great community partner,” Sheridan said. “Their management team -- led by Gary Jacobs -- is really community-oriented and that’s what Minor League Baseball is all about.”