Pinch-hitting Double-A broadcaster gets to call no-no

July 13th, 2023

Longtime Double-A Erie SeaWolves broadcaster Greg Gania stepped into the radio broadcast booth for the Tigers last week and ended up calling a no-hitter.

Filling in for Detroit radio play-by-play announcer Dan Dickerson, Gania's first time covering an entire big league series wound up including a momentous occasion, the first combined no-hitter in Tigers history.

Gania was informed about a month prior that Dickerson would be on vacation for the July 7-9 series against the Blue Jays. He had filled in for the Tigers four previous times, but never for an entire weekend.

“My first-ever big league game in 2018 ended up being a walk-off win,” Gania said. “I thought nothing could top that one, and then (the no-hitter) happened on Saturday.”

Gania, who has called three of the SeaWolves' four no-hitters, found broadcasting the ninth no-no in Tigers history particularly special because a bunch of the players who passed through Erie on their way to Detroit made significant contributions on both sides of the ball.

Starter Matt Manning withstood a summer shower, striking out five through 6⅔ innings before being relieved by Jason Foley. Then Alex Lange came in to close it out in the ninth. He didn't allow a base runner and even struck out Blue Jays All-Star Bo Bichette.

"Matt Manning ... I mean he was here in 2019, and he was electric,” Gania said. “And then Alex Lange, the closer, after they acquired him, he came to Erie."

Gania spoke just as glowingly about the team supporting the pitching staff that day.

“Riley Greene makes his first start since coming off the injured list, and I had Riley in 2021,” he said. “The first run of the game is driven in by Spencer Torkelson, who was with us that year. And then Kerry Carpenter drives in the second run of the game, and we had him here last season.

"So I think that for me was really, really special. To be able to have all those guys being such a big part of such a historic moment.”

There's a real bond between Gania and the former SeaWolves, who were happy to see him that Friday and just as effusive after the immortal game had ended.

“They’re young players that are trying to establish themselves as big leaguers, and I’m a broadcaster trying to establish myself as a guy who can call big league games,” he said. “They root for my success just as I root for theirs. It’s a really cool relationship that broadcasters have with players that come up through the Minor League system.”

Case in point, Gania spoke with Carpenter that Sunday about an impressive play the right fielder made in foul territory during the no-hitter.

“When he got to Erie, he was very raw in the outfield, and he worked a lot with our manager, Arnie Beyeler,” Gania said. “I joked with him that next day in the clubhouse, and I said, ‘Arnie Beyeler is probably looking at you and smiling right now because of all the hard work you put in in Erie.’”

There's also quite a mutual admiration society going between Gania and Dickerson, who was one of the first people to reach out to Gania after the no-hitter, even though he was on vacation.

“To have him as a supporter of mine, it means the world,” Gania said. “The fact that he was one of the first people to text me after the game was incredible. … It’s hard to put into words what it means to have the relationship that I do with the Tigers, and specifically with Dan.”