With the news that Matt Shepard will no longer be calling Detroit Tigers games starting next season, the natural inclination is to wonder who will be brought in as the Tigers begin to trend upward. There is no doubt the connection the play-by-play voice of your favorite sports team has as you invite them into your homes for each broadcast is a cherished one. With the Tigers making strides this season, the next voice in the booth is going to be along for some pretty important moments and the decision must be made correctly.
Who will replace Matt Shepard as the Detroit Tigers broadcaster?
This is a type of wish list. So, in order to properly build excitement, we'll rank candidates from five to one. And, though some may see it far-fetched, we'd like to hope on a wish that maybe just one of these would come true.
#5: Dan Hasty or Greg Gania
The Tigers could choose to stay somewhat “in-house” and promote one of their minor league voices. These guys, both Dan Hasty or Greg Gania, could step in a do a fantastic job. Gania is the voice of the Erie Seawolves and Hasty calls games for the West Michigan WhiteCaps. They're familiar with the young faces that will soon promote to the Major League club and could help usher in this new era of Tigers baseball.
We heard Gania this past season and Hasty has filled in on the radio side of things during the 2021 season. If I were a betting man (I'm not), my money would actually be on one of these two for the gig. And, if so, that'd be absolutely spectacular, for us as fans and them as well.
#4: Mario Impemba (again)
This is a hope, wrapped in a dream, covered in a wish. It's not happening, but the sentiment is there. Most of it is the nostalgia that pervades our thoughts and emotions from the dominance of the Tigers from 2006-2014 where Impemba's voice was the soundtrack. Mario was always a true pro and a great game caller, but with the way things ended, we should probably stop hoping, wishing, and dreaming for a reunion.
#3: Kevin Brown
Okay, we all know the shennanigans that the Baltimore Orioles owner tried to pull with Brown. And even though he was able to make a fantastic call for the O's AL East championship, maybe there's some discord and he'll be looking. He's young, could do it for a very long time, and is absolutely worth a phone call.
#2: Joe Davis
When you fill the shoes of legends like Vin Scully and Joe Buck, you're something special. Joe Davis is something special. He's the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the MLB Playoffs, so prying him away from the life he's built in L.A.
may be nearly will be impossibe. But, if there's a silver lining he is a local kid, graduate of Michigan State and maybe the hometown draw will at least be enough to tempt him.
#1: Dan Dickerson and Andy Dirks
Now, while all of the above names would be good, Dan Dickerson is the cream of the crop. Yes, he has the prestigious job of working as the voice of Tigers radio and man is he good. In fact, I'd be willing to put Dickerson up against any single baseball broadcaster in America and he still comes out as the tops. His passion and knowledge of the game is clear and man does he paint a picture.
This season he was partnered with Andy Dirks as long-time partner Jim Price's health began to fail. They were dynamic and fun to listen to. Should the Tigers find a way to work a deal with Bally and combine the two broadcasts, Dirks and Dickerson would be a formidable duo for the Tigers and their fans.
The Tigers have a decision to make and can't mess it up
There's a precipice before the Tigers television booth. Now, admittedly the decision is Bally Sports Detroit's to make, but this has to be done correctly. This job is a primo job, full of history and some of the best fans around. With the trend pointing the direction it is for the club, the voice that will narrate the next few years is going to be soundtrack playing on our highlight reels for years to come. It's an exciting time to be a Tigers fan and any of the choices above should be at the top of the list.