Mario Impemba

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Mario Impemba
Comerica Park FS Detroit.JPG
Mario Impemba, left, alongside partner Rod Allen on a Tigers broadcast in 2012
Born (1963-03-18) March 18, 1963 (age 55)
EducationMichigan State University
Notable credit(s)
Fox Sports Detroit (for the Detroit Tigers, 2002–2018) Fox Sports West, KCOP-TV and KLAA (for the Anaheim Angels (1995–2001)

Mario Impemba (born March 18, 1963) is an American sportscaster, formerly the television play-by-play voice of the Detroit Tigers.

Early life[edit]

Impemba is a 1981 graduate of Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, Michigan [1] and Michigan State University.[2] In high school he showed the first flashes of his talent as a member to the school's forensic team.[citation needed] He won numerous invitational tournaments before finishing 3rd in the state final tournament.[citation needed]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Former roles[edit]

At Michigan State University, Impemba volunteered to announce whatever games were being broadcast on the university sports network. As a professional, he started out announcing games for the Peoria Chiefs single-A baseball club in 1987.[3] Impemba also served as the sports director at WXCL Radio and the play-by-play voice of the Peoria Rivermen of the now-defunct International Hockey League during the 1987-88 season.[3] From 1989 to 1990, Mario served as the voice of the Quad City Angels single-A team in Davenport, Iowa. In 1991, Impemba began calling games for the Tucson Toros of the Pacific Coast League.[3]

Impemba served as the radio (KLAA) and fill-in television (Fox Sports West and KCOP-TV) play-by-play voice of the Anaheim Angels for seven seasons (1995–2001).[2]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

Impemba joined the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast team in 2002 as the Detroit Tigers play-by-play announcer.[2] He mainly teamed with color commentator Rod Allen, but in recent years, Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris have handled color duties on some telecasts.[2]

On September 4, 2018, Impemba and Allen were involved in an off-air physical altercation immediately after broadcasting the Tigers' road game against the Chicago White Sox. Fox Sports Detroit sent the men home on different planes after the game, and the following night's telecast was covered by Kirk Gibson and field-level reporter Matt Shepard.[4] While one source claimed that there was an argument over a chair, followed by Allen putting Impemba in a choke hold, Allen's agent denied that his client choked Impemba.[5] On September 7, Fox Sports Detroit suspended both men from calling any Tigers games for the remainder of the 2018 season.[6] It was later announced that Impemba and Allen's contracts were not renewed for future seasons, ending their 17-year partnership.[7]

Mannerism and notable calls[edit]

Impemba always announces the game's attendance when there is one out left in the game, and usually rounds down, for example "Bottom of the ninth, two outs, the Tigers are about to win in front of a crowd of better than 41,000 fans - 41,212 to be exact". Impemba is also known for calling any catch in which the outfielder holds the glove with palm up a "basket catch". His most common home run call is, "to the track, to the wall, gone!" Impemba, along with Rod Allen, called Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game on June 2, 2010. After Jim Joyce mistakenly called the runner safe at first base on what would have been the final out (Galarraga would retire the next Indians batter to end the game), Impemba stated that he "never felt this disappointed after a Tigers victory."

Awards and other works[edit]

Mario has a Tigers blog named "Last Call", as well as a website, His book, "If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers" was published in 2014.[8]

Mario won a Michigan Emmy Award in June 2006 in the sports play-by-play category.[2] He won the 2014 DSBA Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting and received the award in a special pre-game on-field ceremony at Comerica Park.

Impemba also does voiceover work in commercials for several Metro Detroit companies.

Personal life[edit]

Mario's wife is named Cathy. The couple have 2 sons: Brett (23) and Daniel (20). The Impembas live in Macomb County, Michigan.[1] Brett was drafted in the 49th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers.[9]


  1. ^ a b Detroit Tigers Official Site - Broadcasters - Mario Impemba
  2. ^ a b c d e Fox Sports Detroit Official Site - On Air Talent - Mario Impemba
  3. ^ a b c Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association Member Profile - Mario Impemba Archived 2009-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Fenech, Anthony (September 6, 2018). "Detroit Tigers' Mario Impemba, Rod Allen have 'severe' physical incident". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Fenech, Anthony (September 7, 2018). "Detroit Tigers' Mario Impemba-Rod Allen altercation: Everything we know". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Frenech, Anthony (September 7, 2018). "Fox Sports Detroit: Rod Allen, Mario Impemba done for season". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Broadcasters Rod Allen, Mario Impemba won't return to Detroit Tigers The Detroit Free Press, October 9, 2018
  8. ^ ISBN 9781600789274
  9. ^ Oakland Signees Selected in Major League Baseball Draft Oakland University June 9, 2011

External links[edit]