September 28, 1967 |
|Occupation||Television host and play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports and MLB Network|
Matthew Edward Vasgersian (born September 28, 1967) is an American sportscaster and television host. Vasgersian is currently a play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports' coverage of Major League Baseball, as well as a studio host for the MLB Network. In the past he has served as an announcer for Fox Sports' National Football League coverage and NBC Sports' coverage of the Olympic Games. He formerly called play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres.
Early life and career
Vasgersian started his media career as a child actor. A member of the Screen Actors Guild at age seven, he appeared in an episode of The Streets of San Francisco and the movie The Candidate. Born in Oakland, California and raised in Moraga, California he is of Armenian descent, Vasgersian graduated from Campolindo High School and the University of Southern California]. While a student at USC, he appeared on The New Dating Game, winning a trip to Telluride, Colorado.
Initial baseball work
Vasgersian has worked in baseball since 1991, starting with a six-year stint in the Minor Leagues as a play-by-play announcer. He began his career as a sportscaster with the Chicago Cubs Rookie league affiliate in Huntington, West Virginia on radio station WKEE-AM 800 and was the voice of the High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners affiliate) on radio station KAPL. He moved up the minor league baseball ranks over the next several years, working for various clubs in a number of different organizations, ending with the AAA Tucson Toros in 1996.
Vasgersian was 29 years old when he became the play-by-play voice for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he stayed for five years before filling the same role for the San Diego Padres. Vasgersian was with the Padres for seven seasons when it was announced he would be joining MLB Network.
On November 1, 2008, during a broadcast of the San Diego CIF High School Football Game of the Week, Channel 4 announced that Vasgersian would not be returning as a Padres announcer for the 2009 season, having chosen to pursue other opportunities. Later that week, it was reported that Vasgersian had signed a deal with MLB Network to become the network's first studio host.
Vasgersian joined Fox Sports in 2006. From 2006-2008, Vasgersian worked on Fox NFL telecasts, teaming with J.C. Pearsonon the network's #6 broadcast team. In previous years, he had done select games for the network. Vasgersian's Fox football resume included calling BCS games for the network, working the Orange Bowl in 2007 and the Fiesta Bowl 2008 and 2009. Starting in 2007, he also worked on Fox MLB telecasts of the Game of the Week, teaming with a variety of analysts on the network's #3 broadcast crew. In 2012, he began hosting the MLB pregame show, though he still occasionally called games on a fill-in basis. In 2014, he was moved back to the broadcast booth, working with John Smoltz on one of the network's #2 broadcast teams (a role the pair splits with Thom Brennaman and Eric Karros). In this role, he and Smoltz worked on postseason telecasts during the Division Series.
Vasgersian has been a studio host at MLB Network since its debut on January 1, 2009, appearing regularly in-studio and on-site at the All-Star Game and World Series on MLB Tonight, the network's Emmy Award-winning live nightly studio show, as well as “Quick Pitch,” “The Rundown,” the offseason studio show "Hot Stove," MLB Network’s Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days, and MLB Network's first-ever game show Baseball IQ. Throughout the MLB regular season, Vasgersian calls play-by-play for MLB Network’s Thursday Night Baseball game package. He called Game 2 of the 2012 ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics on October 7.
He and Jim Kaat called Game 3 of the 2013 American League Division Series, also between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics on October 7 as well. From 2012-2014, when he hosted Fox's MLB pregame, Vasgersian didn't host programming on MLB Network during the All-Star Game and the postseason. In 2015, Vasgersian became a co-host, with Lauren Shehadi and Mark DeRosa, of MLB Network's show MLB Central, which debuted on April 6, 2015. Also, Vasgersian alongside Fox colleague John Smoltz, did commentary for MLB Network's coverage of the All-Star Game in 2015.
Vasgersian first gained national exposure doing play-by-play for the XFL football league in 2001.
He has hosted several TV shows, including the game show Sports Geniuses (2000), Game Show Network's World Series of Blackjack (2004), and Celebrity Blackjack (2004), the National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC and the first season grand final of Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. He has also emceed various sports specials and other programs, such as the International World Championships of Rock Paper Scissors (2004).
Vasgersian has also worked on an Ultimate Fighting Championship broadcast, filling in for Mike Goldberg, the usual announcer. Goldberg was working on Fox Sports Net's college football telecast on the night of UFC 56, so Vasgersian provided play-by-play alongside regular color commentator Joe Rogan.
Vasgersian is the commentator in every installment of MLB: The Show since its debut in 2006 with Eric Karros, Steve Lyons and formerly Dave Campbell and Rex Hudler. In addition to his work on MLB: The Show, Vasgersian was the "host" for several PS1 Sony sports titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s, specifically for 989 Studios sports games.
Vasgersian has contributed to NBC Sports' coverage of several Olympic Games, calling baseball and softball in the 2004 Summer Games, ski jumping in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, and freestyle skiing in the 2014 Winter Games. He also hosted the 2008 Summer Games coverage on USA Network.
Vasgersian is also a regular featured commentator on the Dave & Carole morning show on WKLH 96.5 FM in Milwaukee . His affiliation with the Dave and Carole Morning Show led him to a side career in music as he performed regularly as a lead vocalist with kb'smidlifecrisis, a rock band fronted by Dave and Carole sidekick Kevin "KB' Brandt. Vasgersian was the host of the MLB on Fox pregame show from 2012 to 2014, before he was replaced by Kevin Burkhardt after the 2013 season.
Along with John Smoltz, Vasgersian works for MLB International replacing Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe starting from the 2015 MLB All-Star Game and he will cover for the National League Championship Series in odd-numbered years, the American League Championship Series in even-numbered years and the World Series for overseas fans
- "Bucs are set to return the kick with Micheal Spurlock. Spurlock past the 20, past the 30! Could it be? Could it be the great curses being lifted? THERE GOES MICHEAL SPURLOCK!!!! And for the first time ever, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have returned a kickoff for a touchdown! Santa Maria!" -Micheal Spurlock's kickoff return for a TD, the first in Bucs history, in 2007.
- "A high drive into the left field corner, (pitch goes higher) VICIEDO LOOKS UP AND THAT ONE IS GOOONNNE!!! CODY ROSS STRIKES AGAIN!! SANTA MARIA!" -Calling Cody Ross' walk-off 3-run home run on July 19, 2012
- "Into center field, Coco Crisp's gotta get there in a hurry-- AND HE CAN'T MAKE THE CATCH!!! 2 RUNS WILL SCORE AND THE TIGERS HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD! SANTA MARIA!" -Calling Coco Crisp's costly error that scored 2 runs, 2012 ALDS.
- "The three-two to Reddick. A swing and a drive: well hit to right. Garcia looking up, AND THAT ONE IS GONE!!!! OH-HO MY! WILD PITCH, HOME RUN! And Oakland has regained the lead!" -Calling Josh Reddick's go-ahead homer to give Oakland the lead, 2012 ALDS.
- "THIS IS BEYOND OCTOBER!" - on March 14, 2013 following Erick Aybar's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning of a 2013 World Baseball Classic 2nd round non-elimination game, (Dominican Republic vs USA).
- "Cabrera swings and sends a drive to center field, THIS ONE IS GONE!!!! SANTA MARIA!" -Calling Miguel Cabrera's game-tying 2-strike, 2-out, 2-run home run vs. Mariano Rivera on August 9, 2013.
- "MLB Network signs Vasgersian". MLB.com. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- "Matt Vasgersian & John Smoltz Added to MLB on FOX Starting Rotation". The Futon Critic. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Heads-Up on NBC". NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship web site. National Broadcasting Company. 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
- Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com