After 6 years as lead broadcaster for our Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem Dash, Brian Boesch is now giving way to the new “Voice of the Dash”, Joe Weil. Joe is a 2015 Boston University graduate, and the 2017 season was his second as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Dash. He has also worked in both football and basketball, as he is currently a studio host for Notre Dame football on the Notre Dame IMG Sports Network.
Joe graciously took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about himself, his broadcasting career, and what it’s been like to see some of the talent coming through the Sox’ farm system:
Once again, I’d like to first thank you for taking the time out to do this interview. Both myself and the fans really appreciate it. I want to start by first asking about you. What can you tell us about your life outside of broadcasting, about the things that make you the person you are today?
This is a bit ironic as a broadcaster, but I’m going to start this interview by answering with a cliché. It is the people around me that make me the person I am today. I am surrounded by, both in my personal life and professional life, amazing individuals. Most of my family has little interest in sports, but they have always told me to pursue my dream of being a broadcaster. I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I also have a girlfriend who is extremely supportive, and my friends have always been very encouraging.
On top of that, I have had great mentors. For instance, Brian Boesch, the previous “Voice of the Dash”, was such a great person to learn from.
How did you get your start in broadcasting, and at what point in your life did you decide it was the career you wanted to pursue?
Despite being an East Coast kid, I actually have Jon Miller (who calls games for the San Francisco Giants) to thank for falling in love with broadcasting. When I was younger, I never missed an opportunity to watch an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, and the reason I loved watching those games was Jon Miller. He always found a way to be funny, articulate and exciting to listen to for every broadcast.
To answer the other part of your question, my broadcasting career actually goes as far back as my pre-college days. When I was a senior at Summit High School in New Jersey, my journalism teacher asked if I was interested in hosting the local access football show. I was definitely nervous about it, but I really enjoyed the experience. Once it came time to apply for college, I knew sports broadcasting was what I wanted to do.
You’ve done broadcasting for several sports, including basketball, baseball, and football. Which sport is your favorite to broadcast and why?
Baseball is easily my favorite sport to call. It’s not only the sport I love the most, but I think the pace of the game makes it fun to broadcast. I understand why some people think baseball is too slow, but I think it’s great as a broadcaster because you get to weave in fun stories about the players and coaches.
Also, nothing in my mind beats listening to baseball on the radio in the summer.
You just finished up your second year as the play-by-play man for the Dash. Can you tell us about your experience has been like with the team, and what it’s been like to see some of the young stars coming through the system?
I have had a blast calling games for the Dash. Honestly, the best part of my job is getting to know the players. We all know how talented the White Sox system is, but there are also so many high-character guys.
From a talent standpoint, it’s been amazing to witness what the White Sox are building. In my first season in 2016, the White Sox had some solid prospects, but the system was in the lower-tier of talent among the 30 MLB teams. Now, they have the best farm system in baseball. I’m very fortunate to have witnessed this all in my short span associated with the team.
Whatever happens in my career, I will get to tell my grandkids someday that I saw Eloy Jimenez and Alec Hansen play for the team I covered. That’s pretty neat.
As a broadcaster, what kind of personal preparation do you go through before and during a broadcast to make them sound as good as they do?
For starters, the most important thing for me is learning as much as possible about our own players. I think it’s important to go beyond the stats when it comes to learning about your own guys.
When it comes to learning about other teams in the Carolina League, I always mine for some insight from the other broadcasters. Also, I’ll take a look at the other team’s game notes and use that as my starting point to learn more about whoever we are facing.
Do you have a favorite memory/most memorable game that you’ve called?
My most memorable call came last season when Zack Collins hit a walk-off grand slam in extra innings. Zack had just come back from playing in the All-Star Futures Game in Miami the day before, and I weaved that bit of information into my call. The White Sox ended up posting the clip on their Facebook page the next day. (Editor’s Note: this clip is posted below!)
If you could’ve broadcasted any game or play, in any sport, in history, do you have one you wished you could’ve called? Why?
If I had to choose one game, it would be Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. Growing up in New Jersey, I watched the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry at its peak. To me, that game was everything that makes baseball so great. There was pure disdain on both sides, and the stakes were at its highest.
Since I’m such a baseball geek, I actually bought the broadcast for my iTunes library in high school so I could rewatch it over and over.
Finally, I feel like there’s a little part of most people that wishes they could’ve been a broadcaster, especially as so many sports blogs begin to do podcasts. So, what advice would you give to anyone who wishes to pursue the route you have?
The biggest piece of advice I have is to get as many on-air reps as possible. In this business, the only way to get better is by practicing as much as you can.
Also, be willing to try new things. The reason I moved down to Winston-Salem in the first place was to become a studio host for Villanova’s football and basketball radio broadcasts with IMG College. I had never been a studio host before, but they were the first company to show interest in my tape out of the college. I decided to try it out, and it has led to so many great opportunities in this area.
I would strongly encourage you to go to Joe’s personal website, http://www.joeweilmedia.com, to learn more about him and listen to a little bit of his broadcasting style. In addition, you can follow Joe on Twitter: @Joe_Weil. Sox fans should definitely give him a listen whenever they get the chance; he’s a smart guy and an excellent broadcaster!
On behalf of the entire SoxOn35th crew, I’d like to thank Joe for his time, and wish him the best. He is another great example of the young talent the White Sox have as a part of their team.