by Kaleb Essink
It’s a great day for baseball! Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman have been providing a soundtrack for West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball all season long, with Dan Hasty broadcasting the last 3 seasons.
As you walk up the stairs to the press box, you see the history of the Whitecaps on display. The passing of each individual Midwest League Championship banner made it clear, today was going to be a good day.
When I entered the press box, right after the end of the 4th inning, you could tell that these broadcasters were good people. Mike Coleman even said to me, “Go ahead and make yourself at home!” Even though the microphone was off, sitting above a professional sporting event with a headset on made me think about my future as a broadcaster.
Mike Coleman, who is in his first full season with West Michigan, had the unenviable task of replacing the legendary Ron Wetherbee as Hope College’s Basketball announcer. Wetherbee passed away in 2015 after decades at the helm for the Dutchmen. Mike was a substitute broadcaster until this season. This season he has done all of the home games as a color analyst.
Dan Hasty is in his 3rd season as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Whitecaps. Since Mike was broadcasting and Dan wasn’t when I entered, most of the conversations I had were with him. Dan said that “no matter what you are broadcasting make sure you record it, you never know who is going to call”.
The Whitecaps experience taught me that as a sportscaster, you don’t always have to say everything. When the broadcast is underway do your best, but always make sure you are not putting on show. The players and coaches are what people want to hear about.
This experience of seeing the crowd of nearly 4,000 from up above the stands is something I will never forget and has given me a target to shoot at for the remainder of my broadcasting career.
Dan and Mike run a high level operation for the Whitecaps and make sure every listener feels like they are right behind the plate at Fifth Third Ball Park.