(April 4, 2008)
When one door was closed on John Leahy, he worked hard to open another. A play-by-play veteran and an STAA client, Leahy is the new radio voice of the Kalamazoo Kings baseball club of the Frontier League.
The Kings games will be heard on ESPN 1660 AM and online at www.kalamazookings.com.
Leahy spent the past three seasons calling games for the North Shore Spirit of the Can-Am League. When the Spirit folded after last season, Leahy went into overdrive in the job market.
"After the Spirit went under, I decided to correspond with every independent league team in North America and Canada," Leahy says. "I sent out a series of emails. Of course, Kalamazoo was one of those teams. Through the course of emailing them, they asked for my CD and demo.
"When I first made contact, obviously they had questions for me regarding what my work was like. I sent them my complete portfolio from STAA, including letters of recommendation. They were immediately impressed with the portfolio. I think that is the primary the reason I got a call back. I really wouldn't have had a chance to demonstrate my skills without a really decent portfolio."
Another key to Leahy getting the job was his consistent follow-up.
"I would say at the outset that that I followed up once every couple of weeks," Leahy says. "Then once I determined they had a real interest I was basically getting back to them on a weekly basis. By the end, I was talking to them twice a week."
Leahy's new opportunity isn't coming without a major sacrifice. Leahy's wife Lori-Ann is staying behind in Blackstone, MA while her husband spends the summer in Kalamazoo.
"The notion of me being away from my wife for four months is the most painful part of the decision," Leahy says. "But my wife Lori-Ann deserves the most credit in the world for her support. I wouldn't be where I am today without my wife. She understands my level of commit to the industry and she is always so supportive."
After the baseball season, Leahy will return to Massachusetts and will continue handling play-by-play for Merrimack College hockey.
In Kalamazoo, Leahy replaces fellow STAA client Mike Levine who is now at WQAM in Miami.
Leahy isn't the only King with connections to the defunct North Shore team. The Kings are managed by Fran Riordan who played for the Spirit prior to Leahy's arrival. "I have heard great things about Fran and I am looking forward to working with him a great deal," Leahy says.
"I am excited to work in a new league. There is a bit more travel in the Frontier League than in the Can-Am League. I'm also interested in comparing the differences between Midwestern ball and Northeastern ball. It’s a challenge that I'm excited about.
"Kalamazoo is also only about two hours east of Chicago so I’m hoping to catch a Cubs game while I'm out there."
(Visit John's STAA Talent Page. John has also had his demo and resume constructed by STAA).