Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Radio Station’s Streak Continues at the Little League® Baseball World Series

The Little League Baseball® World Series will be airing on NewRadio 1400 AM WRAK for the 72nd consecutive year this August. The team announcing the games on WRAK and iHeart Media Williamsport sister stations Bill 95.5/95.3 FM and 102.7 KISS-FM includes (from left) Tom O’Malley, Tom Speicher, Ken Sawyer, Gary Chrisman and Scott Lowery. 
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa - Since its inception in 1947, more than 9,600 players have appeared in the Little League Baseball ® World Series. The thrills shared and lessons learned by those youngsters are innumerable. But one radio station has chronicled every enduring memory: NewsRadio 1400 AM WRAK.

When the first pitch is thrown at the 2018 Little League Baseball ® World Series, the Williamsport station will be broadcasting the world’s premier youth sporting event for the 72nd consecutive year.

The combination of WRAK and its iHeart Media Williamsport sister stations – Bill 95.5/95.3 FM and 102.7 KISS-FM – will offer exclusive U.S. radio play-by-play coverage of all 32 games of the Series, scheduled for Aug. 16-26 in South Williamsport. The broadcasts are also made available to stations nationwide.

“I’d be surprised if there was another station in the country that has aired a sporting event for 72 straight years,” said Troy Lee Poorman, program director for iHeart Media Williamsport. “Such a streak is an amazing accomplishment in today’s media landscape. We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with Little League and our devotion to the Series. Our veteran broadcast team reflects that dedication.”

No members of WRAK’s 2018 broadcast crew were behind the microphone in 1947 when the event was known as the National Little League Tournament. However, the current team’s years of experience more than double the number of Series played. Play-by-play announcers Gary Chrisman and Ken Sawyer, commentators Tom O’Malley, Scott Lowery and Mike Fogarty, and “Man in the Crowd” Tom Speicher have a combined 170 years broadcasting the event.

Chrisman (45th year) is in his fifth decade as a Williamsport broadcasting icon. For 30- plus years, he has hosted the successful “Chrisman Morning Show” for 102.7 KISS-FM. He is also the owner and play-by-play announcer for Cable Sports Productions, which has televised high school and college football and basketball on regional cable for 31 years. A proud Williamsport native, Chrisman attended his first Series as a 5-year-old.

Sawyer (48 th year) was Williamsport’s prominent radio voice from 1970 until he retired from WRAK in 2013. During his award-winning career, Sawyer fulfilled roles ranging from talk show host to sports director to operations manager. He was the voice of Williamsport High School football and basketball for 35 years and Lycoming College football for 20 years.

Fogarty (34 th year) first worked the Series in 1962 as a member of the Little League grounds crew. Later, he served for several years as a Little League summer camp instructor. He also umpired high school girls’ softball for 35 years. Fogarty is a retired public school teacher.

Lowery (18 th year) is a former regional director for Little League. He is believed to be the only person who has worked the Series as a newspaper reporter, radio broadcaster, official scorer and public address announcer. Lowery coached Little League for 22 years. He retired last year as executive director of the Lycoming County United Way.

O’Malley (4 th year) played for six teams during his nine-year major league career before a stellar six-year stint in the Japanese Central League. The third baseman was the league’s MVP in 1995. In recent years, the Montoursville resident has coached in Japan and served as the head softball coach at Loyalsock Township High School.

Speicher (21 st year) interviews parents, spectators and special guests and provides tidbits between innings as the station’s “Man in the Crowd.” He is an award-winning writer/video editor at Pennsylvania College of Technology and has done considerable freelance national media work.

Chrisman and O’Malley will cover the U.S. games, as well as the world championship matchup. Sawyer, Lowery and Fogerty will team for the international contests. Speicher will work all U.S. and select international games and the world championship. “Our broadcasters bring considerable passion and unique perspectives to this event,” Poorman said. “The radio listeners truly benefit from their insights.”

“Throughout the years, WRAK has helped share the Little League Baseball ® World Series experience with its listeners,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are thankful for the continued support and dedication of the entire broadcast team and are looking forward to another year of exciting game- action calls and impactful Little League stories that show what it is like to be in Williamsport during this exciting time.”

Until championship weekend, all U.S. games can be heard on Bill 95.5/95.3 FM. International games through Aug. 20 will air on WRAK before switching to Bill 95.5/95.3 FM for Aug. 21-23 action. The international and U.S. title games on Aug. 25 and the world championship contest on Aug. 26 will be broadcast on WRAK and 102.7 KISS-FM Radio outlets interested in airing the stations’ coverage of the Series should contact Poorman at 570-327-1400 or tlee@iheartmedia.com.