Tom Nichols is getting a one-day call-up to the big leagues.
The longtime Dayton Dragons announcer will join the Cincinnati Reds radio broadcast against the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
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Nichols, who has spent 31 years as a Minor League Baseball broadcaster, recently called his 4,000th minor league game earlier this month.
The broadcast will be Nichols first major league play-by-play experience. He’ll be working the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with Jeff Brantley and hall of famer Marty Brennamen, one of his boyhood idols.
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Nichols, a Muncie, Ind. native, grew up listening to Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall during the 1970s Big Red Machine era.
“It’s definitely something I’ve dreamed of my whole career,” Nichols said during Monday’s Dragons’ game. “It was literally thousands of hours of listening to those game broadcasts that provided the motivation to forge a career in baseball broadcasting. In a sense, it’s an opportunity to get into the broadcast booth with the person who more than anybody else was the model for my broadcast career in Marty Brennaman. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I got into this business.”
He began his career with the Indianapolis Indians in 1988 and has spent the last 11 years with the Dayton Dragons. Nichols has worked at all three levels of Minor League Baseball — Triple-A with Indianapolis (1988-89), Double-A with Mobile (1997-2004) and Single-A with Kinston (1990), Peoria (1991-92) and Fort Wayne (1993-96).
“We are so very pleased for Tom to receive this opportunity. He is well deserving of this honor,” Dragons president Robert Murphy told the team’s website. “Tom is the ultimate professional and the Dragons are very honored to have him leading their broadcasts.”
Nichols has served as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster since joining the team in 2007. He also serves as the team’s Director of Media Relations. He thanked Murphy, Dragons Vice President Eric Deutsch and the Reds for the opportunity.
“It’s going to be an extra spotlight on me that normally isn’t there,” Nichols said. “I’m not a person who looks for a lot of extra attention, but in this case, all my friends, family, co-workers and many of the Dragons fans will be listening.”
It won’t feel like any other game he’s broadcasted, Nichols said, especially at a new stadium. He plans to arrive at the stadium early for batting practice to study how the ball travels off of the bat, he said.
The game will be also be a thrill for his parents, Tom Nichols, Sr. and Fran Nichols. They’ve listened to nearly every game he’s called since he began his play-by-play career in college broadcasting high school and college baseball, he said. Most nights, Nichols’ parents will watch the Reds on television and listen to the Dragons’ game on the Internet, he said.
“They’ve been with me and supported me the entire time,” Nichols said. “For them, it’s something really special for them to hear me call a Major League game. It will be as special for them as it is for me. They made it all possible for me.”