The Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball team has played the first of 70 home games at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The broadcasts, like the season, have begun with new homes.
All 140 games will be broadcast on the Yard Goats Radio Network, which can also be heard on-line at yardgoats.com and on smart phone devices through the iheartradio app. The Yard Goats will also have all home games broadcast in Spanish through a partnership with iHeartMedia and WPRX 1120AM. At part of the team’s outreach to the region’s Spanish-speaking population, pocket schedules in Spanish that will be distributed throughout the Greater Hartford area. According to the 200 U.S. Census, 43 percent of Hartford’s population is Hispanic.
Jeff Dooley is set to begin his first season as the “Voice of the Yard Goats” after calling New Britain Rock Cats broadcasts for the past 18 years. He is the lead play-by-play announcer for all games on radio and television and hosts complete coverage of the Pre-game and Post Game shows for all games, home and road. His broadcasts can be heard on i-Heart Media Hartford affiliate, News Radio 1410 AM (WPOP), AM 1150 (WMRD), AM 1420 (WLIS). Home games are streamed on MiLB.TV.
Dan Lovallo also returns to the Yard Goats broadcast booth. He broadcast the team’s games on radio from 2000 through 2008 and worked on select broadcasts the last two seasons. He has an extensive background in broadcasting professional baseball and sports in general. In 1983, Lovallo began broadcasting games for the Kinston, NC Blue Jays, then affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. Lovallo moved on to the Richmond, VA Braves in 1985, then the top farm club of the Atlanta Braves.
Dooley was behind the microphone for some of the most memorable moments in Rock Cats history, including three Eastern League Playoff Series, a major league exhibition game with the Minnesota Twins, and the only two no-hitters in franchise history. He was the television play-by-play broadcaster for the 2013 Eastern League All-Star Game and called the 2003 EL All-Star game on radio. Additionally, Dooley was the master of ceremonies at the All-Star Luncheon at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol. Additionally, Dooley is the play-by-play voice of the University of Hartford Men’s Basketball Team.
In 1990, Lovallo returned to his home state of Connecticut and eventually joined WDRC radio in Hartford to become news and sports director. He now joins Brad Davis on mornings on the Talk of Connecticut network. His assignments included broadcasting women’s and men’s professional basketball, college basketball for the University of Hartford. In addition to Yard Goats broadcasts, Lovallo continues to serve as radio “Voice of the Manchester Road Race,” and broadcasts high school football games on WAPJ radio. He is also the publisher and editor of two baseball-related websites, Your Baseball Buzz and Baseball on the Fly.
The team’s 70 home games broadcast in Spanish on 1120-AM WPRX in Hartford, will have the father-son duo of Danny and Derek Rodriguez at the microphone.
“We are extremely excited to partner with WPRX and bring Yard Goats Baseball to a new radio audience,” said Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon. “It is really important to our organization to have our broadcasts also available in Spanish, knowing how much the Hispanic community loves baseball, and we feel this is a wonderful way to reach the Latino community.”
WPRX AM 1120 is a community based radio station with local programming such as news, traffic, and weather. WPRX, which transmits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has live on air talent from its studio and also is very involved with local community events making it a natural fit with the Yard Goats.
“We are thrilled to be to partnering with the Hartford Yard Goats and having their home games broadcast in Spanish on our radio station,” said WPRX owner Oscar Nieves. “So many of our loyal listeners love the game of baseball and are excited about the new Yard Goats brand. We know that this is going to be a home run.”