Dewayne Staats, Alumni Hall of Famer, visits campus with new “Position to Win”

Mr. Dewayne Staats, Mass Comm cougar alumni and SIUe Hall of Famer, stopped by SIUE on Thursday, October 29th to give SIUE students and staff the V.I.P. treatment by signing copies of his new book, Position To Win.

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Mr. Staats signing copies of his book, Position to Win, before he paused for a photo with SIUe’s Mass Communication Professors, Yu and Kapatamoyo.

Dewayne Staats has been the television announcer of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays since the team was founded in 1998. He anchors Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports Emmy Award winning Rays television broadcasts as the play-by-play voice. Before joining the Rays, Dewayne spent three years calling play-by-play for ESPN in a variety of sports, including MLB and NCAA baseball, basketball, and football. Staats began his Major League career as the radio and TV voice of the Houston Astros, then called radio and TV action for the Chicago Cubs. He was lead play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees carried by the MSG-TV network, and spent two seasons calling the action for The Baseball Network (ABC/NBC). He has also handled MLB play-by-play assignments for Fox Sports National.

Mr. Staats marks his 40th year as a Major League Baseball broadcaster with book, POSITION TO WIN. It chronicles his amazing journey through America’s pastime – a fascinating career working alongside some of baseball’s all-time great announcers and calling some of the memorable moments of the game. Many Tampa Bay Rays fans may only know Staats as a Fox Sports/Sun Sports fixture, and the only television play-by-play man in the 18-season history of the Tampa Bay franchise. But in Position to Win: A Look at Baseball and Life from the Best Seat in the House. Staats reflects on his vast experiences in the booth that include: Being a partner with three Hall of Fame announcers: Gene Elston with the Houston Astros, Harry Caray with Chicago Superstation WGN covering the Cubs and Tony Kubek with the MSG Network doing the games of the New York Yankees, as well as working as a national baseball broadcaster for ESPN. Calling nine no-hitters (among them Nolan Ryan’s record-breaking fifth and one of the game’s most dramatic – thrown by New York’s inspirational, one-armed star Jim Abbott). A total of nearly 6,000 MLB broadcasts, with the unique distinction of being the announcer to make the call the first two of the three times in major league history a player has homered for his 3,000th hit (Wade Boggs in 1999 and Derek Jeter in 2011). Dewayne has collaborated with veteran Florida-based author and national award-winning journalist Dave Scheiber (co-author of “Covert” and “Surviving the Shadows”). The result is a lively book that will appeal to anyone who loves baseball or enjoys an engaging success story with a message: How hard work, preparation and persistence helped position him to achieve a childhood dream and rise to the top of his profession. It’s a universal lesson that can apply to everyone, no matter what a person’s passion or pursuit in life may be.

Staats was nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize excellence in baseball broadcasting. Dewayne was recently listed among baseball’s top 101 all-time announcers by author Curt Smith. He was named recipient of the SIUE Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 1987 and is a Lifetime member of the SIUE Alumni Association. He is also a member of the 2010 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.

Mr. Dewayne Staats , ’75 BA, Mass Communications

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