There are some things that you just don’t think are going to happen. As someone who follows baseball, there wasn’t a world where I thought the (now former) television voice of the Chicago White Sox — Jason Benetti — would come to Detroit.

persons on game field stadium
Photo by Gary Shear on Unsplash

He literally grew up wanting to be the Sox announcer. He’s from their area. Fans clearly adore him. He has an infectious energy for the sport that connects with people even if you don’t like baseball — or his team.

My feelings were not about Detroit. It never entered my mind Benetti would leave the Windy City at all, unless it was to go full-time nationally. His on-air talent is little matched in America right now.

Jason Benetti (Press photo)

But that’s the thing about life. The improbable thing sometimes happens. And he has signed a multi-year deal to call Tigers games on Bally Sports Detroit.

The deal should help steady a TV broadcast booth situation that’s been a bit rocky since Mario Impemba and Rod Allen had their very public breakup.

As a fan, I hope that this is a sign that the Tigers are ready to make the investments needed to play to win. That this club and city is getting ready for primetime, and what better way to show it than to get the voice you need. A person who wouldn’t sign on unless he, too, believed in the possibilities.

Personally, there’s an extra inning to this story for me.

A few years ago I learned more about Benetti’s path in life, including Cerebral Palsy. Here’s a great piece from CBS Sunday Morning. If you have a few minutes, it’s worth a watch.

He came to mind a couple years ago when I learned a close relative was born with cerebral palsy.

I told myself that maybe when the time is right I’d find a way to do a family trip to Chicago, and use whatever little magic I could to see if the kid could meet Jason. To see someone like themselves, as some things are bigger than sports rivalries.

In a previous work life, I learned that people need to see someone that has something about themselves in them to think that they can do it, too.

Not that I assume that the kid will be a sports announcer; but I do hope they have a confidence about them like I see Benetti does.

Now not only with this move would the drive to the ballpark be shorter — I hope if there’s one thing this D-list podcaster and newsletter writer can do, it’s that down the line the proximity means there’s a better chance to make that meeting happen.

Regardless, I’ve been a Tigers fan long enough to remember going to games at Michigan and Trumbull. I’m rooting more than ever for the Tigers — and Benetti’s — success. I hope you are, too.

To learn more about CP, here’s a link to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and Benetti’s video series “Awkward Moments.”


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