MILWAUKEE, Wis.–Nearly every graduate of St. Mary’s, or any university, has a “dream job” they would like to get after graduation. For Brian Anderson it was becoming a major leaguer.
Of course Anderson’s original thought was to get to the major leagues as a catcher. When that didn’t work out he went with his back-up plan: working as a broadcaster. Just when he thought the dream had died, he got his opportunity this spring and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as the play-by-play announcer for the major league club.
Anderson’s broadcasting roots go back to his time with the Rattler baseball team. He played two years for the team, serving as a backup catcher in 1992, before taking over as a starter in 1993. In his first season he quickly became known for doing his own brand of play-by-play announcing during games in the dugout.
However, it was in the classroom where Anderson was inspired to move his skills out of the dugout and into the real world. Ask Anderson about his time at St. Mary’s and three names immediately pop up: Dr. Richard Pressman, Sister Anne Semel and Sister Christine Catron. For Anderson they were more than just teachers, they were mentors that helped him grow.
“I don’t think they knew I would be a broadcaster, but I think that they knew that they had to get on me a bit,” Anderson recalled. “I think that I needed a little more pushing. When I got in front of those two (Pressman and Semel), they raised the bar.”
More than a decade after leaving St. Mary’s he still hears Pressman, but now it’s not in the classroom.
“Being a broadcaster, you have a lot of writing that you do in your head,” Anderson explained. “Dr. Pressman is the voice in my head when I write and when I talk. When I write something on paper I send it to him and have him edit it. If what I produce is satisfactory to him, I’m good to go.”
Pressman not only remembers Anderson, but has followed his work since Anderson left St. Mary’s. Ask him if he is surprised that Anderson was hired by the Brewers and there is no hesitation in his answer.
“No!” Pressman said when asked. “Because I care so much about him, his integrity, his talent I have been frustrated for a long time with his lack of success getting this kind of job. He was a great student in that he was open to criticism. That never stopped. He still wants to learn from me. He’s a perfectionist, not in an obsessive sense, but in sense that he wants to get better.”
His first broadcasting job was with the San Antonio Missions as their radio play-by-play announcer. At one point he was the youngest play-by-play announcer in professional baseball at just 22 years old. He continued to work with the Missions and later served as a sideline reporter for the San Antonio Spurs, before landing a job with the Golf Channel. When he signed on there he thought that his days as a baseball announcer were over.
“It’s hard enough to get a job in baseball when you work in it,” Anderson said. “It’s even harder when you’re not plugged in any more. I just felt that my time had passed in baseball.”
Prior to landing the job with the Golf Channel, Anderson had applied for nearly every opening as a play-by-play person in major league baseball, but without any luck. When the Milwaukee Brewers approached him this past winter, he decided to take a look at the job, but wasn’t expecting anything to come of it.
“I was pretty committed to staying (at the Golf Channel) until I arrived in Milwaukee and walked into Miller Park,” Anderson said. “All those memories, minor league parks, tough days in the minor leagues came back. I said ‘this is where I need to be’. I honestly felt that I was going to get the job before the interview. All the stars were aligning. The negotiations lasted about five minutes and after a painful call to the Golf Channel, I signed with the Brewers.”
So far Anderson’s hopes and expectations for the job have been met.
“It’s been great,” Anderson said. “It’s been everything that I imagined and more.”