Take me out to the ballgame
Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
This is Jimmy. He's got one helluva voice.
by phil villarreal
Name: Jimmy Zasa
Major: Media arts freshman
Job description: Show up at Sancet Field whenever the Wildcats have a baseball game, grab the microphone, and announce the sucker. Let voice boom across the stadium. Feel the power.
Job qualifications: Must have good voice, at least a remedial understanding of the game of baseball, and work on pronunciation skills. Ability to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" a plus.
Job perks: Gets in free to UA baseball games - but wait, so does everybody else with a valid CatCard or rough forgery thereof.
Job disadvantages: Sometimes has to sing. Has to announce to perfection. Otherwise, he'll here it from the mother of a player whose name he mispronounced.
It takes a wild stroke of luck for any sports announcer's career to take off.
Jimmy Zasa's came 15 months ago, and his has.
Back in early 1998, Zasa was a wee high school lad - announcing baseball games at Canyon del Oro High School, located northwest of Tucson.
Lucky for Zasa, UA baseball coach Jerry Stitt was on hand at a game to scout a recruit - current UA freshman slugger Shelley Duncan.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Zasa said.
It turned out that Zasa got into the Arizona baseball program before Duncan did. Impressed by Zasa's voice, Stitt invited him to a live audition at Sancet Field.
"They were having problems with the other announcer, so I got to start right away," Zasa said.
Now Zasa is in his second year as the UA baseball announcer. He's handled all of his duties with ease, except for one.
Two weeks ago, the person scheduled to sing the pregame national anthem backed out. Zasa had to step in, stand and deliver.
"[Tucson Sidewinders General Manager] Mike Feder coached me about it right before," Zasa said. "I stood right in front of the press box and sang. None of the fans knew who was singing. They couldn't tell where the voice was coming from."
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