Thoughts on Dan Shulman winning the NSSA Award for Best Sportscaster
When Dan Shulman won the NSSA Award last week for Best Sportscaster, if you didn't know any better, you'd think he was an overnight sensation. This Canadian's ascension on the American sports TV landscape akin to the Beatles landing on the Ed Sullivan Show, presumably out of nowhere. My professional relationship with Dan goes back to 1994 (prior to my starting IF) when I found out about this young sportscaster in Toronto, while attending a friend's wedding in Texas of all places. I went home (pre-Google and pre-Internet) and did some research on Dan and reached out. We talked on the phone a few times and planned to meet for lunch when the Toronto Blue Jays, the team he was calling games for, made their next visit to Yankee Stadium. We met at Mickey Mantles restaurant and began a friendship that coincided with semi-annual lunches and phones calls, until 4 years later, we began a business relationship coinciding with his move full-time to ESPN in 1999.
Over these past nearly two decades, I have learned far more about how to be a good agent from Dan Shulman than he has learned from me about how to be a good broadcaster. Dan, just by his own example and behavior, has demonstrated to me why he has risen in the business (a mix of incredible preparation, commitment to his craft, ability to subvert his own ego to the betterment of his partners and the broadcast – and a few incredible gifts – a great voice and a razor sharp mind). To top it off, Dan is a truly good person and he has become the top play by play man on ESPN's Major League Baseball coverage by disproving Leo Durocher's adage "Nice Guys Finish Last." Anyone who has ever met Dan Shulman knows that.