Nate March, the 28-year-old broadcaster for the Bradenton Marauders, still marvels at his favorite call. Tampa Yankees up to bat, two outs in the ninth. “The score was 4-1, runner on first base, tying run in the on-deck circle,” March remembers. The batter made contact. “Bouncing ball to shortstop, a two- or three-hopper. Pablo Reyes grabs it, goes the short way to second base, next thing you know, there’s a mob on the field.” It was the fall of 2016, and the Bradenton Marauders had just won their first ever Florida State League championship.
It wasn’t just about the call, March admits. “It’s a thrill to broadcast the championship,” he says, “but nothing’s quite like going down to a clubhouse and taking part in a champagne shower.”
Now going into his seventh season as the voice of the Marauders, March also lends his voice to all sorts of Southwest Florida sports teams and events, from Eckerd College basketball to last year’s state high school bowling championships. “Anytime the microphone’s on, it’s a thrill for me to be involved,” he says.
March graduated from Ithaca College in New York and landed the Marauders’ broadcasting position in 2012. Since then, he’s amassed other responsibilities for the local presence of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, which this year celebrates its 50th spring training in Bradenton.
Broadcasting, March notes, requires equal parts style and substance. “I always hope I can add some deeper knowledge for my listeners about the team and the game, something that they might remember the next day and bring up in conversation,” he says. “But if I’m not entertaining, then no one’s listening. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or insightful what I’m saying is.”
His Marauders audio feed is broadcast online; last year, the Marauders also became the first team in the Florida State League to provide online video broadcasts for all their home games. And people are listening. March was named 2017 Florida State League Broadcaster of the Year.
About 90 percent of the time, March is on the air by himself, serving as both play-by-play announcer and color man. That being said, he revels in his on-the-job relationships. “Baseball is an everyday sport for everybody—players, coaches, broadcasters, scouts, even the ushers, the people that cook the hot dogs,” he says. “You get to see so many faces over the course of the year. You’re always meeting people; there’s always that potential that you’re going to make a new friend.”
He appreciates reaching players’ families, especially parents from around the country and around the world who can experience their sons’ performance only through March’s broadcast. “They say, ‘Wow, I can picture the mannerisms my son has been showing since Little League when you describe them,’” he says. “It’s a pleasure to help families keep up with their relatives over a long summer.”
March even sees sunlight through the grind of a 140-game minor league season. “Just like the players, whether they have a great day at the plate or a bad day at the plate,” he says, “[as a broadcaster] whether you think you had a tremendous broadcast or you thought, ‘I could’ve been sharper,’ you always have that advantage of being able to come back the next day and give it another go.”
750: Marauders games broadcast since 2012
2017 Florida State League Broadcaster of the Year
Broadcaster inspiration: Vin Scully, who served as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 seasons before retiring in 2016