The Idaho Falls Chukars’ broadcasting carousel continues to turn.
Last week, the Chukars announced the hiring of Logan Ratick as their director of broadcasting and media relations. Ratick, who is in his senior year at Syracuse University, will be fourth person in four years to fill that position.
Ratick’s duties will include calling Chukars home games alongside John Balginy and calling road games by himself. He will also be in charge of news releases, social media, the Chukars’ website and more.
“I felt like Idaho Falls was a great situation because of the people in the front office, the fact that I could do every single solo on the road and have a chance to learn from John Balginy,” Ratick told the Post Register over the phone earlier this week. “Everything about the situation seemed right.”
Ratick replaces Andrew Haynes, who told the Post Register he landed a temporary broadcasting job in the spring for the University of Texas softball team.
Chukars general manager Kevin Greene said he opens the broadcaster position after each season. Sometimes, the most recent broadcaster lands another job, and Greene’s hand is forced. Other times, a new broadcaster rises above the other candidates. Ratick landed in the second category, Greene said.
“He’s a kid with a bright future, and we look forward to having him for a year,” Greene told the Post Register Saturday. “This is nothing more than a stepping stone for this young man.”
Ratick has gained significant baseball broadcasting experience, despite attending the only ACC school without a baseball team. Last summer, he was the play-by-play man for the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He served the same role for the Syracuse Jr. Chiefs (New York Collegiate Baseball League) and LeMoyne College.
At Syracuse’s NPR-affiliate radio station, Ratick hosts various sports talks shows, along with postgame shows for the Orange football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse teams. He also does play-by-play for the women’s basketball team.
In May, Ratick plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism. He’ll join a prestigious list of Syracuse broadcasting alumni that includes Marv Albert, Bob Costas and Mike Tirico (who is replacing Costas as NBC’s prime time host at the Olympics).
Ratick won’t be the first Syracuse alum to call Chukar games, either. Chris Lewis was the team’s director of broadcasting and media relations in 2013 and 2014. Lewis was a senior at Syracuse when Ratick was a freshman, and Ratick reached out to him when he applied to work for the Chukars.
Ratick’s baseball employment options were limited by his May graduation because most minor league baseball teams begin their seasons in April.
Ratick read the book “Getting in the Game” by broadcaster Josh Lewin for a broadcasting class. The book included a chapter about baseball teams hiring broadcasters at the Baseball Winter Meetings. One of the chapter’s main characters was a man named Kevin Greene.
Ratick attended the Winter Meetings but didn’t receive any offers, so he cold-called several short-season baseball teams (the only minor league affiliates that start their seasons after May). He was immediately intrigued by the Chukars — partially because they liked him, partially because their general manager was Greene.
“It’s a little coincidental that we read that story in class and I ended up being the one that made it out of the pool for Idaho Falls,” Ratick said. “I think it was meant to be.”
Ratick, who was born and raised in Connecticut, discovered his love for broadcasting around the age of 8. He was 12 when he set his sights on Syracuse. By then, he was watching baseball games with the sound off so he could practice his future craft.
“The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is broadcast professional baseball,” Ratick said.
He’ll get that chance in four months. The Chukars begin their season on June 19 at Grand Junction.