Chicago Cubs: Getting to know Tennessee Smokies broadcaster Mick Gillispie

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Where and how did your career begin? Did you work in another area of broadcasting outside of sports before joining the Smokies?

Of course, every career starts somewhere. For Gillisipie it began with Alabama Public Radio on All Things Considered. He worked as a student reporter, then got into sports at the University of Alabama college radio station WVUA-GM.

"The opportunity to host radio talk shows and call Alabama baseball was really valuable. It allowed me to be pretty bad and learn how to grow."

All his life, Gillispie dreamed of broadcasting baseball. The biggest force that drove him? Thinking about Father Carl, who used to occasionally take him to Orioles games. The pair would pretend to broadcast O’s games on the drive to Memorial Stadium. Soon enough, Father Carl began prompting Gillispie to go to Syracuse University to learn the tricks of the trade and gain the skills that would help make him successful.

"Unfortunately, after attending orientation at SU it was obvious that I wasn’t going to have the means to pay for it. So, I switch gears and focused on a pre-law degree at the University of Maryland, then Alabama. Things changed when I took an internship with a Congressman in D.C. It was a wonderful experience and I realized that sports broadcasting was my true passion and decided to give it one more try. I took a broadcasting work-study job with Alabama Public Radio and to the WVUA-FM Sports department. The first time I anchored a sports update it was to announce that “Greatness” Walter Payton had died. He was always one of my favorites."

It was such an honor to be able to hear Mick discuss the path life led him on to get where he is today. Like all of us have experienced at points, life tends to fling us around before landing us where we are supposed to be. What I learned through hearing this was no matter what happens on the journey; we are always led to what our true passion is in life.

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