Hagin Back – On WB 11 This Time

Former radio play-by-play man Wayne Hagin moves to the television booth to replace Bob Carpenter.

In a move almost as surprising as his firing last fall, Wayne Hagin has been named the Cardinals' new play-by-play man on KPLR WB 11 and the Cardinals Television Network. Hagin, who called Cardinals games on radio for the past three seasons before being replaced last fall by John Rooney, will slide over to the television booth for the 2006 season.

Hagin will join analyst Rick Horton for one preseason game and 41 regular season games delivered on WB 11 and the Cardinals Television Network, carried in 36 television markets throughout the Midwest. Hagin will assume the final 2006 contract year of former WB 11 and Cardinals Television Network play-by-play man Bob Carpenter, who was released from his commitment by the Cardinals this week so he could accept a position calling approximately 150 games on television for the Washington Nationals.

The Cardinals hire the play-by-play and analyst talent for games televised by WB 11 and the Cardinals Television Network. Hagin was still under contract for the final year of his radio deal, so this announcement likely made financial sense for the Cardinals as well as cleaning up some of the mess left behind in their unexpected sacking of Hagin following last season.

Hagin is equally at home in front of the camera. Starting his 24th season of broadcasting Major League Baseball, Hagin began his career on ESPN's first-ever baseball telecasts in 1979. He has worked for Oakland, San Francisco, the Chicago White Sox and spent ten years with the Colorado Rockies just prior to joining the Cardinals for the 2003 season.

As expected, the team focused on the positive. "Given the last-minute departure of Bob Carpenter, we had to look quickly to find someone who was familiar with the Cardinals, who is experienced in the baseball broadcast booth and whose work is respected by the ballclub and Cardinals fans," said Mark Lamping, president of the Cardinals.

"We said in November that Wayne was a class act for the Cardinals, both in the radio broadcast booth and in the community, and the fact we immediately thought of him when this vacancy occurred is evidence of the regard we have for him, and why we're making this announcement today. We're very pleased that Wayne accepted the opportunity and will be part of an historic season for our franchise.

"We also wish Bob Carpenter the very best. The opportunity to broadcast nearly an entire season of Major League Baseball understandably had appeal to Bob, and we appreciate his many years of quality work and dedication to the Cardinals."

Hagin's first telecast on WB 11 and the Cardinals Television Network will be from Jupiter, Florida, on Saturday, March 25, when the Cardinals face the Los Angeles Dodgers at noon Central time. The first of 40 regular season games on WB 11 and the Cardinals Television Network will be the season-opener in Philadelphia on Monday, April 3.

FSN Midwest will carry two preseason games and 110 regular season games; FSNM's broadcast talent includes Joe Buck, Dan McLaughlin and Al Hrabosky. On radio, KTRS 550 will carry 17 preseason games and all regular season games with Mike Shannon and Rooney in the booth.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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