Mike Saeger has been there through thick and thin with the 66ers. He was there when they were the Spirit, then became the San Bernardino Stampede, then the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino.
He broadcasted games from Fiscalini Field. He remembers when the San Bernardino franchise became a Dodgers afffiliate — the first time.
Now the keeper of the last 15 years of history with the California League in San Bernardino, Saeger is leaving for bigger and better things.
He’s heading to Double-A San Antonio (full story running in Wednesday’s paper). He had not pursued many Double-A jobs before, preferring to go for Triple-A or big-league jobs. If you’ve heard him, you know he’s Triple-A or big-league quality, for sure.. Not that he looked down on Double-A, but in weighing the benefits of Double-A (higher level, bigger exposure) vs. staying in San Bernardino (established commissions and where his wife is from), the saying had the bigger pull.
That is, until now. There’s a certain stigma from being a Single-A broadcaster that won’t let you get Triple-A jobs. So going to Double-A, where there’s a larger media market, many colleges in the area with a chance to broadcast games in the off-season, is the best option now with Saeger not getting any younger.
There have been many broadcasters who have gone from the California League to success: Matt Vasgersian (fromerly broadcaster of the High Desert Mavericks went on to work San Diego Padres games and is now with MLB network and doing NBC Olympics play-by-play) and Roxy Bernstein (former Mavericks broadcaster now does radio for the Florida Marlins) are the two that initially come to mind. Saeger is their equal in every way except one: big-league experience. Now is his chance to move up.
Good luck Saegs. We’ll miss your game notes, your good humor and your knowledge of the game, current and past. Hopefully we’ll hear you broadcasting games in L.A. sometime soon.