George Grande and Bobby Valentine are calling the action for the Gildan Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game, to be broadcast from Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, on the NBC Sports Network.
The 2013 Gildan Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game will determine the overall champion of the classification. On September 17 the International League’s Governors’ Cup Champion and the Pacific Coast League Champion will meet in Lehigh Valley in a winner-take-all showdown. The International League club will be considered the home team for this year’s game, thanks to the IL’s 4-3 win over the PCL All-Stars in July. The two teams in the final still need to be set: Omaha is up 2-0 against Salt Lake in the Pacific Coast League championship series, while Durham and Pawtucket are tied up a game apiece in the International League Governors' Cup Finals.
Returning in 2013 as the play-by-play voice of the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game is George Grande. Grande has served as play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees (1989-90), St. Louis Cardinals (1991-92) and the Cincinnati Reds (1993-2009) for whom he continues to call a small number of games each season. Grande is remembered as the first-ever host of ESPN's SportsCenter and also served as the master of ceremonies for the National Baseball Hall of Fame's annual inductions from 1980 to 2010.
Alongside Grande will be a name familiar to baseball fans, Bobby Valentine. The former MLB player and manager will serve as color analyst on the broadcast. "Bobby V" played for the Dodgers, Angels, Mets, and Mariners, but is perhaps better known to the current generation of fans as manager of the Rangers (1985-92), Mets (1996-2002), and Red Sox (2012). Valentine played in 486 games at the Triple-A level in his career, coming with Spokane, Charleston, Salt Lake, and Hawaii.
The field reporter will be Doug Heater of the IronPigs TV Network. Doug recently completed his fourth season in Lehigh Valley as a reporter and pregame show host for the IronPigs. The Clinton, N.J. native has also done both play-by0-play and color analysis for wrestling, football, and softball among other sports for SECTV in eastern Pennsylvania.
The game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern. It will also be broadcast on the American Forces Network.
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