Tigers play-by-play men will do occasional flip-flop
Lakeland, Fla. — Two Tigers play-by-play broadcasters known for their exclusive work in radio and television will be switching jobs at least 10 times during the 2016 season.
Although details have not been finalized, Dan Dickerson and Mario Impemba will swap shifts in the TV and radio booths, sources tied to the negotiations verified Wednesday.
The sources did not wish to be identified because of sensitivity to discussions with flagship radio station WXYT/97.1, as well as the Tigers’ television partner, Fox Sports Detroit.
The occasional flip-flop was encouraged, the sources said, by Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who a year ago decided to add Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris as analysts in a bid to freshen telecasts with two former Tigers stars.
Impemba, who has been the Tigers’ TV play-by-play personality since 2002, is no stranger to big-league radio. He was the Angels’ chief radio broadcaster before he signed with the Tigers.
By contrast, Dickerson has worked in radio, exclusively, during his career, which saw him debut with the Tigers as Ernie Harwell’s broadcast partner in 2000. Dickerson began working as the Tigers’ primary play-by-play radio presence in 2003.
Yet to be determined is how many games will feature a Dickerson-Impemba swap. Sources say the number could exceed 10, to perhaps as many as 12, 15, or even 20 game dates.
Their broadcast partners will be unaffected by any moves. Jim Price will remain in the radio booth as color man, while Gibson, Morris, and Rod Allen will continue to work alongside either Impemba or Dickerson on FSD telecasts.
It is believed the two broadcasters will first trade seats on March 8, FSD’s first telecast of 2016, when the Tigers play the Rays at Marchant Stadium.