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‘Pure joy’ -- Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts gets called up to the big leagues

Goldberg-Strassler began his career in Brockton, Massachusetts, a suburb just 25 miles south of Boston.
Goldberg-Strassler began his career in Brockton, Massachusetts, a suburb just 25 miles south of Boston.
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 12:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 5:17 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The voice of the Lugnuts is shipping up to Boston.

Don’t worry Lugnuts faithful, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler will be back. He’ll be back to Jackson Field after the Lugnuts’ parent team, the Oakland Athletics, wrap up the upcoming three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Tuesday through Thursday -- games he will now be in the broadcast booth for.

Goldberg-Strassler spoke with News 10 about how he got the call.

“I don’t think that my mind wrapped around it,” he said. “I immediately went into (Lugnuts general manager) Tyler Parsons’s office and I was like ‘hey I just got this call; I just got this opportunity.’ And he was much more excited than I was.”

He said he didn’t comprehend what was happening at first.

“I was still just trying to wrap my head around it – what is this? What did they just ask me? What is going to happen? He immediately processed it, but it’s taken me some time to understand the opportunity that is there for me and what I’ve been working to.”

Goldberg-Strassler began his career in Brockton, Massachusetts, a suburb just 25 miles south of Boston. He spent time in the Can-Am League, the Southern League, and the Frontier League before joining the Midwest League Lugnuts in 2009.

He said the chance to call a game at a legendary park is something younger Jesse wouldn’t believe.

“It’s fun for me to say ‘here are the Major Leaguers that played here on Michigan Avenue between Cedar and Larch. Great players have played here,” he said. “But when you go to Fenway and there’s over a century’s worth of Hall of Famers and moments and memories – it knocks you flat. It’s like when you walk into a wall of humidity, and it slows down your momentum. But unlike humidity which can rob you of your energy, this energizes you.”

A graduate of New York’s Ithaca College, Goldberg-Strassler went to school specifically to broadcast baseball games.

“The older brother of my best friend said ‘I can’t until you’re a broadcaster for a baseball team,” he said. “It was just a dream. Just to be able to tell myself ‘You’re going to be the voice of a team’ would have knocked younger me’s socks off! Making it to the Major Leagues was beyond my dreams.”

He calls himself a “student of baseball history.”

“I love the game. I love where the game has been, where it is, and where it is going. Fenway is special.”

Normally, he splits play-by-play duties with Adam Jaksa – including the 7th inning where Goldberg-Strassler traditionally leads the fans in a Lugnuts-themed rendition of “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” Over the three-game stretch that the A’s will be in Boston, Jaksa will run the show back in Lansing while Goldberg-Strassler shares the mic with Oakland’s Vince Cotroneo.

“I don’t think they’ll have me sing at Fenway.”

So, is he going to be nervous? Will he be the same Jesse we know from the Lugnuts?

“If you’re not nervous, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have butterflies, if the adrenaline isn’t pumping, then it doesn’t matter enough.”

He says his friends and family have been supportive from the very beginning, which he noted was somewhat rough.

“Sometimes I’m just too close to see the big picture. They (family and friends) got to see all the time and hours and the different states traveled to and the growth that I made. Because I was not very good for a long time,” Goldberg-Strassler said. “Hopefully I’m a little better than that. In Yiddish, it’s called shepping nachas – or to feel happiness for others. They are shepping so much nachas right now.”

Goldberg-Strassler isn’t slowing down after Fenway. He flies out to Boston Monday night, calls games on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and a Thursday matinee. Thursday night, he’ll fly right back to Lansing and call Lugnuts baseball with Jaksa against Fort Wayne through the weekend starting on Friday. The Lugnuts are starting a two-week, 12-game in 13 days homestand against Fort Wayne, then Beloit.

“After I come back from Fenway, it’s right back into action,” he said. “Let’s Go Nuts!”

The matchup will include former Lugnuts on both teams. If you want to listen to Goldberg-Strassler’s games, it’s free at Athletics.com/podcasts.

Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.

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