Main BannerMay/June 2015

On June 4th the Detroit Tigers hosted 2,500 students for a pregame event called "Class Outside - Student Journalism Day". I had the pleasure of helping emcee the event per an invitation from Thom Lengyel of the Student Broadcast Foundation. Hosted and created by Eli Bayless, Director of Promotions and Special Events for the Tigers, the program was well aligned with the educational mission of the DSBA, with a very comprehensive mix of speakers and careers based on the foundation of sports journalism.
For this young, tech-savvy audience, Eli took the students through a history of sports journalism from ticker-tape to twitter. Speakers included: Aaron Sagraves, Sports Information Director from Cornerstone University; Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press Tigers Beat Reporter; Lisa Braun, Cincinnati Reds' Director of Digital Media; Mac Slavin, Digital and Social Media Specialist for the Tigers; Paul Helgren, Associate Athletic Director for Communications at the University of Toledo; and DSBA Student Member Jeremy Otto, now a lead sportscaster for Marygrove College's Mustang Sports Network.
While the presentation provided some fun and excellent career information for student journalists, the Student Broadcast Foundation took the opportunity to another level. Under the direction of Tom Skinner, Ken Kolb, and Lengyel, select student broadcasters were given the opportunity to broadcast the Tigers-Oakland A's game to their laptops from a suite at Comerica.
When given the opportunity to witness the outcome of the efforts of the DSBA and the SBF's educational mission first-hand, you really get a sense of the importance of our organization, and how its fundraising efforts are having a meaningful impact on young lives.  
It was a pleasure and a privilege for me to participate in the Class Outside event and to have the opportunity to share a little history and information on the DSBA with these young students.
Here's a quick update on our educational efforts: DSBA Grant applications are now being accepted and the Specs Howard School of Media Arts DSBA Scholarship application process is underway. We will be interviewing qualified candidates at the end of the month.
Lastly, please get involved with our 29th Annual Charity Golf Scramble; as a golfer, sponsor, advertiser, volunteer or donor. It is the DSBA's lone fundraiser of the year and the requests to help students and school sports media programs is growing at an amazing rate. Your participation, big or small, will help provide unmatched opportunities for the next generation of sports media professionals in Michigan!

A 23-year-old netminder from Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek suited up for 29 games with the Red Wings in 2014-15, leading the team with a 2.38 goals-against average, 0.918 save percentage and three shutouts, alongside his 16-9-2 record. Among NHL rookie goalies who started more than 15 games, Mrazek placed third in wins, second in goals-against average, first in save percentage and second in shutouts. He also started all seven postseason games for Detroit against the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting a 2.11 goals-against average, 0.925 save percentage and two shutouts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mrazek became just the fifth goalie in NHL history to post two shutouts in the same playoff series in which he made his NHL playoff debut. Mrazek has appeared in a total of 40 games for the Red Wings since 2012-13, accumulating a 19-14-2 record, 2.23 goals-against average, 0.920 save percentage and five shutouts. The third-year pro has also played 87 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins over the same span, owning a 54-27-4 record, 2.21 goals-against average, 0.913 save percentage and seven shutouts. He helped the Griffins capture the Calder Cup as a rookie in 2013, posting a 15-9 record, 2.31 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and four shutouts en route to the first-ever championship for Grand Rapids. The 6-foot-2, 183-lb., goaltender was a 2014 AHL Second-Team All-Star and represented the Griffins at the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. Originally drafted by Detroit in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Mrazek logged 132 games for the OHL's Ottawa 67's from 2009-12 prior to turning professional, going 75-37-10 with a 3.00 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and 10 shutouts. He represented the Czech Republic at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, earning honors as the tournament's best goaltender after posting a 2.49 goals-against average and a 0.927 save percentage in six games.
Mrazek will be honored by the DSBA prior to a Red Wings home game during the 2015-16 season. The DSBA Red Wings Rookie of the Year Award dates back to the 1948-49 NHL season. Previous recipients of the award include current Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Jimmy Howard, Jakub Kindl, Niklas Kronwall, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg.

Previous DSBA Red Wings Rookie of the Year Award Winners
2013-14 - Danny DeKeyser                     1979-80 - Mike Foligno                          1963-64 - Pit Martin
2012-13 - Gustav Nyquist                       1978-79 - Willie Huber                            1962-63 - Doug Barkley
2011-12 - Cory Emmerton                      1977-78 - Dale McCourt                         1961-62 - Bruce MacGregor
2010-11 - Jakub Kindl                            1976-77 - Jim Nahrgang                         1960-61 - Hank Bassen
2009-10 - Jimmy Howard                        1975-76 - Michel Bergeron                      1959-60 - Murray Oliver
2008-09 - Jonathan Ericsson                  1974-75 - Bill Lochead                           1958-59 - Len Lunde
2007-08 - Derek Meech                          1973-74 - Bill Hogaboam                        1957-58 - Don Poile
2006-07 - Jiri Hudler                               1972-73 - Henry Boucha                        1956-57 - Billy Dea

2005-06 - Johan Franzen                        1971-72 - Marcel Dionne                        1955-56 - Glenn Hall
2004-05 - None awarded                        1970-71 - Tom Webster                          1954-55 - None awarded
2003-04 - Niklas Kronwall                       1969-70 - Al Karlander                            1953-54 - Bill Dineen
2002-03 - Henrik Zetterberg                    1968-69 - Paul Popiel                             1952-53 - Marcel Bonin
2001-02 - Pavel Datsyuk                        1967-68 - Gary Jarrett/Roy Edwards       1951-52 - Glen Skov
2000-01 - None awarded                        1966-67 - None awarded                        1950-51 - Terry Sawchuk
1999-00 - Jiri Fischer                              1965-66 - Bert Marshall                          1949-50 - Steve Black
1982-98 - None awarded                        1964-65 - Roger Crozier                         1948-49 - Max McNab
1980-81 - John Barrett



 With the final results in, the numbers reveal that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix weathered the storm last weekend - literally.
Amid one of the worst weather weekends in recent memory in Detroit, the Grand Prix still produced solid returns both in television ratings and viewership, through social media and even in the grandstands, though attendance numbers were certainly down from previous years due to the challenging conditions.

On television, fans were certainly excited to see how the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series would handle the fast and physical 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit in wet conditions over the Saturday and Sunday races in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

The national overnight numbers from both races were very strong with each race drawing a rating that was higher than any INDYCAR event this season other than the Indianapolis 500. Saturday's Dual in Detroit race on ABC-TV drew a .7 rating, which was down slightly from the Saturday race broadcast in 2014, due mainly to the fact that the on-track action was delayed and ultimately ended early due to heavy rain and lightning at Belle Isle. Sunday's Chevy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans ABC-TV race broadcast posted 1.0 overnight rating - the highest-rated for any Detroit Verizon IndyCar Series race broadcast since the Grand Prix returned in 2007.It marked the highest national rating for a series broadcast outside of the Indy 500 since the Pocono race last season and represented a 52% increase over last year's Sunday race rating.

Locally, the Grand Prix also established new television rating records. With a 2.8 rating on WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Saturday's race represented a 33% increase from 2014 while Sunday's Dual in Detroit race posted a remarkable 4.2 household rating, a boost of over 60% from last year's Sunday race numbers on WXYZ.

On social media, the Grand Prix continued to raise the bar even higher. After establishing impressive growth on its social channels over the past three years, the Grand Prix reached new heights in 2015. The total reach for the Grand Prix on its social channels of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube was measured at 12.4 million people, which represented an increase of 86% from 2014. The Grand Prix recorded 139.5 million total social media impressions in 2015, an increase of 34% from last year's final numbers.

Corporate partnership also reached an all-time high in 2015 with more than 70 sponsors supporting the Grand Prix, compared to 56 partner companies in 2014.

"We want to thank all of our partners and fans for their support and dedication to the Grand Prix," said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "We saw some tremendous growth and engagement both in television viewership and on social media and we even had what I would consider really strong at-track attendance considering the challenges we had with the weather over the weekend. All 33 of our corporate chalets were packed on both Saturday and Sunday and we saw a lot of fans brave the elements to experience all this great event has to offer."

With rain all three days dampening the track but not the spirits of the fans or competitors at the Grand Prix, attendance numbers were down as event organizers estimated the total attendance at approximately 65,000. A strong crowd in excess of 20,000 attended on Friday, May 29 for Comerica Bank Free Prix Day while approximately 30,000 visited Belle Isle on Saturday, May 30. With rain throughout the day and unseasonably cold temperatures in the low 50s with a strong wind on Sunday, May 31, an estimated crowd of a little over 15,000 witnessed the final day of the Grand Prix.

It was a memorable weekend of competition on the track with Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz earning his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory in Saturday's Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Former series champion Sebastien Bourdais produced for Chevrolet as he won for KVSH Racing in Sunday's second Dual in Detroit race. In the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers on Saturday, Dane Cameron and Eric Curran drove the Whelan Engineering Chevrolet Corvette DP to victory for Action Express Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race.

 In the GTD class, Mario Farnbacher and Ian James won for Alex Job Racing while Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande won the PC Class for Starworks Motorsport. In the first scheduled Pirelli World Challenge race of the weekend - the Cadillac  V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers - Kevin Estre captured the GT Class victory on Saturday while Henrique Cisneros won in the GTA Class. Rain forced the cancellation of the second series race on Sunday. In the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS truck series races, Robby Gordon won on Friday, E.J. Viso took the victory on Saturday and Burt Jenner claimed the win on Sunday.


The Detroit Lions announced a multi-year broadcast partnership with FOX2 Detroit (WJBK) and FOX Sports Detroit (FSD).
"Partnering with FOX2 and Fox Sports Detroit will expand our presence on the local station that broadcasts many of our regular season games along with the most comprehensive sports network in Michigan," said Detroit Lions Team President Tom Lewand. "Lions fans will a have greater opportunity to view our TV programming than ever before."
Preseason games, including their pre- and postgame shows, will air locally on FOX2 and throughout Michigan via Lions Preseason TV Network affiliates (nationally televised games excluded).
"It's a tremendous opportunity for FOX2 to partner with the Detroit Lions, one of the strongest sports brands in our market. This deal not only enhances our programming lineup but furthers our commitment to our viewers," stated Mike Renda, Vice President and General Manager of WJBK FOX 2.
Fox Sports Detroit will produce the preseason game broadcasts with FOX2 producing the pre- and postgame segments. Lions Preseason TV Network games will re-air on Fox Sports Detroit.
"Everyone at FOX Sport Detroit is excited about this new partnership," said Greg Hammaren, FOX Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager. "The combination of Lions content and FOX Sports Detroit's massive statewide platform will serve fans well all year long. We look forward to working with FOX2 to bring these pre-season games to life with all the assets of FOX Sports."
Additionally, both FOX2 and FSD will feature official Detroit Lions TV programing. The team's one-hour pregame show Lions GameDay LIVE will air on FOX2 Sundays at 11 AM; the Lions Live postgame show will be simulcast on FSD and immediately following each game; and FOX2 will air Sportsworks: Lions Game Night on Sunday's at 11 PM.
The weekly Monday press conference with the Lions' head coach will also air on FSD.


Congratulations to Scott Wilson on this rare athletic feat!

On May 22, 2015 at the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in Troy, DSBA Executive Director George Eichorn and DSBA President Vicki Foley announced that long-time DSBA active member Jonathan Yinger was the 2014 recipient of the DSBA Ernie Harwell Lifetime Contribution Award.  Yinger was unable to accept the award so Past DSBA President Ray Lane, the 2013 Ernie Harwell Lifetime Contribution Award winner, accepted on Yinger's behalf. Also on hand for the announcement were DSBA Past Presidents Paul Chapman and Ken Kal and DSBA Officers Jim Rein and Bill Harrington.  Yinger joins Harwell, Lane, John Fountain and Paul Carey as recipients of this prestigious DSBA award - named after the late Hall of Fame Detroit Tigers announcer.  Yinger has contributed immeasurably to the DSBA Grant Fund and to the annual Specs Howard DSBA Scholarship Awards.

"This is a HUGE honor," said Yinger. "To be given this award and sharing it with the greats like Ray Lane, Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey and all is just incredible AND undeserving. To steal a term from one of my favorites... HOLY COW!"


The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame wishes to announce the 2015 Class of Inductees. They are Bryan Smolinski from the "High Visibility Sports" and Kristina Koznick from the "All Other Sports" category. The Veterans committee nominated Randy Stoklos to be inducted.  Congratulations!  Each nominee from among the candidates for 2015 had a tremendous career in his/her own right.  For that, each nominee deserves special recognition. The Induction Ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at the American-Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan. Call (248) 588-5333 for tickets, at $100 each.  Karen Drew of WDIV Local-4 is the emcee.
Voting Results
1. Bryan Smolinski125
1. Kristina Koznick203
2. Conrad Dobler124
2. Steve Javie121
3. Joe Kocur119
3. Evan Williams118
4. Mark Gubicza116
4. Tony Adamowicz109
5. George Andrie110
5. Jeff Klepacki93
6. Mark Grudzielanek109
6. Joe Proski84
7. Steve Wojciechowski103
7. Leo Golembiewski84
8. Larry Krystkowiak70
8. Curt Tomasevicz71
Kristina Koznick and Bryan Smolinski are elected from the Ballot.


The Marygrove College Sports Information staff would like to officially welcome Brendan Johnson to our team! Johnson, a DSBA member and soon to be graduate of De La Salle High School, will attend Marygrove beginning in the Fall and serve as on-air talent on the Mustang Sports Network along with other duties within sports information. Read more here:



Thank you very much for your participation in the 6th Annual PRO TEAM CHALLENGE for the 91st Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac race. Below is a link for all of the pictures. Copy and paste it into the address. Or, go to the Bayview website ( and click on the home page window/pic that says - more pictures. Then click on the 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Press Day.

More information about your team boat will be coming as well as a NEW team opportunity to showcase your Mackinac boat skipper, as well as a "skipper" from your organization in a special Pre Race Race, June 28 at Bayview. (note: the Red Wings are IN for this. So Stay tuned and start thinking about what team alumni can sail a boat.)

Photo link:
Bill Harrington

Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.
TIGERS VS. TWINS - APRIL 8th             


Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.
TIGERS VS. ASTROS - MAY 24th             


Rookie of the Year Awards to Nick Castellanos (2014) and Jose Iglesias (2015)
Presented by DSBA President Vicki Foley & DSBA Executive Director George Eichorn
Photo courtesy of Craig Florek.


Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.


Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.


Photo courtesy of Bob Benko.


Photo courtesy of Bill Harrington.

Members on the Go
  • Frank Beckmann, DSBA Active Member and WJR-AM talk show host, received was honored by the College Football Hall of Fame wits its Broadcaster special recognition award, for his 33 years as play-by-play voice of the University of Michigan Wolverines as heard on WWJ-AM and (previously) on WJR-AM.  He won the Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Jon Yinger, DSBA Active Member, was named the 2014 recipient of the DSBA Ernie Harwell Lifetime Contribution Award. He joins Harwell, John Fountain, Paul Carey, and Ray Lane as recipients of this prestigious DSBA award named after the late Hall of Fame announcer.
Congratulations to Tom Gage, long-time friend of the DSBA and current Fox Sports Detroit baseball writer, on his upcoming induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.   Gage is the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, emblematic of outstanding print journalism contributions to the game of baseball, as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America.  Gage joins his fellow former Detroit News colleagues Joe Falls and Watson Spoelstra as Frick Award winners.

Lesley Visser, a pioneer in women's sports broadcasting, will be inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame on June 8. Visser was voted the American Sportscasters Association's (ASA) "Top Female Sportscaster of All-Time" and is currently a co-host on "We Need to Talk," the first-ever all-female talk show which airs on the CBS Sports Network. Also being inducted is Lifetime ASA member Bill Raftery, veteran college basketball analyst for CBS Sports and Fox Sports 1 who called his 33rd NCAA tournament this year.

Bob Ley, ESPN's longest running commentator, has signed a new long-term contract extension. Ley, who joined the network on September 9, 1979, its third day of operation, will continue to host Outside the Lines and numerous soccer events including the World Cup and Euros 2016.

Dwayne Wade may be looking towards life after basketball. The Miami Heat star is joining ABC as a studio analyst for select games of the NBA Finals, providing insight and analysis alongside Sage Steele, Doug Collins and ASA member Jalen Rose.

Sports Illustrated has reported that Bill Simmons will no longer participate on any ESPN platforms despite several months remaining on his contract. According to the article, the two sides have reached an agreement that will keep Simmons off the air as well as away from his site Grantland and podcasts. ESPN President John Skipper stated that he hopes to keep a "cordial" relationship with Simmons despite the fallout.

ESPN has secured a deal with the Mountain West Conference to bring its annual football championship game to the network through the 2019-20 season. This is in addition to its current deal the conference which includes exclusive worldwide rights to televise up to 16 Mountain West football games, plus every Boise State home game, as well as up to 31 conference-controlled men's basketball games annually.

Tommy Hutton, ASA member, is in his 19th year as a TV analyst for the Miami Marlins. This is Hutton's 34th year as a broadcaster, having previously worked with ESPN, the New York Yankees and the Montreal Expos, and his 51st overall as both a broadcaster and a player with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and the Expos.

Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hit leader, is returning to the game as an analyst for FOX Sports. The 74-year-old will serve as a guest analyst for the "MLB on FOX" pregame show on FOX and FOX Sports 1, and will also appear on "MLB Whiparound," "America's Pregame" and "FOX Sports Live" on FOX Sports 1. The network said they did not need permission from major league baseball to hire Rose, who was banned for life in 1989, but contacted them as a courtesy to alert them they were interviewing Rose and planned to offer him a contract.
The following individuals have paid their 2015 DSBA Dues since our last eNewsletter, joining 120 others who previously paid dues. If you have yet to pay your 2015 dues please kindly do so at or send to: DSBA, PO Box 1222, Warren, MI 48090-1222.

Bruce Babiarz
Matt Barnhart
Shawn Bednard (S)
Joe Burns
Deanna Caldwell
John Cwikla
Max DeMara
Candice Ebling
Jeremiah Hergott
Spencer Hoffman (S)
Brendan Johnson (S)
Bill Keenist
Dick Kernen
Tom Kopeck
Scott Lesher
Ben Manges
Andrew McLemore Jr.
Scott Morganroth
Mike Murray
Eamonn Reynolds
Brian Riederer
Neal Ruhl
Tom Skinner
Evan Stockton (S)
Jim Streeter
Robert Williams
(S) = Student Member 
The following individuals have made recent DSBA Grant Fund donations for which the organization is most grateful.

Ron Angel
Jim Brandstatter
Ken Daniels
Richard Moseley
Ronnie Kadykowski (S)
Dennis Knight
Ray Lane
Dan Miller
Paul Spelman
Bob Walkowski
Jon Yinger

(S) = Student Member
Shawn Bednard - Student, CMU
Joe Burns - Freelance
Max DeMara - SideLion Report, Tigers 101, The Detroit Sports Site
Spencer Hoffman - Student, Frankenmuth HS
Brendan Johnson - Student, Marygrove College
Tom Kopeck - Retired WCAR-AM
Andrew McLemore Jr. - Marketing
Brian Riederer - Director of Coaching, RHS
Evan Stockton - Student, Syracuse University
Thank you members of the DSBA for your kind words, prayers, and for thinking of me in a trying time. God Bless you all and thank you again.
I remain,

Butch Davis, DSBA Member

WE GET LETTERS                
This is Vito's daughter, Jan. I'm attaching the picture taken at my son, Bret's, wedding this past Friday (May 15th).  My dad was so happy to see you and talk to you.  He misses attending the DSBA meetings.  He had a good time at the wedding. Bret is VIto's oldest grandchild.  Please keep the newsletters coming.  Maybe by the time the Red Wings start up again in the fall, I can get him to that meeting.


Jan Thimlar
For exclusive DSBA photographs by Mike Alberts, Robert Benko, Bill Eisner, Ben Eriksson, David Friso, Frank Garza, Dan Graschuck, Nick Martines and Janet Slabaugh, please go to:


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
What: DSBA Day at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Where: Detroit Athletic Club
(Suit/sports coats and proper dress for all men/women)
Featuring Class of 2015 Inductees & Past Enshrines
Complimentary Lunch
RSVP: or (586) 558-9103

Monday, July 13, 2015
What: 29th Annual DSBA Charity Golf Scramble
Presenting Sponsor: Farm Bureau Insurance
Time: 7:30-8:55 am Check-in & Breakfast
9:00 am Start with Lunch at the Turn
2:30 pm Banquet and Awards
Featuring: 18 holes of Golf, Use of a cart, Auctions, Photos, Gifts, Awards,
2-Hour Premium Open Bar, Dinner, Contests, Pro Team Challenge,
President's Cup and CHIP Challenge
Cost: $150 All Day & $50 Banquet only
RSVP:  Call Bill Harrington or Jim Rein or (313) 886-5500


Scoreboard Editor:  George Eichorn
Graphic Design:  Steve McClellan - SMACK Graphics
Marketing/Printing:  Genesus Marketing & Communications
DSBA Address: P.O. Box 1222, Warren, MI 48090-1222
DSBA Office Phone: (586) 558-9103
DSBA Office Fax: (586) 558-9104
DSBA E-mail:
Mike Alberts          Robert Benko
Ben Eriksson         Bill Eisner
David Frisco          Frank Garza
Dan Graschuck     Bill Harrington
Jim Hindy              Laura Loviska
Nick Martines        Janet Slabaugh

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