The next Vin Scully? Oakwood 9th grader David Gottlieb is True Blue

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At the close of a frustrating season, Dodger fans still have reasons to celebrate: the pitching of Clayton Kershaw, veggie dogs at the stadium concession stands (Sorry, Farmer John), news that the beloved Voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, will return next year, and the inspiring success of the Jr. Dodger Broadcasters program.

David Gottlieb interviews Joe Torre. Photos by Rhona Blaker

The Jr. Dodger Broadcasters program offers aspiring broadcasters 14 years and younger the opportunity to learn the art of the live-broadcast by calling games from Dodger Stadium’s Vin Scully Press Box. Begun in 2009, the program, the first of its kind in major league baseball, showcases Jr. Broadcasters during Sunday home games, and makes the live audio feed available at In addition to calling games from the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth, Jr. Dodger broadcasters receive press credentials, conduct pre-game interviews with Dodger players and staff, and provide content for the Jr. Dodgers website.

Oakwood school ninth-grader and Jr. Dodger Broadcaster David Gottlieb’s first broadcast was in 2009. David applied to the program by completing an application that asked brief questions about his knowledge of baseball, his favorite Dodger player (“Matt Kemp [then], but now it’s Kenley Jansen because of his composure on the mound combined with the execution of his pitches.”), and his favorite food at Dodger Stadium (“a Dodger dog with everything on it.”).

David Gottleb and Vin Scully.

Gottlieb trained for his first broadcast via telephone with Cornelius Hanna from the Kidstar organization in Arizona, and at Dodger Stadium with Mark Braverman who, “…showed me how to work the microphones and the headset, and he showed me what a good voiceover voice sounded like.”

The day of a broadcast is a busy one for Gottlieb:

David Gottlieb on the field with player Andre Ethier.

“…If I know I have an important interview coming up, I definitely do some research. When I get to the stadium, I greet incoming broadcasters and take them down to the booth when our producer arrives. Then I get settled in the booth, and record a voiceover that the producer will use as a “tease” before the game. Next, it’s time to head to the field. If we are lucky, we might get a few fun interviews. I have interviewed coaches like Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Joe Girardi and Mike Scioscia, players like Kenley Jansen and Andre Ethier, and broadcasters such as Steve Lyons and Jon Miller. After that we go back to the press box and have some food in the cafeteria. I compile my information about lineups and stats as the information is released. After that, it’s time for Dodger baseball!”

David Gottlieb in the booth with producer Mark Braverman.

Gottlieb reports that his most exciting interview to date has been with Joe Torre, and that he makes sure to keep his cool and remain professional during high-profile Q & A sessions. Gottlieb hopes to attend Syracuse University and have a career in baseball broadcasting. He credits the Jr. Dodger Broadcaster Program with teaching him, “…that color commentary is not all about statistics; it is also about analyzing the game that is going on in front of me. I’ve learned how to work quickly under the time constraints that on-the-spot interviews provide. I’ve had the opportunity to have people like Steve Lyons give me pointers about the game as it’s happening, helping me to look at it in a more strategic way.”

You can listen to Gottlieb’s play-by-play broadcasts on the Jr. Dodgers website ( or see him in action on this recent news story on Kcal 9 .

Young broadcasters can apply to the Jr. Dodger Broadcaster Program at:

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

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