Tigers release broadcast schedule for Spring Training games

Detroit Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. — It turns out Dan Dickerson has his version of “The Voice of the Turtle” that the great Ernie Harwell recited on the first broadcast of every Spring Training to denote the new season. It’s just that nobody asked him about it for the last 20 years.

It’s a line from B.J. Phillips in a May 1981 piece in Time Magazine about the Oakland A’s:

“In the beginning, there was no baseball,” the article begins. “But ever since, there have been few beginnings as good as the start of a new baseball season.”

Dickerson has been using this line since 2003, the year after Harwell retired. He originally planned to replay “The Voice of the Turtle.”

“My first year,” Dickerson said Tuesday, “I asked Ernie, ‘Would you be willing to record it, and then we’ll play it?’ And he was like, ‘Nope, it’s a new era. It’s you now.’ And I actually appreciated that.”

Dickerson grew up listening to Harwell. In his first job in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dickerson would record “The Voice of the Turtle” each spring. It was ingrained in his head as a young man. When Harwell told him it was time for something new, he had to find something that fit.

“I like the quote, because it’s very true,” Dickerson said.

Dickerson had to wait a little longer than usual this year to bring out the line. But come Friday afternoon, when the Tigers host the Phillies in their Grapefruit League opener at Joker Marchant Stadium, Dickerson will recite it for his 20th season as the voice of the Tigers on radio to start the team’s 96th season on the airwaves.

The Tigers’ newly-released Spring Training broadcast schedule includes 11 radio broadcasts on either 97.1 FM or AM 1270, and five telecasts on Bally Sports Detroit. In addition, the Tigers will have two internet-only broadcasts next week on tigers.com. All radio and television broadcasts are also available on MLB Gameday Audio and MLB.TV, respectively.

While Dickerson and Jim Price return on the radio side, Matt Shepard begins his fourth full season calling play-by-play for the Tigers on television. Dickerson and Shepard will team up for the first internet-only broadcast on March 23 against the Pirates. Dickerson and Price will handle the call on the other webcast March 26 against the Phillies.

Bally Sports Detroit will pair Shepard with a rotation of analysts, including Dan Petry, Craig Monroe, Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson.

Here’s the full broadcast list for Spring Training (all beginning at 1 p.m. ET):

March 18 vs. Phillies — AM 1270, Bally Sports Detroit
March 20 at Yankees — 97.1 FM
March 21 vs. Blue Jays — AM 1270, Bally Sports Detroit
March 23 vs. Pirates — Tigers.com
March 24 vs. Yankees — AM 1270, Bally Sports Detroit
March 25 at Blue Jays — AM 1270
March 26 vs. Phillies — AM 1270, Tigers.com
March 27 at Orioles — 97.1 FM
March 28 vs. Yankees — AM 1270, Bally Sports Detroit
April 1 vs. Yankees — AM 1270
April 2 vs. Orioles — 97.1 FM or AM 1270
April 4 vs. Blue Jays — AM 1270, Bally Sports Detroit

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