Daulton Varsho gives Jill Gearin memorable first call as first Diamondbacks female voice

Sep 21, 2022, 7:45 PM

Jill Gearin made history on Tuesday, becoming the first-ever female broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 26-year-old works as the radio voice of the Visalia Rawhide, the D-backs Single-A affiliate. A job that, unlike at the MLB level, comes with no color commentator.

For nine-plus innings, it’s like talking to yourself.

“You crack a joke and you don’t hear anyone laughing,” Gearin said. “You’re thinking to yourself, ‘Oh god, I hope I’m funny.'”

Her first taste of the majors was the third inning through the fifth in Game 1 of the Diamondbacks double-header with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It was definitely different,” Gearin said of taking over mid-game to Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta Wednesday. “I’ve always been a part of a broadcast from first pitch to last pitch … but it was also kind of nice.”

It didn’t take long for her to have her first MLB highlight. D-backs outfielder Daulton Varsho homered on the first pitch of Gearin’s MLB career.

“My ‘oh, god’ moment, what am I supposed to do now?” Gearin said of calling Varsho’s home run. “But I think it helped me to kind of settle immediately.”

Her debut was almost a year in the making. During the Arizona Fall League last season, Gearin came in contact with D-backs vice president of broadcasting Scott Geyer, who wanted to get her some MLB experience this season.

Gearin grew up in Hermosa Beach, Calif., about 25 miles south of Dodger Stadium. So on top of it being her MLB debut, it was sort of a homecoming as well.

“I was able to wake up in my parents’ house, in my childhood bed,” Gearin said. “And drive to Dodger Stadium –– I’ve made that drive before, so it was really comfortable.”

Adding to the comfort was the support of Dodgers broadcaster Tim Neverett, whom Gearin interned for back when he was on the radio broadcast for the Boston Red Sox.

Gearin, an Emerson College graduate and childhood Red Sox fan, also looked up to the broadcasting duo of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.

“[Yankees radio color commentator] Suzyn Waldman has been a huge help for me as well because she’s a woman in this industry and she’s been in the industry for so long,” Gearin said.

She had plenty of support from the D-backs players and prospects, getting congratulations from the likes of Jake McCarthy, Geraldo Perdomo and Jordan Lawlar.

“The Diamondbacks do a great job of picking amazing people,” Gearin said. “I’ve had an amazing time getting to know the whole group, ever since 2019.”

Gearin’s advice to young, aspiring female sports personalities is to just do it.

“You are never going to be perfect your first time, so you might as well just get the first time out of the way,” Gearin said. “Practice your play-by-play and get as many opportunities as possible.

“Remember to be unapologetically confident. There’s going to be people in this industry who try to tell you that you don’t belong here. But you do, and you deserve to be here.”

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