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Blind broadcaster breaks down barriers in baseball

Posted at 1:19 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 23:41:44-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- For the last 11 years, Trey Wilson has been the eyes for baseball fans who can't see. As the radio voice of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Wilson takes listeners to games they can't attend themselves and gives them the full picture of what they're missing by being as descriptive as possible.

"They're relying on everything that you say for everything that they're getting about what's going on in the game," Wilson said. "That's always in the forefront of my mind when I'm trying to describe something that's happening during the game. I'm always thinking about the fact that I have to describe it in its entirety."

Part of Wilson's delivery includes microphones placed in strategic positions to capture everything from the crowd to the umpires to the sound of the ball hitting a mitt. Your ears can fill in for what your eyes are missing.

"Those sounds really enhance everything that we're doing from a broadcast standpoint," he said. "Make it feel like the person who's listening to the game can close their eyes and feel like they're at the ballpark."

Now, imagine having your eyes closed even if you're at the ballpark.

Bryce Weiler has been blind since birth, but that has not stopped him from becoming a radio analyst for his favorite sport.

He grew up listening to some of the biggest voices in baseball and has relied on those mental images to develop a keener understanding of the game.

"It's a sport that someone can really understand through just listening and getting a picture in your head," Weiler said. "That's hard to do with football and basketball."

Weiler began commenting on games as a freshman at Evansville University. He now travels the country as a guest commentator for radio broadcasts.

He studied the Squirrels broadcasters for weeks, in his own way, to compliment them as much as possible when he joined in during a recent game.

"I've been tracking how they commentate the game. If they tell more stories or if they track more trends or stats," he said. "I plan to tailor my broadcasting style to compliment the things that they don't always put in the game."

"He has the uncanny ability to memorize stats and trends and things that are going on on the field to add a little bit more color to what's happening in the game," Wilson added.

And don't get the idea that this is a gimmick just for self-promotion. Weiler works with the Baltimore Orioles as a disability consultant, helping them break down barriers in baseball. The O's became the first team to wear Braille uniforms back in 2018.

"It really gives that person the opportunity to show them that he or she is being cared about by their favorite team," Weiler said. "They can really make their dreams come true and allow people to support them to be successful."

Weiler said commentating games shows that anybody can be successful in life in whatever they want to do.

Watch for Lane Casadonte's "Beyond the Roster" features Thursdays on CBS 6 News at 11 p.m. and WTVR.com. If you know someone Lane should feature, email him at beyondtheroster@wtvr.com



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