TBS lands Gwynn, Ripken
Soon-to-be Hall of Famers hired as baseball analysts
Posted: Wednesday April 4, 2007 4:25PM; Updated: Wednesday April 4, 2007 4:48PM
Before Cooperstown honors Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken later this year, the Hall of Fame duo will be suiting up for another team.
SI.com has learned that Gwynn and Ripken have agreed to join TBS as analysts for the cable network's major league baseball package. A formal announcement is expected Thursday in New York City.
Ripken has signed a multiyear deal and will serve as the cable network's top studio analyst alongside host Ernie Johnson for coverage of the 2007 Division Series games and National League Championship Series. Ripken will also be in the studio next season as part of the still-to-be-named Atlanta-based show that will precede the TBS Game of the Week. The cable network will carry 26 regular-season Sunday afternoon games beginning in 2008.
Gwynn will partner with play-by-play announcer Chip Caray on TBS' No. 1 broadcast team. He and Caray will call this year's Division Series and NLCS. Both Gwynn and Ripken are expected to make their TBS debut July 1 for coverage of the MLB All-Star Selection Show.
Each of TBS' new hires has previous broadcasting experience. Gwynn, who is the San Diego State baseball coach, has been a color analyst on Padres games for the past two seasons and has worked as a game analyst for ESPN. Ripken currently hosts Ripken Baseball on XM Radio with his brother and former major leaguer Billy Ripken.
Last October, Turner Broadcasting signed a seven-year deal with Major League Baseball to air one of the two league championship series each year through 2013. The cable network will broadcast the NLCS in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, and the ALCS in 2008, 2010 and 2012. (Fox will carry the other LCS and the World Series.) TBS has exclusive rights to the Division Series, as well as any tiebreaker games for the wild card.
Gwynn and Ripken, both 46, were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last January in near-unanimous votes. Ripken, who played 21 seasons for the Orioles, appeared on 98.53 percent of the ballots, the third-highest percentage in history. Gwynn received 97.6 percent of the votes, the seventh-highest total. He played 20 seasons with the Padres and retired with 3,141 hits. The duo will be inducted at Cooperstown on July 29.