Broadcaster gets call-up

Former UTD sportscaster Emma Tiedemann (right) started calling games in 2007 with her grandfather, Bill Mercer. She now does play-by-play for minor league baseball. Photo courtesy of Emma Tiedemann.

A former UTD broadcaster was hired by a minor league baseball team to be its play-by-play announcer, making her the second woman to hold this position in all of affiliated minor league baseball.

Emma Tiedemann, a former scorekeeper and sportscaster for the basketball, soccer and volleyball teams, was recently hired as the play-by-play announcer for the Lexington Legends, a minor league Class A affiliate team for the Kansas City Royals.

This is the highest level of competition Tiedemann has announced since she began her broadcasting journey at UTD as a high school student in 2007. Tiedemann credits her inspiration to get into broadcasting to the school.

“It all started at UTD,” she said. “UTD was fantastic … they allowed me to stay on the air with my grandfather throughout the rest of my high school years.”

Tiedemann, a graduate of J.J. Pearce high school in Richardson, began assisting her grandfather and former play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys, Bill Mercer, with UTD basketball games. Initially, Tiedemann worked alongside her grandfather as a scorekeeper, but was allowed to pitch her ideas about the games during her broadcasts.

She graduated high school and left to attend the University of Missouri. However, she came back to UTD to call sporting events whenever she had an opportunity. Associate Athletic Director Bruce Unrue said Tiedemann continued to give back to the university after she left Richardson for college.

“If we had a home game when she was in town, she would come over and sit in with Bill,” Unrue said. “We didn’t have any hesitation about letting her sit in with either Bill or one of our other announcers.”

After gaining a variety of broadcasting experience in Alaska and Oregon, Tiedemann took a job with the St. Paul Saints. She left the Saints after the 2017 season and was hired by the Lexington Legends after their previous play-by-play announcer retired. Even though the Legends ended their over-the-air broadcast, Tiedemann will be heard through the team’s website via online radio streaming and paid video broadcast. Her hiring makes her the second female play-by-play announcer in all of affiliated minor league baseball.

“I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I’m at, and to be hired on in this capacity was an extreme honor for me,” Tiedemann said. “I was happy when they did offer me the job … they did tell me my gender was the last thing they cared about.”

Tiedemann said though sports broadcasting has been considered to be a male-dominated industry that the list of female broadcasters in the sports industry is very limited. However, she believes that working hard and having a passion for sports allows people to obtain a job within this competitive field.

“The list for female play-by-play broadcasters is very, very short,” Tiedemann said. “I have just found that if you work hard and you prove that you know the game and you have the passion for the game as well, then it’s hard for people to say no to you.”

Tiedemann said that while her brief time at UTD inspired her to pursue a career in broadcasting, these early experiences have allowed her to jumpstart her passion for broadcasting. She ultimately wants to make her way up the ranks and be a sports broadcaster for the MLB. As she continues along her broadcasting journey, Tiedemann hopes to inspire girls and women to follow pursue their dream careers.

“When a girl tells me that she wants to do what I do one day, that means the world to me, because being in that position opened her eyes,” Tiedemann said. “If it helps little girls realize their own dreams, then that’s just the cherry on top.”

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