WASHINGTON – As the Washington Nationals prepare for their first-ever trip to the playoffs, it’s not only a new experience for most players and fans, it’s also a new experience for a familiar voice.
Charlie Slowes has been calling games on the Nationals Radio Network since Major League Baseball returned to D.C. in 2005. Slowes has been the storyteller through it all, watching the Nats during back-to-back 100-loss seasons and calling five last place finishes in the team’s first six years.
“You used to get to the first of September and look at the schedule and kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Slowes said of broadcasting a struggling baseball team.
“There would be days where maybe you’re dragging a little bit on your game prep or you’re thinking of some R&R or vacation plans. But now, you’re thinking about playoffs.”
Prior to his working for the Nationals, Slowes spent seven years with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 to 2004. Add it all up and Slowes has been calling big league baseball for 15 years. This year marks his first winning season.
“It’s a lot of bad luck involved there,” he said. “But when the games are great and the team is winning, the storylines take care of themselves. These games are easy to broadcast. Maybe it’s the reward for having gone through everything we did when the games were nightmares, and you didn’t have good pitching and you didn’t play good defense and you had to find other ways to captivate the audience.”
While Slowes has been with the Nationals since day one, he has worked with partner Dave Jageler since 2006. Slowes and Jageler have developed a strong following in the D.C. area while earning praise for their banter and wit.
Between them, Slowes and Jageler have more than 3,500 games of big league broadcasting experience. Sunday will be the playoff debut for both.
“You’re thinking about the possibility of a team winning a playoff series,” Slowes said. “Or getting to the league championship series or even the World Series and that’s everyone’s dream come true.
“For all those people who stuck with us for the lean years, we’re all going to enjoy this.”
Catch Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler and every Washington Nationals playoff broadcast on Federal News Radio, WFED 1500AM.