YCP Grad Follows Love of Baseball From Field to Radio
Darrell Henry ’07 always wanted a career in something associated with baseball.
“I was really drawn to sports broadcasting from a young age, watching and listening to Phillies games and their Hall of Fame voice Harry Kalas. I was drawn to the art form of presenting the game, describing it, and capturing the emotion of the big moments,” he explains.
In high school, an elective video communication class presented an opportunity for Henry to gain experience working on-air, and he ended up taking the course for two years. When it came time to choose a college, York College seemed like the obvious choice for him.
“In high school my biggest passion was playing baseball, and I really wanted to play at YCP. I attended the Spartan clinics and camps and fell in love with the program,” he says. “And the campus and atmosphere just felt right to me. I didn’t want to pick up and go elsewhere.”
Initially, Henry came into college undeclared to “keep his options open,” but it quickly became apparent that his path was clearly leading to baseball—not on the field, but beside it—so he declared Sport Management as his major.
“I had to try out as a walk-on for the baseball team and I didn’t make it, but it all worked out perfectly for me as I then turned my focus and energy to pursuing broadcasting pretty much right away,” he explains. “Midway through my first year, I went to the campus radio station, WVYC, and inquired about doing games. I fell in love with it the first day and did as many as I could.”
A college career in sport management turned out to be the perfect path for Henry. At the same time, management at 1350 WOYK Radio was searching for someone to cover games at a partner station of theirs in Lancaster County. York College’s current Director of Athletic Communications Scott Guise was asked if he knew of any candidates for the position, and he mentioned Henry’s name. This opportunity kick-started Henry’s professional career.
“I spent the rest of my college career doing as many high school games, York College games, and shows as I possibly could. Those experiences put me in position to apply for minor league jobs when I was graduating,” he says.
All of this experience led him to his current position as General Manager of SportsRadio 98.9 FM and 1350 WOYK, and Play-by-Play Broadcaster and Baseball Information Manager for the York Revolution. The York Revolution bought 1350 WOYK in 2014. Henry has been with the station since 2004. Revs games were broadcast on WOYK from 2010-2013, and Henry was filling an in-season broadcasting role. When the station was purchased by the Revs, Henry became General Manager.
“Being around here and getting a feel for the excitement and anticipation of our new team that was about to be born became the job that I was dying to get,” he adds.
The job is a perfect fit for Henry, merging his professional interests in business with his love for the sport of baseball.
“I’ve always loved the day-to-day aspect of pro baseball and being around it every day. I love the excitement and the atmosphere of being at a game and bringing that to life for the listeners. And every game is different. As they say, you never know what you’re going to see on a given night,” he states. “So, I love that art form and the craft of painting the picture and the feel of the game for the listener whether it’s the Revs or the Spartans, or the local high school games. I also love keeping our stats and records at the Revs and digging up interesting stuff like that. And I also always wanted to have a job in business and I get to do that, too, at WOYK.”
At WOYK, Henry’s responsibilities are broad and varied. They range from more minute tasks such as anything to keep the station running to broader ones such as scheduling, invoicing, and game prep.
“On any given day, I’ll create the schedule and commercial log for the following day, record new commercials, plan out our broadcast schedule, prepare for games, generate sales invoices at the end of the month, make sales calls trying to grow revenue. And I always have an eye on the bigger picture and what we might do next to help the business continue to grow,” he says. “During the winter there’s a ton of prep for our local basketball coverage whether it’s York College or high school, and usually I’m out doing games four days a week. During the baseball season, I still do all these daily things for WOYK, but I’m also with the Revs calling their games every night and compiling their day-to-day baseball information (stats, game notes).”
Henry’s coursework directly correlated with his current position’s responsibilities. He specifically cites his business and writing courses as helping him prepare for a position in the sport management field.
“As a Sport Management major, all the business courses really helped prepare me to work in a pro baseball front office, and then ultimately to manage a business with WOYK. On-air, certainly all my writing and English courses, and some Speech and Mass Comm electives that I added were helpful,” he adds. “It was really the whole package.”
His professors encouraged him, since they knew what he wanted to do after college.
“They’d work with me schedule-wise if I had an opportunity to do a game,” he says. “I remember our PR in Sport class with Dr. Newman was particularly demanding especially when it came to fine details of the job, and that really prepared me for the importance of attention to detail and how to write and present things that will ultimately be seen by consumers.”
His biggest piece of advice for students is to gain as much experience as possible, no matter what job they pursue. This not only includes gaining experience in their desired fields, but also networking with people already in the field and taking opportunities when they present themselves.
“The biggest things I did were piling up a ton of experience, pushing for an opportunity, and networking with people already in the field. And students can (and should) take that approach,” he adds. “I did a lot of networking and trying to meet people who already had the types of jobs that I aspired to have–those contacts proved very valuable in terms of knowledge and being able to ask them for advice, to shadowing them at games and seeing how it’s done, but also being able to use them as references during my job hunt.”