BY STEVE KRAH
Paul Condry was on the play-by-play call Friday, April 21 for his 20th baseball Senior Day at Bethel University in Mishawaka, Ind.
A longtime broadcaster and founder of Regional Radio Sports Network and a member of the Bethel Athletics Hall of Fame along with wife Tonya, Condry began calling baseball home games for the school at the same time Seth Zartman came back to campus to be the Pilots head coach.
“It’s one of the greatest relationships I have,” says Condry. “Seth is not only great to work with and accessible like no other, but he’s also my friend.
“I can always ask him the tough questions. I can be on-point about whatever situation that’s going on that I may observe from my spot here in the press box. I’m going to get a straight answer.
“He’s going to be honest with me.”
Over his many decades of sports, Condry has had several coaches tell him things in confidence.
“I’ve never betrayed that trust and I think (Seth) knows that,” says Condry.
The press box at Richard C. Patterson Field inside Jerry Jenkins Stadium has become Zartman’s working space.
“I respect his office,” says Condry. “We keep it nice and tidy for him. But it’s a great viewpoint.
“The sight lines are amazing. It’s just a great place to broadcast baseball.”
Being the “Voice of the Pilots” has allowed Condry to call the exploits of future major leaguer Justin Masterson and several other superb players.
In the last week or so, he received from Jacob Ringenberg, a senior in 2007, who wanted to share his thoughts.
“He poured out his heart about the baseball program and the ministry that is the baseball program,” says Condry. “It’s been fun to feel like I’m part of the family.
“I know I’m part of the Zartman family.”
Seth’s wife Anitra and kids Senica, Ty, Lyric and Evik spent much time at Bethel. Anitra helps Condry with the Indiana Football Digest.
“It’s been a great 20 years,” says Zartman. “We’ve had a lot of fun together. Hopefully we’re going to do this for many more (years).
“I can’t put into words what (Paul) means to my family.”
Not only Zartman, but Condry has bonded with assistant coaches like the late Dick Siler and current pitching coach Kiel Boynton.
One of Condry’s favorite calls came Friday, April 14 as Andrew Miranda socked a three-run walk-off home run in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Marian.
The broadcaster’s words before the clout set the stage.
“That was one of those calls I absolutely nailed,” says Condry, who let his audience know the count (0-2), position of the two baserunners (first and third with the double play in order) and number of outs (one) before lefty-swinging Miranda cleared the fence in right. “Like anybody who’s in this position you always want to prime yourself. This is potentially what could happen.”
He cites the famed “Shot Heard Round the World” of the New York Giants beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 — “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”
“That’s one of the greatest calls in all of sportscasting because you listen to the couple of minutes before the actual home run and you can hear (announcer) Russ Hodges set up the play,” says Condry. “Someone was here and so-and-so was there and this was going on and that was going on and then he he gives you that historic (home run) call.”
Condry grew up in Hobart, Ind., as a fan of the Chicago Cubs and broadcaster Jack Brickhouse but was also drawn to the Baltimore Orioles because they were often on the NBC Game of the Week.
He appreciated Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play man Lloyd Pettit.
“I listened to everybody when it comes to baseball,” says Condry. That includes Ernie Harwell in Detroit, Jack Buck in St. Louis, Bob Uecker in Milwaukee and Vin Scully in Los Angeles.
“There’s some special people who put on the headsets,” says Condry. “We all love and grew up with those guys. They painted the picture like nobody else could.”
At age 4, Condry knew he wanted to paint, too, and has been able to do that most of his adult life.
“God has blessed me immensely,” says Condry. “How many people in America truly get a chance to do the only thing they every really wanted to do in life?”
At 66, Condry called his 191st and 192nd athletic contests of 2022-23 on Senior Day. He also broadcasts high school football and basketball as well as college basketball and college volleyball.
Condry, who is also in the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and Indiana Football Coaches Association halls of fame, puts together the Indiana Football Digest, writes for the RRSN website and the Indianapolis Colts and on and on.
The 17th annual Griddy’s award show is Sunday, April 23.
“I feel like I’m working two full-time jobs,” says Condry. “And I’m loving every minute of it.”