Mike Antonellis is leaving the Sea Dogs after 15 years in the radio booth at Hadlock Field to take a broadcasting job in Pawtucket. Courtesy photo

PORTLAND — Like so many of the players he’s come to know over 15 years, Portland Sea Dogs’ game announcer Mike Antonellis has been called up to AAA.

After calling more than 2,109 games for Portland’s Double-A team for the Sea Dogs Radio Network, Antonellis has been hired as a radio and television broadcaster of the Pawtucket Red Sox, just one step away from his dream of working in the Major Leagues.

“It is a higher level of baseball and Pawtucket has 30 games on TV,” Antonellis said March 10, his last day with Portland’s Double-A team. “I feel like this gives me a bigger slate to paint on, so to speak.”

Emma Tiedemann, a Dallas, Texas, native, has been hired to replace Antonellis. She becomes just the fifth lead broadcaster in the Sea Dogs’ 27-year history.

The date of Antonellis’ debut with the Pawtucket Red Sox is not yet known because the start of the Minor League baseball season has been delayed due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, Antonellis, a Massachusetts native, said this is an exciting time to be part of the organization. In 2021, the Pawtucket team is scheduled to move to Worcester, Massachusetts, and rebrand itself as the Worcester Red Sox. The team has played in Pawtucket since 1973.

Over the course of 15 seasons as Sea Dogs director of broadcasting and media relations, Antonellis has many memories. Among those that stand out most, he said, is when the team won the 2006 Eastern League Championship at home over the Akron Aeros.

“It was magical,” Antonellis said of the Sea Dogs 2006 playoff run. “I remember celebrating as a team, the front office, owners and players. I’ve never experienced something like that. It was pretty surreal.”

Then, he said, there was Red Sox superstar David Ortiz’s three-game rehabilitation stint in Portland  in July 2008. And the 2015 Eastern League All-Star game, which was decided by a home run contest.

Antonellis said one of this favorite moments on the job has been announcing Sea Dogs players as part of the team’s annual Field of Dreams day. Courtesy photo

Among Antonellis’ favorite Sea Dogs traditions is the annual Field of Dreams game in which players come out of corn stalks in the outfield and thank fans for their support over the year.

“I think it is such a nice dedication to the fans. It has taken on a life of its own,” he said.

In his 24-year career of baseball broadcasts, Antonellis has also called games for the Erie Seawolves, Kane County Cougars, Utica Blue Sox, Syracuse Sky Chiefs and Potomac Cannons.

Sea Dogs President and General Manager Geoff Iacuessa said Antonellis’s talents in the radio booth will be missed.

“From an on-air standpoint, he is as good as there is in the business. I always enjoy hearing a game called by Mike and his insight into what the players and coaches are thinking,” Iacuessa said.

His contributions, Iacuessa said, go beyond radio broadcasts. Antonellis has represented the Sea Dogs at Maine Cancer Program events, the annual preseason Hot Stove Dinner and other community events.

“A lot of people recognize his voice, but I think a lot of people recognize him because of the impact he has had for the organization off the air,” Iacuessa said.

Tiedemann, the new announcer, has spent the last two seasons as director of broadcasting and media relations for the Lexington Legends in Kentucky. She was named the 2019 South Atlantic League Media Relations Director of the Year.

“Emma is highly respected throughout the industry; she is a rising star who has an incredible knowledge and passion for the game of baseball,” Iacuessa said in announcing Tiedemann’s arrival.

In Pawtucket, Antonellis will replace Mike Monaco, who, after three years with the PawSox, is moving on to do play-by-play of Boston Red Sox Spring Training games on NESN and work full-time on ESPN’s ACC Network.  Antonellis’s broadcast partner will be Josh Maurer, who he has worked with previously covering University of Massachusetts athletics.

Pawtucket Red Sox Vice President of Communications Bill Wanless said he is confident PawSox fans will enjoy Antonellis’ work on television and radio.

“The PawSox are thrilled to welcome Mike to our broadcast team for the 2020 season and beyond,” he said. “We have long admired Mike’s excellent work with Portland these last 15 years and we have seen and heard his talents first hand as well. We are happy to promote him from within the Red Sox family.”

Mike Antonellis looks out onto Hadlock Field during his last day with the Sea Dogs. Aside from broadcasting radio games for the team, Antonellis has also provided play by play for local college and high school sports. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

Antonellis has some experience calling games for Pawtucket, having done so for a game in 2011 and for a week in 2015 and 2018. He has also worked Red Sox spring training games, hosted pregame and post game shows for WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network and called games at Fenway Park when the Sea Dogs played there as part of the Futures at Fenway series.

The Pawtucket gig has long been a springboard for Major League Baseball broadcasters. Monaco is the ninth former Pawtucket announcer currently in the Major League, according to milb.com.

Although he recognizes the Pawtucket job is the right direction professionally, Antonellis said it has been hard to say goodbye to the  Hadlock Field staff he has worked with for the last 15 years.

“It’s been emotional,” he said.

“Mike has set the bar high. We are going to miss him, but we are excited for the opportunity in front of him,” Iacuessa said.

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