An All-Star voice
Published 4:47 am Monday, July 10, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
He may not be at every game every day, but WEBJ listeners have come to expect one thing from Dennis Dunaway during the summer youth all-star circuit.
He will be somewhere.
Dunaway is in his sixth season of broadcasting Little League and Babe Ruth All-Star games for the station. During that time he has broadcast well over 100 games and has seen a little bit of everything.
Dunaway said all-star game broadcasts are not only a hit with listeners, but also with area sponsors.
East Brewton and Brewton Little League currently have a combined six all-star teams. Brewton Babe Ruth fields three more teams. Several of the tournaments overlap and are played at sites several miles apart. When that happens, Dunaway has to make a decision as to which game at which site to pick up.
Dunaway, who has worked at WEBJ in various roles since 1969, has broadcast as many as four games in one day. Sometimes that day extends into the following day.
While playing games at that time of the day is not ideal for kids, coaches and parents, Dunaway says it is probably a necessity.
Dunaway has had to deal with some occupational hazards during his all-star broadcasts. The most notable incident came two years ago at the Babe Ruth 15-year-old district tournament at Excel when Dunaway was struck by lightning.
Dunaway hopes a piece of equipment the station recently purchased will help protect him from the elements.
Dunaway occasionally uses guest announcers during the all-star season. The most recent was last week when Brewton Little League president Tony Smith and East Brewton Little League president Joey Shell called the Brewton-East Brewton 11-12-year-old all-star matchup.
Dunaway said perhaps the most enjoyable youth all-star group he followed was the 2004 Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-star team, which was coached by Baxley Raines.
Dunaway said the consolidation of Brewton and East Brewton Babe Ruth has been good for both sides.
While Dunaway feels Brewton Babe Ruth has enough numbers to compete at the state level, he feels area Little League squads have a difficult tournament road once they leave district competition.