Meet the Talent

From Side-Line Reporting to Play-By-Play Announcing, Our Sports Experts Give You an Inside Track to the Scores, Highlights and Big Plays, Bringing You Closer to the Game!

 

HOUSTON ASTROS TELECASTS


Todd Kalas
Follow me on Twitter @RealToddKalas
Astros Play-By-Play
Todd Kalas, who is the son of Hall of Famer and former Astros broadcaster Harry Kalas, has 25 seasons of experience as a broadcaster in professional baseball. He spent 19 seasons (1998-2016) as part of the Tampa Bay Rays TV broadcast team. While his primary duties for the Rays were as pre and postgame host and in-game reporter, Kalas also handled play-by-play duties for hundreds of Rays games on both television and radio during his time there. He is highly-respected in the industry amongst his peers and by the many players he has interacted with. Known for his distinctive voice and personality, Kalas grew to be a popular figure with Rays fans as a result of his work on the broadcasts and was a two-time Suncoast Emmy award winner. Prior to joining the Rays, Kalas also had stints with the New York Mets radio (1992-93) and Philadelphia Phillies television (1994-96) broadcast teams.

A native Houstonian, Kalas was born at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston while his father, Harry, served as an Astros broadcaster from 1965-70. Harry would later call Phillies games from 1971-2009 en route to a Hall of Fame career. When the Phillies and Rays met in the 2008 World Series, Todd and his father called an inning together on radio during Game One of the Fall Classic.


Geoff Blum
Follow me on Twitter @blummer27
Astros Analyst
Geoff Blum, who retired after 14 Major League seasons as an infielder (1999-2012), made the transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth in 2013. He returns to the broadcast booth in 2017, serving as primary color/analyst on AT&T SportsNet Astros telecasts.

During his playing career, Blum played two stints with the Astros, totaling five seasons in Houston (2002-03, 2008-10). A switch-hitter, Blum was known as one of the top pinch hitters and utility players in the game, appearing at all four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08). He appeared in the postseason on three occasions (2005-06, 2011). In 2005, Blum hit a go-ahead solo home run in the 14th inning in Game 3 of the World Series to become the 30th player to homer in his first World Series at-bat.


Julia Morales
Follow me on Twitter @JuliaMorales
Astros Sideline Reporter

Julia Morales serves as the primary In-Game Reporter on Houston Astros telecasts. Julia also reports in Houston Rockets games and co-hosts the Houston Astros weekly magazine show, Astros Bases Loaded. Julia came to Houston from YNN-TV, a 24-hour news channel in Austin, where she covered the Texas Longhorns and Round Rock Express. Morales began her broadcast career as Weekend Sports Anchor at KTEN-TV in Sherman, Texas. From there, she took the same position at KYTX-TV in Tyler. A native of Crandall, Texas, Morales spent two years as a “World Famous Kilgore College Rangerette” before graduating from the University of Texas.


Kevin Eschenfelder
Follow me on Twitter @KevinEsch1
AT&T SportsNet Pregame/Post Game Host

This native Houstonian has been a fixture on the Texas sports scene for over 26 years. Kevin Eschenfelder serves as primary host for Houston Rockets basketball and Houston Astros Baseball seen on AT&T SportsNet.

Eschenfelder has hosted shows for both Texas MLB teams and all three NBA teams but his primary focus has been the Houston franchises. In 1997, Kevin began hosting pre and post games shows for the Houston Astros and Rockets. Those shows aired on Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Houston and Comcast Sportsnet. He’s also an accomplished Play-By-Play Announcer who has called Big Twelve football, basketball and baseball games plus filled in for Houston Astros and Dallas Mavericks games. Kevin has served the last two years as the radio voice of University of Houston Football, his alma mater.


Mike Stanton
Follow me on Twitter @MikeStanton29
Astros Pregame/Post Game Analyst
Mike Stanton is one of AT&T SportsNet pre and post game studio analysts for Astros broadcasts again this season. A former relief pitcher, the southpaw played with eight different organizations and earned three World Series Championship rings during his 19 years in the bigs. Stanton played in the post season for 11 straight years with four different teams and had a total of 53 post season appearances.

Drafted from Alvin Community College by the Atlanta Braves in 1987, the native Houstonian made his major league debut just two years later in August of 1989. Stanton holds the records for the most holds (266) and second most pitching appearances in MLB history. The 2001 American League All Star has been covering Astros games since 2013

 

 

HOUSTON ROCKETS TELECASTS


Craig Ackerman
Follow me on Twitter @ca_rockets
Rockets Play-By-Play

After 5 years of serving as the television play-by-play broadcaster for Rockets road games on AT&T SportsNet, in 2021 Craig Ackerman became the fulltime television voice of Rockets basketball.

A member of the Rockets organization for over 20 years, Ackerman served as the Radio Voice of the Rockets for 14 years. Previously, he worked as studio host and substitute play-by-play announcer for Rockets radio broadcasts. He also filled in as radio analyst for games during both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

From 2006-08, Ackerman worked as the radio and television play-by-play announcer for the Houston Comets of the WNBA. He also called action for football and men’s basketball for the University of Houston. From 1997-2000, Ackerman was a member of the Rice Owls Radio Network. He was the sideline reporter for Rice football, as well as the play-by-play man and color analyst for the Rice men’s and women’s basketball programs. Ackerman previously worked as a play-by-play announcer, color analyst and studio host for the Houston ThunderBears of the Arena Football League.

Ackerman’s on-air experience also includes work for NBA TV, where he served as an anchor/reporter covering the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, and CSS Sports, where he has served as a play-by-play announcer and sideline reporter.

Ackerman and his wife, Shannon, live in Missouri City with their sons, C.J. and Chase.


Ryan Hollins
Follow me on Twitter @TheRyanHollins
Rockets Game Analyst

Ryan Hollins is a ten-year veteran of the NBA, having played for nine different organizations. He was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats at number 50 overall in 2006 and amassed over 1100 rebounds and 1900 points in his career. Hollins was part of four different playoff teams, including the Boston Celtics in 2012 which reached the Eastern Conference Final. A notable fact, he is the Clippers all-time leader in true field goal percentage.

This California native played collegiately at UCLA where he helped lead the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA Championship. During UCLA’s championship run, Ryan was named the Oakland Regional’s Most Outstanding Player after registering 14 points and 9 rebounds in a 50–45 victory against the Memphis Tigers. Hollins graduated with a degree in history from UCLA.

Following his playing career, Ryan served as an analyst and host on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Radio Los Angeles, NBA TV, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Radio, Fox Sports Los Angeles, and most recently has worked as a College Basketball analyst for CBS.

Hollins resides in Northridge, California along with his wife and four children.


Cayleigh Griffin
Follow me on Twitter @CayleighGriffin
Rockets Sideline Reporter

Cayleigh Griffin is the primary in-game reporter for Rockets basketball on AT&T Sportsnet. She is primary host for Rockets All-Access magazine show.

Griffin previously worked in Cleveland where she served as a host and reporter for the Cavaliers and Fox Sports Ohio. During her time in Cleveland, she was a feature reporter and the primary digital host/reporter for Cavs coverage on Fox Sports Ohio. Griffin also worked as a sideline reporter and fill in host for the Cavs Radio Network.

Previously, Griffin served as the reporter for the San Antonio Spurs under Spurs Sports & Entertainment. She also served as Co-Host for Spurs Live pre and post-game shows on Fox Sports Southwest while handling sideline duties for the Spurs home games. Griffin worked for the Austin Spurs G-League team as a sideline reporter covering the team throughout the 2018 playoffs and G-League Championship.

Griffin graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and a minor in Film.


Calvin Murphy
Follow me on Twitter @CalvinMurphyHOF
Rockets Pregame/Post Game Analyst

Known for his entertaining style in addition to his flashy suits, Calvin Murphy serves as the pre and postgame analyst for Rockets basketball games. Selected by the San Diego Rockets as the 18th overall pick in the 1970 draft, Murphy set several team and league records over the course of his 13-year professional playing career. His .892 all-time free throw percentage still ranks 7th in the league. The 1979 All-Star still holds the Rockets ream record for number of assists (4,402) and currently ranks second behind only Hakeem Olajuwon for team honors on career points, games played, minutes played, steals and field goals attempted and made. He scored better than 40 points seven times during the regular seasons of his career and retired prior to the 1983/84 season. A few months later his number was retired by the Rockets and less than ten years after that, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Prior to his pro career, Murphy was a three-time All American at Niagara University and scored 2,548 points over three seasons (77 games).


Mario Elie
Follow me on Twitter @marioelie1
Rockets Contributor

Houston Rockets fans remember the “Junkyard Dog” from the back-to-back NBA Championships in the mid-nineties. Mario Elie had the reputation as a tough defender, fierce competitor and accurate outside shooter. His “Kiss of death” shot with seconds remaining in game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals is one of the top plays in Houston Rockets history.

Elie spent five of his eleven seasons in the NBA with the Rockets. Following his years in Houston, he went to San Antonio where he would win another NBA Championship with the Spurs.  Eli moved into coaching shortly after retiring as a player. He worked as an assistant on seven teams over eleven years.  Recently, Elie has worked with ROOT Sports and AT&T SportsNet as studio analyst for Houston Rockets games.

Mario lives in Houston with his wife and three children.