DETROIT -- Tigers play-by-play man Mario Impemba earned some well-deserved recognition Tuesday, when members of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association voted him the Michigan Sportscaster of the Year.
It's the first Michigan honor for Impemba, who's celebrating a decade behind the microphone as the Tigers' television voice on Fox Sports Detroit broadcasts.
Impemba, a Sterling Heights native and Michigan State University graduate, came home to the Tigers in 2002 to work alongside then-analyst Kirk Gibson in the booth following seven seasons in Southern California broadcasting Angels games. A year later, he teamed up with Rod Allen and watched many of the Tigers' 119 losses. Most Tigers games were on TV back then, but not all.
The Tigers have changed vastly since then, as have the broadcasts. Impemba has been the constant, a welcome presence for Tigers fans and a respected voice at the ballpark, making his mark in the rich history of Tigers broadcasts. He made the jump last summer for a few FOX network broadcasts involving the Tigers, and he has added basketball to his offseason work as the voice of Oakland University hoops on radio and television.
Impemba won a Michigan Emmy in 2006 for Sports Play-by-Play as he chronicled the Tigers' run to their first postseason berth in 19 years.
The NSSA will recognize its state winners along with National Sportscaster of the Year Dan Shulman and National Sportswriter of the Year Joe Posnanski at the organization's annual awards banquet on Monday, June 11, in Salisbury, N.C. The date is an off-day for the Tigers between Interleague series against the Reds and Cubs.