Mike Parker has been the “Voice of the Beavers” for nearly a dozen years. In fact, he’s so thoroughly become a part of the OSU experience that it’s hard to remember that, shhh, he was actually a Duck before he came here.
However, if anyone has truly been able to cross over to the orange side, it’s been Parker, who was given the OSU Alumni Association’s “Honorary Alumni Award,” in April. Coach Pat Casey has called Parker “un-chartable” in his overwhelming passion for OSU, and in a video honoring Parker at the OSU Orange and Black event last month in Portland, Coach Mike Riley said, “If anybody is Oregon State, Mike Parker is.”
Sportscaster and commentator, Parker doesn’t just call the games, he does extensive researcher each year on the teams he covers, demonstrating a thorough and complex understanding of Beaver sports. His enthusiasm for sportscasting started very early, as he shared with an audience of more than 400 at the Corvallis Boys and Girls Club last week during a fundraising breakfast.
As a 10-year-old sitting in the dugout during baseball games, Parker started calling out plays on the field until teammates told him to be quiet.
“I practiced the craft of play-by-play,” he said. Realizing that perhaps he might not be the next Ted Williams, Parker focused instead on honing his sportscaster skills.
“My parents got me a little tape recorder and a black and white TV,” Parker said, so he’d sit up in his room watching games on television and recording himself. He credits family support for helping him follow his dreams.
“That wouldn’t have happened if my parents hadn’t seen that that’s what I liked to do,” he said.
Parker, a father himself, strongly encourages parents to support their children’s dreams, which is why he was a keynote speaker for the Boys & Girls Club event.
Parker has seen bowl games and World Series wins during his time as the Voice of the Beavers, and said he’s looking forward to what the future of OSU sports brings.
“It’s been an awesome run,” he said.
~ Theresa Hogue