Dewayne Staats is a sports broadcaster who has worked with the Tampa Bay Rays since the team’s founding in 1998,
Throughout his 40-year career, Staats has worked as a broadcaster for a number of clubs.
When Staats was young, he relocated from Advance, Missouri to the town of Wood River, near St. Louis. St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts with Harry Caray and Jack Buck were a staple in Staats’ life.
In 1975, he received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. After interning at KMOX in St. Louis and reporting on high school sports for numerous local small-town radio stations, he began his broadcasting career as a sports reporter for SIUE radio station WSIE.
While a student at SIUE, Staats began announcing professional baseball for the Oklahoma City 89ers (1973–74). Prior to joining the Rays in their debut season in 1998, he worked for the Houston Astros from 1977 to 1984, Houston Cubs from 1985 to 1989, New York Yankees from 1990 to 1994, and ESPN from 1995 to 1996. After graduating, he was sports director at KPLR-TV in St. Louis (1975–76).
Staats called the Cubs’ first night game in Wrigley Field history alongside Steve Stone on August 8, 1988, despite the game being postponed due to a rainstorm.
A Major Club Baseball announcer for thirty years, Staats reached a landmark on June 22, 2010, when he announced his 5000th game for the league.
During his time at ESPN, Staats worked as an announcer for both college football and basketball.
SIUE’s Mass Communications Department created the Dewayne Staats Award for Broadcast Journalism in 2008, and it has been awarded annually thereafter. “Recognizes a student who exemplifies Staats’s enthusiasm for sports and who demonstrates the writing, announcing, and analytical talents needed to flourish in the area of Sports Journalism. As Distinguished Alumnus of the Year at SIUE in 1987, he received the award. As an SIUE alumnus in 2006, he was inducted into the SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
The Ford C. Frick Award, which is the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasters, has been nominated for Staats many times since 2008.
From the Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Staats and his broadcast team have earned many local Emmy awards.