The United States has one of the biggest sports communities on earth which includes baseball, a sport with national popularity and history that makes it one of the cultural attributes of the country. Helping to maintain the influence and popularity of this sport is Heidi Watney, who is a sportscaster for the Major League Baseball (MLB) Network.
Fans and viewers of the MLB Network certainly know Watney who has been working for the network since 2012 in different capacities as a reporter and a host. Before she joined the network, she worked as a sports anchor with other media houses. Today, Heidi is one of the top names in sports journalism, particularly in baseball.
Her Background Prepared Her for Sports Broadcasting
Female sportscasters are a rare sight in sports journalism but Heidi Watney has been involved with sports all her life, so much that a lifetime of reporting on it after she retired from active competition was a logical step.
Following her birth on the 19th of May 1981 to Mike Watney and Paula Watney, Heidi grew up in a household with a great affinity for sports. Her father worked as a golf coach. He began working just two years before she was born and went on to coach Fresno State men’s golf team for thirty-five years before he retired in 2013. Heidi is one of the four children born to her parents; she has a brother named Josh and two sisters named Kelly and Dutch.
Josh is the vice president of Relation Insurance Services and Ascension Insurance; he followed the footsteps of his father who played golf in college by playing golf during his time at California State University, Fresno after joining the university on a golf scholarship. Also, her older sister Kelly went to college on a volleyball scholarship and is currently the head of women’s volleyball coach at Fresno Pacific University.
Heidi picked up her family’s love for sports and began to participate in sporting activities, starting at the high school level at Clovis West High School. She participated in diving, gymnastics, hurdles, and was also a cheerleader. She was among those who were able to combine their sports commitment with their academics and this resulted in a National Merit Scholar award that eventually earned her a scholarship to attend the University of San Diego.
Heidi Watney’s ability to combine two different things did not end in high school as she was able to combine her academics with activities such as the Miss California beauty pageant, finishing as a runner-up several times between 2000 and 2003.
Heidi Watney Began Her Career with Kusi News
The gifted journalist has harnessed her skills in sports journalism with many years of perseverance and endurance. Following her graduation with honors in 2003, Heidi Watney began her career as a sports reporter and assistant producer at KUSI News, San Diego, California.
After working a couple of months at KUSI News, she got a chance to advance her career and gain some experience by joining ESPN Radio 1430 KFIG as a sports talk show host. She managed to combine this role with a weekend gig as a sports anchor for KMPH-TV, giving her a chance to work on both radio and television. She eventually came to the limelight following her recruitment by New England Sports Network (NESN).
Her Time at New England Sports Network
After the experience garnered from her first three roles, she joined NESN as an on-field reporter for the Boston Red Sox in 2008. She also hosted two shows for the network, The Red Sox Report and The Ultimate Red Sox Show.
While at NESN, Heidi Watney joined Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo in providing live in-game updates on the network’s baseball coverage. She also served as a reporter for their pre-game and post-game show that was anchored by Tom Caron and his rotating cast of studio analysts; reporting stories and breaking news from the ballpark. Her other duties included conducting interviews with coaches and players.
She worked for NESN from 2008 to 2011 when she got a bigger opportunity to work for Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, where she covered the Major League Soccer team, Los Angeles Galaxy.
Making a Big Leap to MLB Network
The talented journalist didn’t spend a lot of time working for the Time Warner Cable Sportsnet as her talent saw her join the MLB Network in September 2012. This progression brought about her meteoric rise to stardom. She has worked for the MLB Network since 2012 as a host and an on-field reporter.
As a host, Heidi Watney has been hosting the show Quick Pitch since 2013. During the regular season, she works as the host of the weeknight baseball highlight show and during the off-season, as a contributor to Hot Stove, an all-baseball morning show. She has also worked across various stadia in America as a reporter for the network.
The adept sports broadcaster has seen continuous growth in her career both in terms of her position and her finances. For the latter, she has been able to garner a net worth in the region of $4 million, the bulk of which is believed to have been earned from her time at MLB Network. MLB employees pocket an average salary of $88,462 per annum and the comely journalist reportedly earns an annual salary of $250,000, including bonuses. She also rakes up substantial earnings from her ads and endorsement deals with top brands which include Nike.
Heidi Watney Is Married to Mike Wickham
Heidi Watney is married to Mike Wickham. The sportscaster has been married to Mike since 2014; they got married on the 31st of December 2014. The beautiful wedding was held in Edgewater, New Jersey before they headed off to Bora Bora where the newly wedded couple got to dip their feet in the sand and take amazing pictures along the beach.
Mike Wickham is also deeply involved in sports, baseball in particular. He is the Director of Baseball Operations at Miami Marlins LLC. A graduate of North Pack University, he studied Accounting.
Their marriage has been blessed with a child, a boy named Jax who was born on April 26, 2018. The couple is enjoying marital bliss together. Before Heidi Watney fell in love with Mike Wickham, she had been in a couple of relationships with sports stars, including Jacob Edward Peavy, Jason Varitek, and Nick Green.