Rusty Ensor, the former Tennessee baseball player who has spent the last 20 years as a TV color analyst for Tennessee and collegiate baseball, is officially retiring from the sport’s broadcast booth.
In an exclusive interview with Fox Sports Knoxville, Ensor said that Sunday’s game against Arkansas was the final game that he would broadcast.
“I didn’t tell Bob [Kesling] until we went off the air on Sunday,” Ensor said. “We went off the air, I took my headset off, I looked at him, and I said, ‘Bob, this is it. That was my last game.’”
Ensor’s broadcasting career is one of remarkable triumph. 20 years after his first broadcast, Ensor’s career has taken him all over the SEC and the baseball world. He has also been a part of 13 SEC tournaments and 12 NCAA regional tournaments. And with each moment and each place comes a special memory.
“I did it for 20 years,” said Ensor to Fox Sports Knoxville. “In 2001, Kesling called me and said ‘Hey, there’s a new sports channel called Comcast Sports Southeast, and they want to televise Tennessee and Arizona State.’ He goes, ‘Do you want to do that with me?” and I said, ‘Yeah, that sounds like fun!’”
And the rest was history.
To take something that just sounded like a fun time and turn it into an extended 20-year career showed the dedication that Ensor has always brought during his time in the sport. And the love of the game that has overflowed into all of his broadcasts.
A staple of Tennessee baseball during the last 20 years, Ensor has captured the attention of fans over and over with his impressive knowledge of the game. But what Ensor did so well for the fan at home was his ability to translate some of the more confusing, high-level baseball jargon into information the fan could easily understand while casually watching the game.
Speaking of the fan at home, that’s the next step for the now-former broadcaster. Ensor said that he is looking forward to watching the games from now on in a little bit of a different, and hopefully more relaxed, atmosphere.
“A lot of people that I’ve told [about the retirement] have said, ‘I can’t believe you’re leaving now, they’re just getting good,’” said Ensor. “And I’ve said, ‘I mean that’s a good point, but you know what I want to do? I want to go watch them play as a fan!’”.
So at your next Tennessee baseball game, take a quick look in the stands, or by The Porch, for Rusty Ensor, the fan, to say hello to. And be sure to thank Rusty Ensor, the former broadcaster and player, for all the work he did for the University of Tennessee baseball team.