Steiner, 55, is best known nationally for his 14 years at ESPN, where he served as a SportsCenter anchor, baseball and football commentator, and baseball and boxing reporter. Steiner comes to the Dodgers after three seasons on New York Yankee broadcasts for WCBS Radio and the YES network.
"From the first time I heard Vin's (Scully) voice, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, this is all I ever wanted to do," Steiner said. "My dad took me to my first game at Ebbets Field, and I was instantly hooked. In so many ways, this is like coming home for me - but I had to travel across the country to get here. It's a great honor to become a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers."
"Charley's vast experience, his wealth of knowledge, his excellent repartee with his on-air partners, and his passion for the game will be great additions to the finest broadcasts in all of baseball," said Los Angeles Dodgers Executive Vice President Lon Rosen.
The Dodgers are reconfiguring their English-language broadcast booth for the 2005. Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, entering his 56th season as the "Voice of the Dodgers," will continue to work solo in broadcasting games. Steiner will join former Dodger Rick Monday, who will begin his 12th season with the team in 2005, as the core of the new two-man booth. The Dodgers continue to evaluate baseball analysts and announcements will be forthcoming.
Born in New York, Steiner vividly recalls listening to Brooklyn games on the radio, kindling a lifelong affection for the Dodgers and, in particular, the men that called Dodger games. In author Peter Golenbock's 1984 book, "Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers," Steiner discussed his earliest memories of baseball broadcasting.
"The first time I listened to a Dodger game, I was about six years old," Steiner said in "Bums." "It was listening to the play-by-play that first got me interested in radio. My childhood dream, I can tell you without equivocation, was to be the play-by-play announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers. What I would have given to join Vin Scully, Al Helfer and Jerry Doggett in the booth!"
Forty-nine years and three thousand miles later, Steiner is finally achieving his boyhood dream. Steiner works from a basic philosophy not unlike those of his broadcast heroes - engage the listener with comfort and ease.
"Whatever success I've had in calling baseball games, I like to think it's because I've been very much like a comfortable old brown shoe," Steiner said. "Over 162 games, plus spring training and playoffs, you have to wear well. You might look good with pointy shoes for one day, but you can't go through an entire season with them. I'm looking to create a comfortable fit and, if I can do that, mission accomplished."
Steiner's responsibilities at ESPN ranged from anchoring SportsCenter to working play-by-play for Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio. He was also a frequent play-by-play commentator for ESPN Major League Baseball broadcasts and ESPN2's Saturday Primetime college football contests. He served as SportsCenter's primary boxing reporter/analyst, as well as contributing to the Emmy and CableACE Award-winning Outside the Line series. His nationally-acclaimed coverage of the Mike Tyson trial in Indianapolis earned him a Clarion award.
Steiner has had recent audio experience with the Dodgers: he provided the reading voice for the books-on-tape version of Jane Leavy's "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy."
Steiner began his professional broadcasting career in 1969 at WIRL Radio in Peoria, Illinois as a newscaster. After a nine-month stint at KSTT Radio in Davenport, Iowa, Steiner moved to Connecticut, where he served as News Director at WAVZ radio in New Haven and, later, at WPOP radio in Hartford.
After a year and a half in Cleveland working at WERE radio and WKYC television as a sportscaster, Steiner moved home to New York, where he worked at WXLO for seven years as the morning sportscaster on the "Rambling with Grambling" show on WOR radio.
In addition, Steiner called the play-by-play for the USFL New Jersey Generals and, later, for the New York Jets on WABC radio. He won the UPI Best Radio Sportscaster award for New York, new Jersey and Connecticut in 1981, 1983 and 1985, and the New York State Broadcasters Award for best radio play-by-play in 1983, '84 and '87 before joining ESPN.
Steiner is a 1971 graduate of Bradley University, where he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1995.