By Greg Gielczyk
LUDINGTON–Todd “Scoop” Hansen is probably best known as the radio voice of Ludington High School sports, but it has been quite a journey that started when he joined the U.S. Navy when he was still in high school.
He is an unabashed homer for his alma mater – which comes through loud and clear during his broadcasts. He confesses to bleed Oriole orange and black, which started his journalism career in the service.
“I joined the Navy actually in late April of 1984 on the delayed entry program although I was a senior at Ludington High,” Hansen, 57, related during a lunchtime interview. “I went on active duty in August of 1984.
“My whole company were graduates from Michigan, and we were sworn in behind home plate at Tiger Stadium (in Detroit). The great memory about that is ’84 was the last time the Tigers won the World Series.”
“The Tigers were playing the Angels that night, and I remember very well Dan Petry outdueled Tommy John,” he said. “Kirk Gibson was the Tiger rightfielder, and we were sitting right there in the first two rows of the lower deck.”
Hansen added that Gibson turned and saluted the group a couple of times during the game.
Ludington Orioles Varsity Baseball Team Manager Sam “Lightning” LaDuke and Bench Coach Todd “Scoop” Hansen on May 8, 2017 at Fifth Third Ballpark prior to the start of the O’s game against the Spring Lake Lakers. The O’s would comeback to win 5-4 in a thrill
“I enjoyed hitting more than getting hit,” said Hansen, who was 5-10 and 150 pounds.
Following a tour of duty with print media, Hansen – who retired from the Navy in 2004 — went through the Support Information Entertainment course and then did a voice audition, but didn’t land a broadcasting assignment.
Hansen received orders from the Navy Public Affairs Center in Norfolk, Va. and spent 3 years there doing feature stories on sailors and Marines which were then sent out to their hometown newspapers.
“They would send us to Europe, and up and down the East Coast,” Hansen said. “That was pretty neat. I went on a seven-week European assignment.
“I went to Scotland, England and over to Belgium. A lot of memorable times there. After that I went over to Iceland for my one and only tour in broadcast journalism. It was a year and a half tour, but I loved it so much I extended it so I was up there 42 months.”
For 38 of those months, Hansen worked as a radio program director. He also did the morning show, as well as the afternoon show on various shifts.
After a tour in California, he was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Bataan, a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship (the last of three ships he served aboard) and was the ship’s journalist for 3 years, and ran the ship’s closed circuit television, in charge of programming the ship’s 24-hour movie channels.
“I got a nice dose of everything that a Navy journalist can do while aboard the Bataan,” Hansen said. “After the Bataan, I had 22 months left and I went to Great Lakes and the U.S. Navy Processing Command Headquarters.
“It was a wonderful career, saw a lot of the world, made a lot of great friends. For the most part, I really enjoyed my time,” he said. “Didn’t make my six-month deployment until I was on the Bataan, and made a seven-month deployment after 911, when we went to Afghanistan.
He did write an occasional column for the LDN.
What did happen was Hansen was hired as the first non-singing entertainer aboard the Badger car ferry, telling his self-admitted “cheesy jokes.”
This year will be his 19th aboard the Badger, where he has been entertainment director for a number of years and has enjoyed meeting people from every state in the Union.
He hooked up with WKLA in 2011 doing Oriole football when the late Rod Beckman began having health issues, and then in 2012, did seven games before taking over completely in the 2013 basketball season, doing the play-by-play announcing for both girls and boys for WMOM 102.7.
WMOM went off the air for a year in the spring of 2019 and boys basketball coach Thad Shank called asking if Hansen would do the broadcasts for Oriole Sports Network.
He’s also in his ninth year as an assistant baseball coach for the Orioles.
“There have been some pretty memorable games since I’ve been doing the football and basketball games,” said Hansen. “One that really comes to mind right off the bat is the 2017 Class B state semifinals in boys basketball.”
While in Monterey, California with my boss at the time … Army Col. Daniel Devlin
“I’d like to do the play-by-play for many more years,” Hansen said. “The other great thing is meeting the athletes as they come up. I remember when I first started this one of the coaches came up to me and says ‘Scoop, to get to know the student-athletes. Talk with them. Don’t just show up at the games.’
“One of the more popular things we do is the Ludington Oriole Player in the Spotlight, where I ask all these questions that range from favorite teacher in school to favorite flavor ice cream, to favorite food your mom or dad prepares.”
Hansen’s wife, Michelle, was an All-State softball player at Mason County Eastern, and also played basketball and volleyball for the Cardinals.