The Chatter

Lisa Salters of ESPN Talks Life in Baltimore and Legendary Sports Career

The well-known broadcaster will be an honored guest at this year’s Casey Cares gala.

Sports fans might recognize Lisa Salters from NFL’s Monday Night Football talking with players like Joe Flacco and NBA games with Lebron James, but her humble beginnings can be traced back to Baltimore in the late 1980s where she got her start on WBAL-TV.  After working in major markets and traveling the globe to cover everything from wars to economics, Salters decided to settle her family in Baltimore.

“I’m from King of Prussia and I wanted to be close to family, but not in Philly,” she said. “I’m really good friends with Jayne Miller and Jan Bledsoe, and they talked me into coming back to Baltimore.”

After reacquainting herself with Baltimore and her Fells Point neighborhood, Salters wanted to settle down here when adopting her son, who is now 5. As a mother, Salters says she’s honored to participate in this Thursday’s Sports Legends Series to benefit the Casey Cares Foundation, which raises money for critically ill children and their families.

She believes that sports have a “universal bond” that can bring people together no matter the background. “I love what I do, so it’s an easy thing to talk about,” she said. “People always want to hear about the athletes—what they’re like, are they jerks, are they nice? When I tell them, they’re all surprised, they’re normal people just like us.”

In past years, honored guests have included Bob Costas, Jim Palmer, Gary Williams, Brooks Robinson, Justin Tucker, and Matt Stover. This year, Salters will be joined by former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who led the Baltimore team to its first Super Bowl.

“With Lisa Salters and Brian Billick, we liked the idea of pairing a Monday Night Football reporter with a Super Bowl coach and having them swap stories from the sidelines of the NFL,” Amy Rosewater, director of communications for Casey Cares, said in an email. “We really like to make sports heroes more accessible for a fun and intimate evening.”

The philosophy of putting a more human face on the world of sports is something that Salters lives by and plans to share on Thursday night.

“It’s not so much about the sports, it’s about the doors that sports have opened for me,” she said. “I have been able to experience different cultures and ways of life and different people. I tell people all the time, it’s about the relationships we build. It could be a really great game, but what I’m going to take away, when I retire eventually, are the people that I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built more than the events.”