NORFOLK, VA–Sitting here in the press box at Harbor Park, looking out to the field, watching the G-Braves take batting practice makes me think how lucky I am to be doing the thing I love the most: baseball. But what makes this even more special is being able to broadcast the games in the information age.
My first year of minor league baseball was 1981. Fresh out of college, looking to begin my journey to the major leagues I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. The bus rides (and the bus, itself) were horrible. The hotel rooms on the road were sub-par, and the press boxes and broadcast booths were in terrible shape. They quickly made me realize how far away I was from by dream.
But that all paled in comparison to the lack of information and stats that we had at our disposal. Basically, we had none. The South Atlantic League back in 1981 only published stats once a week. Many times, there was never a roster provided. And many times, I just made up stuff to talk about (a skill that helped me years later in Pro Wrestling).
I tell you this not to make you feel sorry for poor ole Tony Schiavone. I tell you this to remind you (and myself) how wonderful it is to be doing G-Braves baseball in this era. The internet is an incredible tool. I can find information on just about every player I see with a click of the mouse. I can keep up with scores from all over in many different leagues. Back in 1981, the scores were provided on a long yellow ribbon called SPORTSTICKER. It printed out the inning by inning score and you kind of had to add up the score in your head to see who was winning or losing.
But more than that, I feel that radio is the single finest medium for baseball ever created. This is a leisurely game. And the pace works well for our industry. I do 144 regular season games a year, and each and every day I get such a rush to be able to do the broadcast. I feel a real connection to the greats before me. Because what made them great is not that they did the game on television, but that they did the game on radio. They “described” the action.
So how can I lose? Mounds of information, great accommodations, and getting PAID to watch a baseball game. George Bailey was right, this is a wonderful life!