This summer I am working as the play-by-play broadcast intern for the Lexington County Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League (CPL). The Coastal Plain League is a summer baseball league for premier college players to gain experience in the grind of everyday baseball while honing their skills and attempting to draw the attention of scouts for future contracts. Leagues like this one are all over the country, with varying degrees of size and talent level, but the CPL is located primarily in the Carolinas and is one of the top 2-3 leagues in the nation.
While I’ve been around baseball as a player or coach since I was about five years old, this was my first summer stepping away from the ballfield and into the front office. It was also my first endeavor into baseball broadcasting. While I do the play-by-play for fall and winter sports at Mary Washington, being a member of the UMW Baseball team prevents and excludes me from calling my own games. I was certainly prepared for the jump, but reminding myself that I was no longer a player and had obligations to the team and the owner beyond going out and throwing strikes was certainly an adjustment.
The length of the days has been the hardest part for me to get used to. We have eight general interns who set up the stadium, clean everything, run the concession stand, and other all-around tasks. While I get the same zero dollar salary as the rest of them, my role is exclusive to the press box and duties around that, unless they get overwhelmed and I’m called in to help. But because I’m still an intern, I’m in every day at 11 AM as long as there’s a home game. This has been a little frustrating, as I generally finish my primary pregame task (updating game notes) within the first hour. Since I’ve learned most opposing teams either don’t send broadcasters on the road, or said broadcasters don’t have sufficient game notes, I spend a decent bit more time researching the team the Blowfish are playing that night.
Most of my work gets going around 5:30, once we get lineups from both sides. Then it’s a rapid fire run of distributing those lineups around the staff, organizing opposing information, and of course, broadcasting the game. Road games are a different beast. I’ll come into the office to update and print my own notes, and then travel with the team on the bus, researching on the way. Troubleshooting problems with the radio remotely has been a challenge, but I’m loving calling baseball and am absolutely certain that making my way down to South Carolina for the summer was the right call for me.