This spring break away from home and in the professional work field was a crazy and memorable experience that I won’t ever forget. Apart from getting a decent amount of work done and writing interesting articles, I was also able to have a ton of fun with people who I otherwise not have connected with outside of school.
The atmosphere at the beginning of a baseball season is unparalleled, partially because of the beginning of the spring season in Florida. Things are starting to warm up in Florida a bit and the excitement of young prospects trying to get their careers rolling creates a buzz that’s impossible not to feel. And exploring the ballparks and their differences was really eye-opening from an aesthetic perspective. The first park – Steinbrenner Field – where we watched the Yankees take on the Rays, felt like a smaller version of a major league ballpark, seating over 11,000 people. We went from there to places like Clearwater and Dunedin where the Blue Jays’ and Phillies’ affiliates played and you get a true feel for how minor league parks are built and host events. Those were some of my most enjoyable experiences from the trip, watching the smaller parks fill up with fans and get excited about preseason ball.
Over the week, I wrote a game story for the Phillies-Twins game, as well as a feature piece for the game between the Blue Jays and Rays. That was my favorite piece to write because I got to step away from the stats and workings of the game, and write about an usher who is dedicated to working spring training and enjoys the work he does. It was even more interesting to hear multiple angles and talk to his wife about the love that they shared for baseball. I always look to improve my writing in any way, and while the story wasn’t anything absolutely crazy, it pushed me in the moment to find a story and turn it in the same day, something that I occasionally struggle with.
And of course, the most memorable experience happened on the last day that I took part in the experience. It was a game between the Rays and the Orioles, and I was able to get some reps in the broadcast booth doing play-by-play for the game. It solidified the goal to get into the play-by-play field, just because I had so much fun. It was really, really…dope. I was also able to make connections with other broadcasters and learn some of their tips and tricks, which will be invaluable for future jobs.
And most importantly, chilling with my main homie Eric Esterline and seeing him outside of the class setting. He is a great guy, mentor, and friend and I’ll never forget going out to eat with him and the rest of the crew and just having a good laugh after a long day of watching baseball.
Overall, I had so much fun, and I thank Eric for everything he did for us.