Reflection in an Odd Time


Spring break is usually a mixture of a beach, pool, sunglasses and sunscreen for me. This year, I was still applying sunscreen, but in a much different setting. The Grapefruit League spring training was incredibly fun to cover, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to participate. My schedule had me running up and down the central west coast of Florida to cover the Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Twins and Blue Jays.

I never thought I’d be someone to attend a baseball game by myself – especially while taking notes on every foul ball and error, base hit and home run. The game coverage was incredibly fun, and I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk with team employees, life long fans and some incredible players.

Each stadium had its own feel: every crowd was different but each fan was ready to cheer on their team, despite it being just the start of the season.

We were incredibly lucky to be allowed at these games and to interview staff and players prior to isolation practices caused by the novel COVID-19 virus. Due to the delay of the season and the hold on spring training, I am beyond happy that I got to experience as much baseball in-person as I did.

My advice for anyone doing this in the future:

Always have a notebook and an EXTRA pen.

Bring cash – you’ll say you’re not going to get a hot dog, but trust me. You will.

Thank the stadium staff. They’re the glue that holds it all together!

Take your time deciding on an angle for a story. Write down everything and then delete, edit and adjust from there.

Treat players and staff with professionalism and kindness, and they will respond the same way.

Don’t get down if you can’t get credentials. Use that to find a unique angle for a story!

Have fun & enjoy the sunshine (and BRING SUNSCREEN!)

About Lillie Shipley

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