Ellie’s MLB Spring Training Reflection


I had an incredible time covering MLB spring training through this experience. I was able to report on seven games in one week and I’d love to go back and do it all over again.

As a Grapefruit Gator, I learned a lot from professionals working in the industry at the professional level. For example, when a group of us were granted credentials for a Tampa Bay Rays game, we were able to speak to broadcasters, sideline reporters, writers and more. This was such an invaluable experience because everyone offered such unique advice and tips for breaking into the industry.

In addition, I grew my skills in conducting interviews. While I had some prior experience in interviewing athletes on the Gators football and basketball beats, I had never interviewed an athlete one-on-one at the professional level. During this experience I got to speak with Hunter Barco and really improve on my ability to conduct an interview on my own.

The interview with Barco was definitely a highlight of the trip. I’m very grateful to the Pittsburgh Pirates for allowing me to have the access to both Barco and the training facility and practices in order to film additional B-Roll.

Another highlight of the trip was when I did interviews with fans outside of TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. I did the interviews on St.Patrick’s Day and had a wonderful time speaking to Blue Jays and Phillies fans about their expectations for the season.

During this trip, I was also able to get some experience with photography. I really enjoyed bringing my camera into most of the ballparks and getting shots of the game, fans and capturing the various atmospheres that the ballparks presented. This is something I think did well at because I normally do not get a chance to just takes pictures and not worry about live tweeting and writing a game recap at the same time. As a result, I could focus just on photography for some of the games and produce shots I was proud of.

If I could do this experience again, I would probably try to visit some of the other ballparks that I did not get to this time around. I really enjoyed seeing the different ballparks and comparing the fan bases and experiences that each ballpark had.

One struggle was not getting media credentials for some of the games. However, this wasn’t really an obstacle because I had content in mind that I planned on getting regardless of whether or not I was granted media access. This was a strength to this course because we were guided to think of ways to create content without credentials. Having had that in mind, I was prepared to create content without media access and I really enjoyed the content that I was able to make.

One takeaway from this experience for me was how much I enjoy creating digital content. Whether it be photography, videography or social media, this is the area of sports journalism that I enjoy the most. I’m grateful to have gained further experience in all of these areas while covering MLB teams during spring training. Overall, this week was incredible and I had so much fun continuing to grow my skills in the field while traveling to different ballparks.

About Ellie Shreve

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