09 April 2015

Fifth time's the charm: baseball season is finally here!

I was excited to call a lot of college baseball and softball this year. I love college baseball, I thought I could easily embrace college softball, and I was looking forward to improving in a new area.

That has proved to be far more difficult than expected.

You see, the weather in New York (and much of the country, of course) has been awful. When I finally opened an NEC Front Row broadcast at LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday, it was the first time I got to call any baseball or softball this year on my FIFTH attempt.

Not cool at all. Here's how I went 0-for-4:

0-1: March 18 - LIU Brooklyn vs. St. John's baseball game cancelled due to field conditions.
0-2: March 21 - Two different flights out of La Guardia get cancelled during a snowstorm, and the SEC Network has to plan without me for my only scheduled college softball game. A big letdown. Missed a great game, too.
0-3: March 25 - I'm on hand to call LIU Brooklyn vs. NYIT baseball, but as the forecast grows steadily worse, it is correctly decided that we cannot do our broadcast because the rain could damage the equipment. The game goes ahead in nasty conditions, and I leave after two hours and five innings, barely able to feel my feet.
0-4: April 7 - As on March 25, the LIU Brooklyn vs. St. John's baseball game happens, but once again, rain prohibits us from broadcasting. This time I stay warm at home and follow online.

So I finally got on the air on Wednesday in LIU Brooklyn's 13-5 loss to Iona, and while it was cold and windy, we had no rain to speak of. I've got more baseball on tap throughout April and into May (starting this weekend with two games of what should be an excellent St. John's-Seton Hall series), and I'm looking forward to some warmer, springier days at the ballpark!

Calling a game at LIU is a pretty unique experience. The field is an enormous rectangle of artificial turf that has a baseball diamond in one corner, softball diamond in the next corner over, and loads of space for soccer and lacrosse up to the other two corners. With a temporary fence and all sorts of screens, overhangs, and ground rules, you never know exactly how a ball is going to play in the outfield.

I called Wednesday's game from a table adjacent to the LIU Brooklyn dugout, underneath the main rows of elevated bleachers and just to the right of home plate. It makes seeing the right-field corner just about impossible, but the trade-off is that you really feel like a part of the dugout chatter!

At any rate, great to be calling baseball again, and I'm looking forward to seeing how all these Northeastern teams, something of a mystery to me in my Rice days, fare throughout the season.

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