I’ve been to many baseball games in my life. Honestly, baseball is one of my favorite sports to go watch, and that even surprises myself a little bit because of the fact that I love to watch sports where there’s constant action, which isn’t the strength of baseball.
I’ve been to many baseball games, from as small as my brother playing at our local Boys and Girls Club to a few major league games. Some awesome games I’ve had the chance to go see were the Chicago Cubs twice at Wrigley Field, as well as getting to watch the Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. Those were all amazing experiences, but I recently got to do something at a baseball game that was a little out of my comfort zone but by far one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.
I was chosen in my sports journalism class along with another classmate, Ben Swanger, to go to an Arkansas Travelers game. Our names were literally drawn out of a hat. The funny thing is, when it comes to drawings, my name never gets picked. Though, I guess the odds were in my favor for this drawing because my name was the first to be picked, and I’m so glad it was.
Although this sounds like a fun Friday night activity, it was so much more than that. For this game, Ben and I were given media passes for the entire year of 2018. So, on Friday, we took advantage of having access to all parts of Dickey-Stephens Park, from the press box to field level.
The first thing we did when we got to the ballpark about two hours before the game was interview one of the Travelers’ pitchers, Matt Tenuta. While interviewing Tenuta, we found out a few interesting things about him and his baseball career. He was drafted out of high school to play baseball with the Arizona Royals and never went to college to play ball like many advanced high school baseball stars do. In March, he was traded to play with the Travelers, so he was still in the process of adjusting when we spoke to him. Like every minor league baseball player, his hope is to get called up to the major leagues and pursue the ultimate dream. I asked Tenuta what he wanted to do after his baseball career was over, which is a huge deal because all these guys have ever known is baseball, and his current plan is to coach college baseball.
After the interview, we then went back up to the press box and got to sit down with Brooks Kubena from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Kubena told us about all of the things that he did and all of the different sports that he covers. That was very neat because I’ve never gotten the opportunity to talk with someone who covers sports and then submits the stories about two to three hours after the game. I asked him a lot of questions pertaining to what it was like having that type of job and all of his advice was very helpful.
We ended the night by sitting in the press box for the entire game, which was probably my favorite part of the night. I’ve never seen up close how everything was structured and everything the broadcaster does on top of play-by-play on air. It was just awesome to see how they keep stats and keep social media updated the entire game. Seeing all of this really struck my interest with going into a particular part of this field, even if it’s just a second job.
By Jessica Williamson, guest writer