I opened the door to the press box that sat on top of the stands, the hot and humid room smelled of body order, there were nine mid 20 somethings that looked over. No one asked me who I was or what I was doing. I took possession of the chair by the door, it was the only spot left, I set up my equipment, I wasn’t going to be able to write.
I was nervous for some reason, I was here for the guys in the press box, record them as they dictated the show that was happening on the field and in the stands. The Kingfish announcer was at one end and the Kalamazoo radio play by play guy on the other and directly in front of me.
The public address guy was in the middle next to the official scorer, the PA guy might be early to mid 30s, he had an ease about him; he has done this before, this was the 2nd game of the season but this wasn’t his 2nd game.
There was a camera guy between the PA and Kingfish announcer, he looked at me a few times, I was waiting for him to ask me who I was, for whatever reason he didn’t, the guy between the official scorer and the Kalamazoo announcer was working the scoreboard, he seemed nervous, like it was his 2nd game.
There were 3 guys directly to my left, the guy closest was producing the TV or Internet broadcast, he was excitable he kept calling out the cameras and complimenting the operators, he was easy to like, he kept spitting seeds. The guy next to him was assisting, the 3rd, I never figured out what he was doing on his computer.
One guy kept coming into the booth to tell the announcer and scoreboard operator what was going to happen between innings, he also shook my hand but never told me who he was, he brought burgers and hot dogs for everyone late in the game, I didn’t take one, these boys needed their free meal.
During the 2nd inning I went around the ballpark and recorded all the sights and sounds, it was a perfect night for baseball, mid 80s, slight breeze, excitable crowd of 3500, half being kids. The smell of the press box got me again when I walked back in, I tripped a little from the carpet that was tore up. I took a couple of pictures, I was smiling the entire game.
I heard the Kingfish play by play guy tell his audience that like the players, all the guys in booth were trying to get to the next level. I wanted to tell him to soak this in, this is baseball, the grind of the day to day, the excitement of the new season, Kenosha is special, it has moxy, it isn’t sterile.
I kept listening to the Growlers announcer in front of me, I liked his voice and how he announced the game, I couldn’t see the batters box, when the pitcher released the ball I waited for the crack of the bat when I didn’t hear anything I tuned in to the announcers. They were young Vin Scully’s I thought, serious unlike Uecker.
When the game ended, I packed up my gear, the Growlers announcer shook my hand and asked who I was, I told him I was the Baseball Buddha, he asked if I was on Twitter, he followed me, I followed him, I believe he will go far, this is the baseball I love. I enjoy being in the MLB press box but I forget what it took to get there, the guys in the Kingfish box reminded me, soak it all in, the season goes fast, seasons go fast.
Please follow my podcast Ballpark Confidential and subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear more of the press box and see the great show the Kenosha Kingfish put on, these will be available in a couple of weeks, subscribe to the Baseball Buddha Newsletter, it should have popped up. Check out the Baseball Buddha T-Shirts and support SwingJuice!