Going into spring training as a media correspondent, I had some small expectations (ie: Everyone is a Mariners fan because, who else would you root for?) but that was it, I was going into this blind as a bat. (No baseball pun intended.)
When I arrived to get my media pass on my first day of my media correspondent job, I got my pass and was told to go to the media booth.
Being a huge Seattle Mariners fan, I had a slight expectation that if you’re a media correspondent for the Mariners, you must also be a fan. Once I walked into the media booth, I was met with a very different picture. There were men behind laptops with headphones in, split screen between the game that was going on in front of them and a March Madness game with simple stone faces. The team would score a run and rather than clapping and cheering on the team, they went to typing. I was tempted to clap and cheer but it was a quiet zone. I soon left the booth as I realized that this isn’t what I would need for my niche in media. I would be needing interviews with players.
My second day, I arrived at 9:30am wearing a nice dress and looking far more confident than the day before. I was confident even when the man at the front desk said, “Just you? Normally I give out stacks of three or four passes to a group.”
I walked my way down the media hallway leading to the clubhouse and into the office of the media managers. I was in the middle of a meeting when I realized who was sitting on the couch behind me… Hall of Fame inductee, Ken Griffey Jr. Now, it says very clearly on my media pass no autographs and in my head I was begging myself to not act starstruck, but when you’re in the same room as a Hall-of-Fame inductee you stutter and you sweat a lot, which he picked up on and later teased me for in an one-on-one conversation.
I started to move to the back offices for my first group interview with manager, Scott Stevalis. I stood in the back of the room behind taller men who all had questions for the man.
Following, I was given the opportunity to interview a few players, who were very down to Earth. Some even sharing stories about how they connect with the small town of Ellensburg. Shawn O’Malley asking, “Is it still beautiful as ever?” Charlie Furbush mentioned the windmills and how awesome it is driving that side of the mountains. These testaments made me smile with pride as we here at the Burg are always reminded that you are more than your zip code.
On my way out of the Mariners clubhouse, I ran into none other than Felix Hernandez, who chatted for a bit and then offered to do a stinger. This left me in awe and thankfulness as I recorded the stinger and allowed the famous pitcher to go on his way as he probably had better things to do.
I walked out into the main lobby with a smile on my face that could be seen for miles, from Peoria to the ever so beautiful Ellensburg.
Like the Rangers game on March 18th, which Kerns pitching, I started off a little rocky, but by the end of the days as a media correspondent, I got my stride and got control of my fast ball.
Featured image credit: Maddie Crisman