It may only be February, but for all the voices of our national pastime who are motivated to make their broadcasts great, now is the time to begin preparing for the long baseball season.
After I read The Baseball Thesaurus by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler in 2013, I wished it was 1992 again and I was back on the air doing American Legion baseball in McPherson, KS.
Here are two things you can work on now that will improve your baseball play-by-play:
1. Vary your vocabulary
One of the challenges I faced broadcasting baseball was coming up with different ways to say common baseball words and phrases.
Instead of always saying “ground ball,” I could have used ant-killer, bug-bruiser, daisy clipper, gopher hunter or grass trimmer. It would have made my broadcasts more entertaining for my audience and me.
Jesse’s book even offers different ways to describe a sharp ground ball versus a weakly hit grounder. Lord knows I hit countless bleeders, rubbers, tricklers and wrigglers during my Little League career.
2. Spin a good story
Baseball naturally lends itself to storytelling more than any sport.
Imagine you’re doing a game and a batter is fouling off a bunch of pitches. You then tell the story of when Chicago White Sox ownership decided that baseballs were expensive enough that the club was no longer going to let fans keep foul balls. In protest, Sox’ shortstop Luke Appling intentionally fouled off a ton of pitches over the next several games until ownership relented.
There are plenty of anecdotes in The Baseball Thesaurus – tons of quick interesting facts you can share with your listeners to make your baseball broadcasts more unique and interesting.