Used to be that most away baseball games were re-created in a radio studio, with tickers providing the plays and announcers providing embellishment. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler brings back the practice this weekend.
Goldberg-Strassler, the voice of the Lansing Lugnuts (Low Class A; Midwest League), annually broadcasts a game via re-creation, and this year’s broadcast is set for Sunday, August 5, with the pregame show starting at 1:55 p.m. Besides being the 91st anniversary of the very first baseball broadcast — Harold Arlin’s KDKA experiment, involving a jerry-rigged mike and a front-row seat at Forbes Field — this will be Goldberg-Strassler’s sixth game re-creation, first performed on assignment in 2005 in Brockton, MA, as an intern; performed via necessity in 2008 in Crestwood in the midst of a no-hitter, and performed as an annual tribute to the original baseball broadcasters ever since he first arrived in Lansing in 2009.
The practice is pretty simple; if you’ve seen Bull Durham you know how it works. Goldberg-Strassler and broadcast assistant Keaton Gillogly will be broadcasting from the Cooley Law School Stadium press box in an area where they can’t see the action on the field (yes, the Lugnuts are at home), with Goldberg-Strassler calling the beginning and end of the game and Gillogly calling the middle three. The pair will send one another messages via computer or, if that doesn’t work, passing slips of paper, relaying the play-by-play in the game in its simplest form (“Ball” or “single”), with the broadcaster creating everything from scratch. There will be mini-bats used to create the *crack* of the bat and a baseball slapped into a glove to simulate a swing and a miss. And, of course, there will canned crowd noise.
If you’re at the game, take a gander: two guys cracking bats and working to ignore the game is sight to be seen. If you want to listen in, check out the team’s Ustream channel.
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