Student Advisory Board Member
Every kid growing up playing baseball dreams of that one phone call.
It's the phone call that gets that kid who worked his whole life for that moment. The phone call that give him a chance to showcase his talents on the big stage.
The phone call that gets him to the majors.
I played baseball growing up. I loved diving around the yard pretending to be former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson. The only problem was that I couldn't hit the ball. I didn't even have the right instincts to know that I was supposed to jump out of the way of a 60 MPH fastball heading towards my hip. The first two pitches I saw during batting practice plunked me right there.
No, I couldn't hit well, I gave up a home run in my only pitching appearance, and sometimes I let the ball roll past me in right field.
I loved the game. I loved playing wiffle ball in my backyard and diving all over the place for ground balls. I loved playing MLB The Show on my PlayStation as I listened to Matt Vasgersian call the games while occasionally muting the TV to to play-by-play myself.
It was evident early on that I wasn't going to play baseball for the rest of my life, let alone into my high school years. I wanted to be behind the scenes. I wanted to work in baseball in some capacity.
Almost everyone who wants a job in the Major Leagues has to go through the Minor Leagues. Broadcasters usually find it difficult to jump from the minors to the majors. I realized play-by-play was probably not the way to go.
Last year, I made the trip to the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego. There, I landed my first job in baseball - my first job period, actually - with the West Virginia Power.
I spent the summer in Charleston, W.V. working for the Pirates' class-A affiliate as a production intern. I did everything from picking up trash, to pulling tarp, to making highlight videos every night. I did it all and I loved it.
I went back to the Winter Meetings this past December in Nashville. I planned on applying to more Minor League teams, trying to land another summer internship with a different Minor League team somewhere in the country.
But deep down, I wanted something more. I wanted to go to the Major Leagues.
After a successful trip to Nashville, I packed my bags and went home for winter break.
I subscribed to get email alerts when the Pirates posted a new job. The team posted their media relations internship Dec. 18 and I applied that day. I later learned they received over 100 applications in the week that the application was open.
I received an email the Friday before I went back to Point Park to begin my spring semester that the Pirates wanted to interview me for the position. I went in that first Wednesday back for my interview.
Dan Hart, the Media Relations Director for the Pirates, is a Point Park alum and a former intern of Center Co-Founder Tom McMillan. He was the one interviewing me for the position.
The interview lasted for around an hour and a half and was more conversational that question and answer. He told me at the end that even if I wasn't picked, I was on the right track. I felt good about the interview, and was told I would hear of a decision before February 14.
Two weeks went by without hearing anything. I moved on with my day-to-day routine and tried to not think too much about it.
Then, last Friday, I just arrived to my work study job in the TV Studio. Shortly after 11:00, Dan texted me and asked that I give him a call. My heart began racing and I was shaking. I walked out of the office and went into the studio's green room for the phone call.
We small talked about Lawrence Hall and the Monongahela River. Finally, he asked me where I was living this summer. I told him I was playing a few things by ear and wasn't sure yet.
"Let me take one thing off your list to play by ear," he said. "I want you in the big leagues this year."
I couldn't get anything out of my mouth for a couple seconds and then finally just said, "thank you."
I imagine my feeling during that phone call is similar to that of ball players. I called my mom and dad to let them know that I would be staying in Pittsburgh for the summer. I told my friends and Mike, Tom and Kelsey from The Center. I was ecstatic.
I received my call-up to the big leagues as a sophomore at a small private university in Pittsburgh. What a feeling that was. Now, it's time to make my mark on the big league stage.
I'm not on the mound, in the box, or in right field like some kids dream about. But I'm living my own dream. I'm now a Pittsburgh Pirate.