Experiencing the press box for the first time

I can certainly remember my first time in a major league press box. It was back on May 25, 2009, my first assignment as an intern with MLB.com. I was assigned to cover the Orioles for the rest of the season (or until I found a full-time gig somewhere) and had the rare privilege of spending my summer among the fans at Camden Yards.

A sweet gig, it was.

It’s been more than two years since my first experience, and meanwhile I’ve spent countless days and eaten too many luke warm hot dogs to remember, but it’s a memory that will always be with me.

So for as giddy as I was being a 21-year-old young man fresh out of college in a press box for the first time, it’s hard to imagine the jubilation and utter shock young Connor Smith felt having his opportunity to be a part of the Nationals’ game day experience over the weekend.

Back in August, Connor sent in his application for Kids Run the Show, a day hosted by the Nationals in which kids were not only given access to parts of Nationals Park, but were asked to lend a hand in the game day experience.

There were kids throwing out the first pitch, presenting the lineup card, even announcing the starting lineup for the Nationals’ game against the Mets. Connor, meanwhile, assumed the role of junior Nationals reporter.

Like any good reporter, Connor did his pregame homework, assembling questions for each player in the Nationals clubhouse, because, like any good reporter, you have to be prepared.

After taking in batting practice, Connor headed up to the press box with the other reporters and stepped right into the reporter’s role for the game, enjoying a little press box meal and taking in the pregame show put on by 106.7 “The Fan.”

Then, two innings into the game, Connor got his chance. Slipping into his best Vin Scully, Connor lit up the radio booth in the third inning, helping call the game and answer questions from his co-hosts Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler.

The Nationals wound up losing the game that day, 6-3. But for Connor, it was a chance to capture a glimpse of what life is like for a member of the sports media and just how much work is involved in reporting just a single regular season game.

You can read all about Connor’s adventure here and be sure to be on the lookout for many more opportunities to take part in unique fan experiences in the future.

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