I am not even sure which exact year it took place. I think it was the 2005 or maybe the 2006 season. But it was in Staten Island, N.Y., one night where I got to share a broadcast booth for a while with Keith Olbermann.
Yes, this is another one of Steve’s minor league stories.
I was broadcasting Aberdeen IronBirds games and the Birds were on the road playing in the beautiful Richmond County Bank Ballpark against the Staten Island Yankees.
The park provided an amazing view of Manhatten and it was remarkable to see on a clear night. I digress, but the view is amazing there from the press box.
Anyway, that night, Olbermann threw out the first pitch. I thought it was a long shot, but I asked someone with Staten Island if they could ask Olbermann to come sit in on my broadcast for a few minutes during the game.
Not only did he show up not long after that, but he stayed for several innings and could not have been nicer or more engaging. He told some wonderful stories and I almost forgot I was supposed to be broadcasting a game.
He talked of his time on “SportsCenter,” his fondness for IronBirds owner Cal Ripken, his love of baseball and how sportscasters make good breaking news reporters, like Al Micheals during the 1989 World Series earthquake.
He did all this for someone he didn’t even know, but it was real fun and somewhere, in a box, I’m pretty sure I still have that tape.
I thought of this story with the news this weekend that Olbermann is leaving his MSNBC job a few years after ESPN booted him to the curb. He reportedly had a $30 million contract, so he’s going to be fine, I’m sure, and will turn up somewhere else on the air.
I see Olbermann as amazingly intelligent, a remarkable writer and broadcaster, and a pretty savvy baseball guy.
I try to forget that he likes the Yankees.
By the way, politics won’t enter into this blog. No matter what anyone feels about his political reporting and leanings, this is just about a national broadcaster being real nice one night to someone he didn’t even know. (Please, no comments mentioning politics, let’s leave that for other Web sites and message boards.)
I have met a lot of nice people who are nationally known over the years. It is a nice perk of this job.
Olbermann may be a millionaire and was a big shot on the big show with Dan Patrick at one time. But I remember the night we were just two guys sitting at a ballgame talking sports and having a heckuva good time.