Thursday, August 16, 2007

Inning of the year

Tonight was my favorite inning of the year. I had Eric Young, Sr. join me in the booth for the sixth inning. Early in the game, I was worried it would be a really quick inning, because it took 37 minutes to complete the first three innings.

But the baseball and broadcasting gods were smiling down on me. The sixth inning lasted a whopping 34 minutes. We had two pitching changes, a five-run top of the sixth, a run in the bottom of the sixth, and a manager ejection. We didn't take any commercial breaks, during the pitches changes or middle of the inning, and just stayed live.

Senior was tremendous. I knew him a little from 2003, when the Giants acquired him late in the season and I was covering the Giants. He's one of the all-time great people in baseball, he enjoyed a productive 15-year career in the majors, and now he's an analyst on "Baseball Tonight."

Looking back, I'm amazed that I was able to keep going with him that long. We covered all sorts of topics, from EY's home run in the first at-bat ever for the Rockies to his son's decision to chose minor league baseball over a football scholarship, and from his life after baseball on TV to how often he talks to his son during the season.

At the end, I told Senior that in addition to raising a great baseball player, he's raised a fine young man. Junior is always great on post-game interviews, he's respectful and a class act. Senior's face lit up and he told me that's the most important thing. I was told after the game our phone lines lit up at the radio station as well, people calling to say how great it was that Senior was in the booth, and my message to him at the end.

It almost seemed like Senior was disappointed to go at the end of the inning. He had a blast on the air with me.

Without question, that inning was my favorite of the year.

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