Communications student broadcasting for professional baseball team

As summer jobs go, Forrest Hunt ’20 feels like he has hit a home run.

The 20-year-old Communications and Media Studies major is working as the everyday play-by-play radio announcer for a professional baseball team, the San Rafael Pacifics out of the independent Pacific Association. He is in the process of broadcasting all Pacifics’ home and away games – 80 all told – over the Internet via the Pacifics website through August.

“I think the Pacifics have given me an idea of the process of doing this job at a professional level,” Forrest says. “We make it as professional as possible at Dominican, but with the Pacifics I’ve had to learn how to do more on my own, especially in regards to preparation.”

Forrest, who has been a broadcaster for Dominican basketball, volleyball, soccer, and softball games since his freshman year, was led to the Pacifics’ job by Stuart Horne, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies.  Stuart, the station director for Penguin Radio, learned that last year’s Pacifics radio announcer, Greg Mroz, was moving to Montana to do radio play-by-play for the Helena Brewers, a Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league team. Stuart arranged for Forrest to meet Mroz, who said a dozen candidates had already applied for the vacancy. Impressed with Forrest, Mroz sent Forrest’s demo tapes to Mike Shapiro, president and general manager of the Pacifics.

The team president immediately called Forrest in for an interview and hired him, though Forrest had never called play-by-play of a baseball game.

“I called many softball games but they’re vastly different not only on the field, but how we call the game in the booth,” Forrest says. “Mike took a chance with me being so young and never calling baseball before and I’m grateful for that.”

It helped Forrest that he also arranged a meeting at AT&T Park with Los Angeles Dodgers television announcer Joe Davis. He gave Forrest advice and information on how to best prepare for broadcasting baseball games.

Forrest arrives at the ballpark three hours before game time to the talk to the team’s players and managers during batting practice at Albert Field. He is also broadcasting Pacifics league games from Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo, Martinez, and Pittsburg.

“It's been a steep and fast learning curve, but it's good for me. I've learned so much about the business in the process,” Forrest says. “It's been difficult, but once I get to the stadium I just couldn't be happier or be around a better group of guys that treat me like one of their own, not just the broadcaster guy.”

The real-life opportunity with the Pacifics will prepare Forrest when he returns to Dominican as a junior in the fall.

“I can’t say enough about the hands-on experience and training that I’ve been able to get at Dominican,” Forrest says. “Being able to jump on-air within weeks of being there is something that I believe you can’t get anywhere else. Having a professional job at 20? I think it’s an invaluable experience.”

 

June 29, 2018