Kicking off their 20th season in April, the Lansing Lugnuts’ will continue their efforts of providing affordable family entertainment for the residents of Mid-Michigan. The excitement around the 2015 season doesn’t end with just a milestone anniversary, but with an unveiling of an 11-million dollar renovation of Cooley Law School Stadium.
Some of the changes will include: new scoreboards, a 360 degree concourse, updated restrooms, and the inception of the Michigan Baseball Hall-of-Fame. While, the home of the Lugnuts’ is changing rapidly, the voice of the ball club, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler will return for his seventh season with the Toronto Blue Jays low-A affiliate.
Known for his passionate broadcasts on WQTX 92.1 The Team, Goldberg-Strassler keeps the game interesting with his baseball lingo segment and Lugnuts’ trivia contest which gives listeners a chance to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming game.
Handling more than just the radio broadcast, Goldberg-Strassler is also the head of media relations. This aspect of his job requires him to report to the ballpark several hours before the start of the game. Discussing his routine in detail, some fans might be surprised by the amount of work that a sports broadcaster puts in on a daily basis.
“I’m in charge of the media relations for the Lansing Lugnuts,” said Goldberg-Strassler. “I come in and get the statistic package ready for both teams, so the coaching staff and media personal in the press box have access to all the information they need for the upcoming game. I’m responsible for getting the lineup posted in the press box and writing up game notes. I handle player transactions. If a player gets promoted, demoted, or traded I’m responsible for making sure everybody knows about the roster change. I also handle the social media promotion to let fans know what’s going on at the ballpark on any given day. I conduct pre-game interviews and basically anything leading up to the start of the game. I really enjoy sitting in on the English classes for the Latino players, so I can learn more about them and what they’re learning. I love watching batting practice and talking to the coaches, because the game is more than just a game. The players are working on something and I want to know what they’re working on, so I can let others know that information. During the game I do social media updates. I make sure to promote our sponsors. After the game I make sure everybody have the information they need. I probably forgot a few things. But my main focus is to make sure everybody understands what’s going on with the team.”
Enjoying more than just working in Michigan’s capital, Goldberg-Strassler feels the Lansing community is a great place to live and spend your down time, as the area features a unique blend of country with big city life.
“What I love about Lansing is you have a balance between the country and big city life,” said Goldberg-Strassler. “There are nice country areas near Lansing then you come in town and there’s Michigan State University in East Lansing and the state capitol downtown. There’s something for everybody in Lansing. I enjoy going to the theatre and checking out the art galleries in the area. Plus, I’ve met so many great people around town and at the ballpark. Whether they’re from here, or visiting here they’re just great people all around.”
One area that’s challenging about minor league baseball is traveling by bus. While some commutes are short, others can be long and restless on the players, coaches, and media personal that travel with the club. Luckily with advancements in technology, Goldberg-Strassler finds this aspect a lot easier than those who pursued this path in the past.
“They keep the movies flowing on the road trips. I have noise canceling headphones which allows me to listen to music. I work on my computer and type up stuff for the Lugnuts. This is an area where technology has helped a lot,” explained Goldberg-Strassler. “Back in the old days busses wouldn’t have internet or movies. I have used my laptop to watch different movies at times. Passing the time isn’t bad. The toughest part is getting cabin fever sometimes and wanted to get up and stretch your legs.”
Working in media relations also presents the opportunity to meet and work with members of the community. On occasion, Goldberg-Strassler meets kids who want to be a broadcaster when they grow up. The up-and-coming sports personality has advice for any young person looking to pursue this career path in the future.
“The best advice I can give for anybody looking to pursue a career in sports broadcasting is to do it yourself,” said Goldberg-Strassler. “If you’re watching a game on TV turn the volume down and discuss the plays as they’re happening in your own words. If you’re at a game live, just keep talking about the plays. The more you try this the better you’ll get.”
Be sure to tune in to Jesse Goldberg-Strassler’s broadcasts on 92.1 The Team throughout the 2015 season to get the latest information on the Lansing Lugnuts.