The following is the second installment of a two-part interview with Miami Marlins radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner.
If you’re just coming to the party on this one, earlier in the weekend we sat down with Miami Marlins broadcaster Glenn Geffner to pick his brain on all things baseball and broadcasting. You can check out the first installment of that interview here.
Below we wrap with Glenn. Hope you enjoy.
MM: Favorite Marlins broadcast you’ve been a part of?
GG: One of these days I’d like to call some post-season games in Miami, and they’ll shoot to the top of the list. Until then, the first one that comes to mind just came up recently when we faced Alex Wood in Los Angeles.
In 2014, Jose Fernandez and Wood matched up in an incredible pitchers duel in Atlanta. The Marlins won the game 1-0 in 2 hours, 8 minutes. Jose was absolutely electric that night. He worked 8 scoreless innings, didn’t walk anybody and struck out 14. Wood went 8 and allowed one run on a Casey McGehee RBI single in the 5th. He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 11.
Both pitchers were working fast. I was just talking with Fredi Gonzalez about that game the other day. He was managing the Braves at the time. It was one of those games where the innings were so fast, there was no time for anything. I don’t think I used anything I’d prepared for the game. It was all we could do to get our promotional reads in.
I know some feel differently, but I’m one who would rather watch a pitchers duel than a slugfest, so that one was a lot of fun for me. Most of Jose’s starts were a lot of fun to call. The anticipation of what he might do going in, then the pure electricity of watching him do his thing on the mound.
The first game after Jose’s passing is also one I’ll never forget. You asked about “favorite” broadcasts, and there was certainly nothing fun about that night. But being able to help describe what was happening at the park that night is something I’ll never forget. And we heard from so many fans who said we helped them come to grips with what had happened over that final week of the season.
That sort of thing reminds you how impactful what we do can be to some people in some instances.
MM: Certainly will never forget that first game back. Feels like Dee Gordon could steal home to win the World Series this year, and fifty years from now, that home run off of Bartolo Colon would still be the first thing I think of. Any advice for any young fans looking to break into the sports journalism/broadcasting biz? How about older, freelance amateurs?
GG: If you’re in school, get all the experience you can. Write for your school paper. Take advantage of any radio or TV opportunities that might be available to you. If you want to do play-by-play specifically, you’ve got to do games. Seek out opportunities at your high school or college.
If none exist, create them via webcasts. If you’ve got to go to a high school game or a Little League game and call a game into a recorder, do that. This isn’t something that you learn how to do in a classroom. You’ve got to call games. Then you’ve got to go back and listen to yourself, see what you like and what you don’t like.
Then you’ve got to go call more games. Get an internship at a radio or TV station. Meet as many people as you can. And do more games. Whatever the sport, whatever the level, get as much experience as you can. When you reach the point where you have a decent amount of work you feel really good about, reach out to people in the industry you respect and see if they’ll listen and offer some feedback.
The other thing I’d say is when you reach the point where you’re actually doing games somewhere, don’t try to be Vin Scully. Don’t try to be Jon Miller. Be yourself.