For the reason that COVID-19 pandemic invaded this nation in March, bringing with it a surreal state of existence, there was an overriding quest for a return to normalcy.
The Lightner Communications group is doing its half to fulfill that quest with the radio broadcast of an Altoona Space Baseball Affiliation Little League sport between L.S. Fiore and Masonic Lodges this Saturday.
The sport, which will probably be performed on the Joseph M. Sheetz Youth Baseball Complicated’s Ninth Avenue discipline simply off Nice Valley Boulevard, will probably be broadcast stay on 98.5 FM and AM 1240 WRTA, starting with a pregame/tailgate celebration at 5:30 p.m. and the primary pitch at 6:15 p.m.
“So many individuals have been saying how a lot they miss baseball,” Lightner Communications president Matt Lightner stated in a ready assertion. “I believed this might be an awesome alternative to marry America’s pastime with a dialogue about how our space ‘weathered the COVID-19 storm.”’
So did veteran space sportscaster Dave Shannon, who, together with Lou Seidel, will deal with the play-by-play broadcast of the sport in addition to the airing of the pre-game festivities — which is able to characteristic appearances by Altoona mayor Matt Pacifico, state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Hollidaysburg, councilman Dave Butterbaugh and Blair County controller A.C. Stickel.
“I do know that there’s a lot of pent-up frustration (from the pandemic), and I believed that right here is one thing that form of makes it really feel like issues are getting again to regular,” stated Shannon, 64, who has over 4 a long time of broadcasting expertise.
With the Main League Baseball season on maintain due to a dispute between the league and its Gamers Affiliation, Shannon stated he hopes that this radio broadcast will deliver a style of the baseball season to the neighborhood.
“I’ve (broadcast) Little League video games earlier than and I do know that Main League Baseball is having a difficulty proper now,” stated Shannon, who has dealt with broadcasts of highschool soccer, basketball, baseball and softball the previous two and a half years for Tyrone station WTRN – which, like WRTA, is one other Lightner Communications affiliate.
“There are days when I’ve my doubts that we’ll ever see a Main League Baseball season this 12 months,” Shannon stated. “I dearly love the sport, so that is no less than one option to have some baseball, do it on the radio, and form of make it a neighborhood occasion.”
Shannon stated that he’ll try to emulate the format that ESPN has adopted when televising the Little League World Sequence every August, using the usage of accomplished questionnaire varieties on the air that he has despatched to and acquired again from the Altoona Space Baseball Affiliation in regards to the gamers who will probably be concerned in Saturday’s sport.
“The Altoona Space Baseball Affiliation has been extraordinarily useful with this,” Shannon stated. “I despatched them questionnaire sheets, form of like what ESPN does when ESPN does the Little League World Sequence and so they speak about every child, what their favourite (college) topic is, what sort of meals they like, and so forth.
“I’ll use the questionnaires as a distinct method since you don’t desire a broadcast that’s overly laden with statistics whenever you’re speaking about youngsters,” Shannon added.
Shannon stated that the Sheetz discipline consists of a superb, state-of-the-art press field facility from which the printed will probably be delivered.
“I’m simply actually impressed by the press field, they’ve a darn good facility there, little doubt about it,” Shannon stated.
Tips on the discipline for the sport will embody sustaining applicable social distancing that can nonetheless permit relations to sit down collectively, and that each spectator is requested to deliver his or herown seat or chair. Hand sanitizer places will probably be positioned across the discipline.
The baseball broadcast will probably be a welcome refuge from all the COVID-19 chaos of the previous 90 days.
“I hope this may assist everybody really feel like issues are no less than getting nearer to regular,” Lightner stated.