2021 Ballpark Digest Awards season continues with a chat with the Baltimore Orioles' Melanie Newman, our MLB broadcaster of the year! In this episode we discuss Newman's history-making career in MLB and MiLB broadcasting as well as reporting on other sports.
Her background includes work both as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports Southwest and play-by-play announcer for the Frisco RoughRiders and the Salem Red Sox. Along the way she made some history when she teamed up with Suzie Cool to form the first all-female broadcast team in professional baseball on a Salem Red Sox broadcast in 2019.
She then was part of two more important events in 2021, become part of the first all-female crew to call an MLB game, as she called the action with Sarah Langs, Alanna Rizzo, Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner on a YouTube broadcast on July 21. She followed that up by teaming up with analyst Jessica Mendoza to call a game on ESPN on Sept. 29.
Joining the Baltimore Orioles for the 2020 season, she has yet to experience what anyone would call a "normal" season: she made her O's debut on August 4, 2020, and in 2021 she called all the Orioles games--but called many of them at home when the team was on the road.
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and author of The Baseball Thesaurus and the upcoming second edition of The Football Thesaurus, both from August Publications. Kevin Reichard is editor of Ballpark Digest and founder/publisher at August Publications.