Senior providing play-by-play commentary for USA Baseball

UNC Hussman senior Jasmine Baker's internship with USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball, was recently featured in a story by University Communications. Read the full story here or below.

By Caroline Daly, University Communications

This summer, senior Jasmine Baker has been interning for USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball, as a broadcaster and reporter.

The Hussman School of Journalism and Media student provides play-by-play commentary during USA Baseball events in Cary, North Carolina, five or six days a week, calling two to four games a day. She also interviews players of the USA Collegiate National Team after their games for the USA Baseball Twitter account.

Before each game, Baker researches the players on each team so that she has material to talk about during the broadcast. She also sets up the livestream that feeds to various websites, runs the scoreboard at the stadium and scores the game while commentating. She is one of four broadcast interns and around 50 total interns working at USA Baseball.

Baker says her first month interning was challenging because she had never provided play-by-play commentary for an entire baseball game.

“The first month of this internship challenged me in ways I have never been before. Along with being the only female broadcaster, I am the only one that had no prior play-by-play experience, and the only one that has never played baseball before,” says Baker.

Baker says she has now found a rhythm.

“The responsibilities like the scoreboard and scoring the game seem like second nature and actually make me a better broadcaster since I have to be so in tune with the game,” says Baker.

Baker says her classes at Hussman helped her immensely during her internship. For example, she said, her Creative Sports Writing and Voice and Diction courses helped her refine her voice as a reporter.

She also served as an anchor on Sports Xtra, Carolina’s student-run sports show, where she was able to improve her reporting skills. And, Baker has also worked for UNC Athletics Communications in a number of roles including camera operator and a sideline reporter for women’s lacrosse and baseball games live on air.

At USA Baseball, Baker said she has had experiences that she will remember forever.

“I called my first grand slam on June 14th, the second day of us calling games for the 17U National Team Championships,” Baker says. “It was an unexplainable thrill, truly chills as I was able to feed off the excitement from the team and fans which elevated my call. That long ball over the left-field wall made me feel like a true sports broadcaster.”

Baker says that everything she is doing now will help her as a sports reporter. Calling games has made her more comfortable and capable on air and being a reporter has helped her think about interesting questions to ask players.

“My options for a future career are greatly widened by my experience this summer as both a play-by-play commentator and sideline reporter,” says Baker.