Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
Imagine for a moment being a 7th grader who loves broadcasting and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Your favorite pitcher is Donald Zackary “Zack” Greinke. One day, while taking in a game at the stadium, you filled out an application to be a Junior Dodger broadcaster, not fully believing that a year later you’d get a call to come out to a Sunday game and do play-by-play announcing during an actual game between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. What’s more, you’ll be calling the game from the press box where Hall of Famers Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrín have worked since Dodger Stadium opened. You’ll even spend some time visiting with your favorite player, Greinke, and then enjoy fine dining in the Vin Scully Club House, right behind home plate. Does this sound like “the chance of a lifetime?” That’s how smiling Skyler Rivera described the experience, which happened just that way last month at Dodger Stadium.
It began for Skyler a year ago last May while at Dodger Stadium to watching the Dodgers play a home game against the Cardinals. That’s when she saw an information booth offering sign-ups for eight to 14 year old boys and girls to join the Junior Dodgers Broadcast team. The program, believed to be the first of its kind in Major League Baseball, is a rare and exciting opportunity intended to inspire a future generation of broadcasters, while creating magical memories for those involved.
Intrigued, Skyler completed and submitted the necessary questionnaire, no doubt with a lot of wishful thinking. As is the case with many good things, sometimes a lot of waiting is required. And that’s what she did for nearly a year, until a phone came from the program’s coordinators inviting her to come to spend the day at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, May 26th. There was a job to do, and she’d be working with Cornelius Hana, a broadcast professional who oversees these young announcers. What an amazing experience it turned out to be, complete with press credentials, opportunities to conduct pre-game interviews with Dodger players and staff, to do play-by-play announcing for two innings, and color commentary for four innings, all which would be aired on the Kidstar Radio Network (kidstar.com). The live audio feed for the Jr. Dodgers broadcasts is available for at www.dodgers.com/jrdodgers, and presented by Kaiser Permanente.
Skyler’s love of broadcasting first took wing here at the Baseline campus when she helped with weekly announcements, aired during Car Line on KFCS, 99.9 FM. She also worked the broadcast booth during the Annual Charity Golf Classic at South Hills Country Club, reading the morning event schedule and commenting on pre-tournament activities. Skyler’s enthusiasm and talent for the airwaves hasn’t gone unnoticed. As Miss Rychen, who oversees the radio class, said, “Cornelius Hana and other professionals were so impressed with Skyler, they’ve asked her to come back and do more Junior Dodger broadcasts.” What seemed like a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience may have only been the beginning, but only time will tell!
Comfortable behind the mic, Skyler interviews Dodger shortstop, Dee Gordon.
Here with Steve Lyons, a former major league player and sportscaster for FOX.
Skyler said Charley Steiner, the Dodger’s play by play announcer, offered her many helpful broadcasting tips.
Skyler with her favorite pitcher, Zack Greinke.