Editor’s Desk

Column: Amazing baseball led to litany of posts

June 1, 2013 

From time to time I sit in front of a television set and watch a ball game. I make pronouncements to my children and my wife about what just happened. And, then, magically, three seconds later, the announcer makes the same point I did.

“Why,” I wonder, “is this guy calling the game instead of me?” I could be John Madden or Tom Brookshire. I could be Tim McCarver or Billy Packer.

Instead, I sit in my living room and watch the games from afar.

On Saturday night, though, I turned in to something of a broadcaster myself, relaying messages over Facebook about the remarkable 18-inning baseball game between N.C. State and Carolina.

You don’t have to be much of a baseball fan to have enjoyed that ball game. The 2-1 final meant that every baserunner was precious, every pitch was important. As the night turned into the early morning hours, the players – especially the pitchers – just kept trading blows like boxers in a slugfest.

I started listening to the game in about sixth inning after listening to the end of the Mudcats game on the radio. I made an arbitrary post on my Facebook page about the State-Carolina game and, within a few seconds, one of my Facebook friends, an old chum from college who now lives near Winston-Salem, chimed in to ask if the game was on television. I didn’t know, but I explained that I was listening the game on WKNC, the N.C. State University campus radio station.

That station, as you can imagine, doesn’t air in Winston-Salem. Nor Tennessee. Nor Maryland. Nor Alaska. Those are just some of the places where my college fraternity brothers have migrated since leaving the world of education behind.

That arbitrary post turned into a running commentary – 134 in all, I’m told – on a game that lasted 12 more innings before Carolina pushed across the winning run. College friends and even some locals chimed in on the posts, asking questions or cheering on their favorite team.

In what was surely a violation of Facebook etiquette, friends and fans from near and far were able to keep up with the 18-inning classic as it happened.

The play-by-play report didn’t please everyone, as you might imagine. One Facebook friend opined the next morning that alcohol must have been involved in my too-frequent posts (It wasn’t). A family member pointed of that he gets a text whenever a family member posts to Facebook and when he awoke Sunday morning, the memory on his phone was full.

But the play-by-play reporting was fun and it gave a bunch of old college friends a chance to gather together once again from different parts of the country to enjoy a pastime that was an integral part of our college experience.

I doubt I’ll report on too many more games like that. But it certainly made an unforgettable baseball game all the more memorable.

And it made me ponder that age-old question again: Why aren’t I doing that? After all, I could be Tim McCarver.

jwhitfield@newsobserver.com

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