April 19, 2013
WASHINGTON - Prior to starting a weekend series on Friday afternoon, the Georgetown University baseball team was treated to a visit to Major League Baseball (MLB) Network Studios in New Jersey, a trip set up by Head Coach Pete Wilk.
The Hoyas open a three-game series at BIG EAST Conference rival Seton Hall on Friday, April 19. First pitch at Owen T. Carroll Field is slated for 3 p.m. This series pits the Hoyas, who currently are in seventh place in the BIG EAST standings (4-5), against the sixth-place Pirates (5-4). The top eight teams qualify for the BIG EAST Tournament, held May 22-26 in Clearwater, Fla.
MLB Network launched in January 2009 in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history. The network airs live games, original programming, highlights, classic games and coverage of baseball events. The MLB Network studio is located in Secaucus, N.J.
The team spent some time in Studio 3, named to honor Babe Ruth. Studio 3 is the primary home of the live nightly studio show, MLB Tonight.
"It was an unbelievable experience," freshman catcher Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) said. "To get to actually be in the rooms and the studios that you watch on TV was really cool."
The Hoyas also had the chance to visit Studio 42, named to honor Jackie Robinson. The set measures 9,600 square feet and is used as a demonstration center by MLB Network's on-air talent. Studio 42 is designed to be a replica baseball field.
"Like everyone, it was a great experience," sophomore pitcher Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) said. "I've seen Studio 42 many times on television, but it was awesome to be able to go there and to get a chance to play wiffle ball too."
MLB Network employees gave the team a tour of each studio and showed how games and shows are broadcast. "To learn how the game we love is delivered to homes around the country was really interesting," junior Patrick Camporini (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic) said. "The lights, the stages and the personalities we got to experience on today's visit will be a memorable time and none of us will forget it."
For some of the upperclassmen it was the second visit to MLB Studios, but many said it was still neat to visit again and to see the reactions from the underclassmen.
"It was really cool to visit again," senior reliever Charles Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade) said. "We've been able to see the things that go on behind the scenes before but anytime you get the chance to see it is a good experience. When you haven't been there before, it's something you never forget."
The trip to MLB Network Studios was just another treat for the team while on the road. Earlier this season, the Hoyas had a private tour of Park in San Francisco, the home field of the San Francisco Giants.
"It's always a good time going on the road because of the surprises," senior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) said. "Coach Wilk always pulls out something for us. It stretches beyond the baseball field and today it took us behind the scenes of the MLB Network Studio."
"The experience makes you realize that sports, particularly baseball, is a big business with billions of dollars in advertising and other revenue at stake," freshman Alex Pettee (New Canaan, Conn./Saint Luke's) said. Unlike ESPN, MLB Network sells one product, baseball, and when there are 2,400 total games in a season, it's not easy to maintain fan interest and excitement. It's cool knowing that there's a possibility that one or more of my teammates will be on the highlight reels in the next few years."