Baseball is easy to understand and very hard to master as a player. Think about it, only one man in the last 50+ years of Major League Baseball—Ted Williams—averaged four hits in ten at bats over the course of the season. But to master the announcing of baseball is fairly easy. You just have to remember a few things that we’ll hit upon throughout this section.
To properly announce a baseball game, you’ll need the following:
Baseball requires the most prep time of any sport in reality as part of the “show” includes the starting line-ups that you will get from both teams prior to the game. Some teams will provide you with the line-up, but be prepared to approach each coach—or a team representative—prior to the game to ask for their line-ups. Most coaches will have this information when they arrive, however 30 minutes prior to the first pitch is about the latest you can expect to get the line-ups in most situations.
You’ll need to write down the starting line-up for both teams in your scorebook and be ready for substitutions at any point during the game. If your scorebook allows and the rosters aren’t too big, you could write down all the subs at the bottom of your scoresheet, but only do this if you have the room.
If you are presented with a roster, or have to write it down on a separate piece of paper, make sure to note the important information such as roster number, first name and last name at the very least. Depending on how you typically announce, you may also want to find out the player’s grade in school or where they are from. One other piece of information to have handy is the player’s positions. This will help you in the case of substitutions as you can verify that the player on the mound is actually a pitcher.
Be sure to ask which players are likely to be used as courtesy runners and who would run for the pitcher and who would run for the catcher. This doesn’t need to be announced during the starting line-up as this is allowed to be changed up until the player enters the game, but it’s good to know who will be running so you can announce it promptly when it happens.