From the Booth: The newest member of the Curve broadcast team

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By Michael Marcantonini
AltoonaCurve.com

What’s up, Toon Town?

It’s been a month and a half since I joined the Altoona Curve as the team’s new Communications & Broadcasting Assistant, and it took until mid-March for me to actually see the diamond at PNG Field.

Now that the snow is gone, hopefully baseball weather is on its way. I’ll be in the broadcast booth with Garett Mansfield for the 2019 season and you’ll hear me calling play-by-play in the middle innings. You already know Garett, so I’ll tell all you Curve fans a little bit about myself.

I’m from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a town in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia, where I grew up with my mom, dad and younger brother, Jack. I use the term “jawn” a lot (I’ll gladly explain it to the Yinzers out here) and I believe the phrase “Go Birds” is acceptable to say at any time in any situation.

I went to college at Penn State, so I have Central PA ties, and I’m pumped to be living less than an hour away from Happy Valley.

I graduated from Penn State in May of 2017 with a broadcast journalism degree. I was a member of The LION 90.7 FM student radio station, where I had the pleasure of serving as the sports director during my senior year. I had so much fun running the sports department, calling play-by-play for football, basketball and baseball games, and hosting “The Sports Blitz” talk show. Broadcasting games in Beaver Stadium and co-hosting radio shows with some of my best friends was the highlight of my time in college. I also was an on-air analyst and producer for “Penn State Sports Night” on PSNtv.

From there, I’ve bounced around the map. My first broadcasting gig out of school took me to Rockford, Illinois where I was the voice of the Rockford Rivets in the Northwoods League, and had the summer of my life. Next, I went out to Palm Springs, California to call baseball games in the California Winter League last January and February. Cali was great; wearing shorts and flip flops when it was below freezing back home was amazing. After that, I landed my first gig in professional baseball with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League in York, PA. Calling games in pro ball had been a dream of mine since I was in elementary school, and actually doing it was pretty freakin’ awesome.

Now I’m here in Altoona getting set to reach another milestone in my career and accomplish a goal I set for myself a while back: to call games in affiliated Minor League Baseball. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity with the Curve, and it’s humbling to know that I’ll be calling games at the Double-A level at 23 years old (I turn 24 on June 1).

I’ve been lucky enough to land two professional baseball broadcasting gigs in my home state, which is wild considering there are so many teams across the country and only a handful are in PA, and I’m thrilled to broadcast in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization more than anything.

I’ve idolized Pirates legend and world-class humanitarian Roberto Clemente for a long time. This past October I went on a service trip to Clemente’s homeland of Puerto Rico to restore a youth baseball complex that was damaged by Hurricane Maria. A few months later, I’m a member of the Pirates family here with the Curve and I feel like it all happened for a reason. I take that to heart and I’ll use it as yet another source of motivation to be great at what I do.

I approach every broadcast and day in this industry with three main goals: 1.) Learn something, 2.) Get better, and 3.) Have fun… and that’s in no particular order, because they all go hand-in-hand for me. I like to keep it relaxed and fun on the air during my broadcasts, so you’ll hear some jokes, puns and just a fun style when I’m on play-by-play. I’m a big kid having a blast doing what I love.

My hobbies include working out, listening to country music (mostly Florida Georgia Line), competing with my friends from home in our intense fantasy football league (I won the league in 2017) and fantasy baseball, playing video games (MLB The Show and NBA 2K), and going to the beach/anywhere warm. I also really miss playing baseball, which I haven’t been able to do since I started working in it, so I’ll take any chance I get to hit in the cage or out on a field somewhere.

I take pride in getting out of my comfort zone and embracing new opportunities, which is why I’m excited about my role with the Curve this season.

One more thing: I ALWAYS gladly welcome free food in the broadcast booth, so don’t be strangers, Curve fans.

See you at the ballpark.

–Michael


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