Past is Present

McNally 2

Look, Mom! I’m on TV.

In the absence of live sports, a nation turns its lonely eyes to … history?

In the last few months, Montana Baseball History received as many media requests as it did when the book was first released five years ago. Lee Newspapers reached out to Jeremy and me about writing a feature-length story highlighting the Treasure State’s most memorable moments in the national pastime. It ran throughout Montana, as well as in some farther-away places. Sports sections needed something to fill their pages.

Then Tom Wylie with MTN News put together an excellent story on the potential end to the Pioneer League’s affiliation with Major League Baseball. Tom smartly tied the regional league’s bleak future to its rich past and asked Jeremy and me to offer some “expert” commentary. The sports segment at the end of the local news needed something to pass the minutes.

Those offers opened the floodgates. Other television stations soon followed with their own “Montana Baseball Moments,” featuring more Zoom interviews. (Side note: I find my overall Zoom setup lacking, but I’m damn proud of the American League betting board in the background, courtesy of Butte’s famous M&M bar by way of Missoula’s famous Antique Mall.) Friends in Sports radio also used Montana Baseball History facts and figures to spark conversations. Our Facebook page collected hits like Tony Gwynn. And it all happened while ballfields in Montana and across the nation sat mostly untouched. 

I’ll be just as thrilled as the next fan when games (safely) return and sports writers/casters/talk radio hosts get back to delivering the latest highlights. In the meantime, it’s been fun to revisit a few good stories. I hope, aside from filling otherwise dead air and empty space, that the history helps us appreciate the game even more when it finally returns.

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