Episode #184 — Baseball Announcer Emma Tiedemann

It’s gross outside. First comes the heavy snow, then a 50-degree warm-up, torrential rains, and then more snow. If archeologists came and conducted a dig outside, all they’d find are layers of ice, mud, slush, and possibly a Puddle of Mudd album. That leads to the hassle of deciding which museum to donate any found objects to. The International Banana Museum? (This is the only instance in which a Bed and Breakfast would be a preferable alternative to visit for Heidi. Why does she dislike traditional B&Bs so much? Was there a traumatic episode of “Newhart” we’re forgetting about? Or maybe they’re too closely associated with Hallmark movies? And how does she feel about inns — are they acceptable as long as they don’t serve breakfast?)

People definitely read this blog for the complaints — come for the griping, stay for the streaking — so we’ll continue. What is there to enjoy during the end of February/beginning of March? Valentine’s Day is far enough away that the only discount chocolate left has weird things in it like dried fruit. Presidents Day is over, as are our dreams for reasonably priced mattresses. Even Mardi Gras is … wait, what? Fat Tuesday is the first Tuesday in March this year, so while we’ve been complaining, Carnival is in full swing? Break out the parades, the paczki, and the king cake! But please eat around the plastic baby — it’s hard to be king for a day when you’re hanging out in the emergency room with one of those lodged in your esophagus.

Before we back our fully decorated Why? The Podcast float out of our studio’s garage, we’d like to give you something else to look forward to. No, we’re not flashing you for beads — we’re telling you about this week’s episode. We spoke with Emma Tiedemann, one of the first female broadcasters in minor league baseball. She currently is the Director of Broadcasting and voice of the Portland Sea Dogs (a Red Sox affiliate team). But baseball isn’t her only sport; Emma has also called basketball and hockey.

Emma has had a fascinating career so far and talking with her gave us just a glimpse of how entertaining and knowledgeable she is when calling games. Her job is an extremely niche one, so we were curious about how she got into it in the first place. While a particular family member influenced her style and passion for calling games, she’s worked all over the United States honing her craft. Originally from Texas, Emma is currently in Maine. We’re trying to think of what those two states have in common, which only proves how nimble she is at adapting to her audience.

If you think being a baseball announcer means you just sit there and call off numbers from the backs of players’ jerseys, think again. (Seriously, what are you thinking?) Emma filled us in on the amount of prep work involved in her job, how she keeps track of everyone and everything, and how she interacts with the teams. We learned about other announcers she’s been starstruck by, whether her accent is out in full force in Maine, and what it’s like to be one of the only female baseball announcers (a designation that will hopefully be moot soon).

Tune in to this week’s episode to get excited about spring and baseball — and to learn to appreciate the announcers from your favorite teams even more. For more information on Emma and her game calling, check her out on Twitter. While you’re at it, follow the Sea Dogs on Twitter as well. We’re off to see if they have any jerseys in Captain’s size.

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