Q & A: Tim Grubbs
Like most toiling in the minors, this Shaler grad dreams of someday reaching the major leagues, as an announcer.Until then, he
does what it takes.
Shaler High graduate Tim Grubbs
has moved up the professional baseball ladder -- going from Class A ball with the Hickory Crawdads and Winston-Salem Warthogs, to AA ball with the Tennessee Smokies
to AAA ball the past four years with the New Orleans Zephyrs.His
goal remains the major leagues.Grubbs
, 32, isn't a player, however.He's
a play-by-play broadcaster.And at the tail end of this past season, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Grubbs
, and the team he
broadcasts for, were forced to leave town like other residents.He
was unable to broadcast New Orleans' final 11 games, including three canceled home games.
The Zephyrs, a Washington Nationals minor-league team, suffered a couple million dollars in damage to their field but intend on being New Orleans' first professional team to resume play this April.Grubbs
most likely will be at the mike, along with his broadcasting partner, former major-league ballplayer Ron Swoboda.
...Grubbs recently talked with the Post-Gazette's Steve Hecht.
: I could see Hurricane damage on my way back to New Orleans, driving through Mobile, [Ala.], Biloxi, [Miss.] and Gulfport, [Miss.].
: I live in an apartment in the uptown section of New Orleans, near Tulane University
: I think it will come back at a smaller level.
: I think we'll draw fans OK.The big question is corporate sales -- radio advertising, signage, promotion.Can the businesses here come back?
What do you think your chances are of becoming a major-league baseball announcer some day?Grubbs
: It's definitely my goal.I'm sending out resumes, CDs.
: I first got into broadcasting as a student at Shaler High
, doing play by play of Titans basketball, football and hockey games.The contests were taped and later seen on the local cable television station.
: Al Michaels.
: On home runs, I use the phrase 'over and out.' I'll say 'Deep fly ball.Back to wall goes the outfielder.This one's going to be over and out.'
What might be surprising about broadcasting in the minors?Grubbs
: When I broadcast games for the Class A Winston-Salem [N.C.] Warthogs, during rain delays, I had to go to extended commercials and music, so I could go down to the field and help bring out the tarpaulin.In Tennessee and New Orleans, I've joined the cleanup crew after Fireworks Night to clean up used fireworks, so the field would be ready the next day.When you put on the broadcasting hat in the minors, that's not your only duties with the team.
What was the strangest promotion night you've been involved with?Grubbs
: Two years ago the Zepyhrs were riding a seven-game losing streak.
: Our mascot since 1997 has been a nutria rat named Boudreaux.
: The minor-league team here relocated from Denver in 1993 and in Denver they were called the Zephyrs.
: The Zephyrs were a Houston Astros farm team until this past season.
: Probably the Pirates job.