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Better Know A Broadcaster: Greg Young

With baseball paused for the foreseeable future, Baseball America has decided to introduce you to some of the men and women who work as broadcasters for each club.

What Is Your Name?

Greg Young

Which Team Do You Work For?

Carolina Mudcats

Which Other Baseball Teams Have You Broadcasted For?

Modesto Nuts, Tennessee Smokies

What Other Sports Have You Broadcasted?

Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer

Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All Time?

Jon Miller is my favorite MLB broadcaster of all time,  although I have to also recognize Dave Flemming, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Ken Korach as well. I grew up in Northern California, so my west coast bias might be a bit strong on this one.

Where Is Your Favorite Road City?

In the California League, my favorite road city was definitely Lake Elsinore. As far as the Carolina League goes, I’d have to say it’s a split between Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach.

What Is Your Career Highlight?

I’ll have to break the rules again and pick a few. I’ve been lucky enough to call two different all-star games, first in 2011 when I was with Modesto and again in 2018 with the Mudcats. I also had the opportunity to call the final game of the 2011 California League championship series after filling in for the great Zack Bayrouty on the Ports broadcast in Stockton (Zack was working that same game on the television side).

Most recently, I’d go with being named the 2018 Carolina League Broadcaster of the Year and calling a MLB spring training game for the Brewers before the 2019 season.

If I had to make a sizzle reel of highlights, I’d have to include some individual moments and calls that I’ll always cherish. Those would include Nolan Arenado’s home run off a rehabbing Barry Zito in front of a sold out crowd in Modesto in 2011 and Buster Posey hitting a home run against the Nuts in San Jose in 2009.

I would also name all of the walk-off homers over the years including Arenado in 2011, Keston Hiura in 2018 and Mario Feliciano (twice) in 2019. I’d also have to include interviewing Troy Tulowitzki and then calling his rehab games with Modesto in 2008.

And finally, Lucas Erceg’s hidden-ball-trick, with accompanying video, that ended up going viral online and resulted in Tony Reali giving me a shout out on Around the Horn.

What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?

The constant attention to detail is something that I think is probably unseen and is maybe something people could know more about. That attention to detail of course applies to the process involved in calling a game. For example, everything from saying the score, not missing a pitch, describing the action (and non-action) at all times, maintaining focus, keeping the game moving, saying the score (again) and mixing in relevant stats and stories when possible.

All of those details are probably noticed by the listener, but the unseen details are the ones involved with printing and delivering daily stat packs, writing game notes, collecting and distributing lineups, conducting daily interviews, filling out your scorebook and writing postgame recaps. Any small hiccup in the details of getting all of that completed on time every day can have a huge impact on how your call is going to go any given night or day.

What's Your Best Story From The Road?

Well, my “best” road story is probably the 2015 bus accident story, mostly because it is the one that people ask about the most. It certainly isn’t my favorite moment on the road, but it is one that I’ll never forget.

The Mudcats were traveling overnight from Salem, Va. to Myrtle Beach, S.C. while continuing what was a seven-game road trip early in the 2015 season. My seat was on the driver’s side, just two rows back of the driver and directly behind pitching coach Derrick Lewis.

I was asleep for most of the trip, but woke up about 45 minutes before the accident occurred after feeling the bus make what seemed like a very long exit off the highway. As it turned out, the bus was forced to take a detour off the desired route and down some rather narrow roads in a small town near the North Carolina and South Carolina border.

I fell back asleep again once it felt like the bus was back on its proper route, but was jarred back to consciousness suddenly after hearing screams of terror from our driver. I looked up and saw a sharp left turn and some large trees straight ahead of where the bus was going, just beyond the sharpest point of the curve.

I immediately knew that the bus was traveling far too fast to avoid hitting the trees without a drastic correction.

The driver, thankfully, yanked the bus to the left as much as possible and managed to keep us from hitting those trees ahead of us. That hard turn also kept us from hitting the train tracks that ran parallel to the road, behind the tree line.

That corrective turn, however, also slammed the bus over onto its passenger side, sending everyone flying across the aisle and into the seats on the passenger side. I was flung—along with all of my belongings including my laptop and what the coaches called my “food purse” (full of snacks and quick meals for the trip)—across the aisle and into hitting coach Carlos Mendez. The bus slid for what felt like an eternity and eventually settled in a ditch along the road.

Many of the passenger-side windows busted out, but fortunately for Mendez and I, the window for his seat stayed intact. Fortunately, no one was ejected from the bus. Many players did receive some cuts and bruises after their arms or shoulders ended up outside the broken windows during the process of the crash. Once the bus stopped, we all took a quick inventory of ourselves and then checked on everyone else within our reach. I pulled out my phone to call 911, but was told by the operator that they had already received a call and that help was on the way.

Catcher Joseph Odom had already made that call and was in the process of helping his teammates after getting off the phone. Reed Harper was the first player off the bus as he climbed through the exit hatch in the roof. I can still remember him reaching back in to help his teammates crawl through that same small hatch. I can also still remember the sound of the players waking up to the shock of the crash and some groaning in pain.

Most of the players were able to climb out under their own power, but some were forced to stay on as their injuries were initially too severe for them to move. The paramedics arrived quickly and tended to the players still on the bus, while the local disaster relief volunteers did their best to help everyone else.

Fortunately, most of the players and nearly all of the staff avoided major injuries. Some players were taken to a local hospital, but most everyone remained at the scene until a new bus came down to get us. Most of that team would spend time on the injured list either immediately after the accident or in the weeks that followed that season.

One player did not return at all, both that season or at any point thereafter. All of this happened around 4 a.m., but we didn’t leave the site for the next few hours as the sun was up once we finally made our way to the hotel in Myrtle Beach.

I called my mom immediately once I was safely outside the bus. Luckily my family is on the West Coast, so that phone call did not arrive at a truly absurd time. From then on I spent the remainder of that day on the phone with local and national news reporters as everyone was looking for details about what happened. Again, not my favorite road story, but definitely the one that is the most memorable.

On a more positive note, seeing Keston Hiura go 5-for-5 with two home runs in a 2018 game in Lynchburg was certainly one of my favorite road moments. Actually, a fan that night in Lynchburg yelled “why are you still here?” as Hiura crossed home plate following his second homer. Turned out that that fan was on to something as Hiura wouldn’t be there much longer after all. He was promoted to Double-A Biloxi the very next day.

Matt Dean In The Booth

What Minor League Baseball Means To You

As we say a sad farewell to a 2020 MiLB season that never began, we asked baseball fans what Minor League Baseball means to them.

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