Better Know A Broadcaster: Jake Eisenberg
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?
Which Team Do You Work For?
Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A, Royals)
Which Other Baseball Teams Have You Broadcast For?
Richmond Flying Squirrels, Winston-Salem Dash, Brooklyn Cyclones
What Other Sports Have You Broadcast?
I’ve done basketball, field hockey, football, soccer, and volleyball. Always open to trying new sports too. Marble racing seems fun!
Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All Time?
I grew up listening to Gary Cohen and Howie Rose call Mets games. Descriptive, witty, passionate, and knowledgeable.
Where Is Your Favorite Road City?
I’ve had the pleasure of working in three different leagues now, so here’s one from each.
Eastern League: Bowie, Md.
A road trip to visit the Baysox means you get to spend some time in Annapolis. The Annapolis Town Dock is beautiful and if you want, you can go on a boat tour of the harbor area. Really cool to explore Navy’s campus and the Maryland State House too. Great food and it’s nice to spend time down by the water during the summer.
Carolina League: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Only road city I’ve been to where you can spend some time at the beach before a game. “Broadway at the Beach” is a fun area with food and entertainment options right across the street from the ballpark. I love playing mini-golf and Myrtle Beach has a bunch of different courses. A great lunch spot is The Grumpy Monk, delicious food and a favorite spot of former Pelicans broadcaster (now voice of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp) Scott Kornberg.
New York-Penn League: Burlington, Vt.
The best kettle corn I’ve ever had comes from the vendors on Church Street. Lake Champlain is gorgeous and there are some bike/jogging paths to explore. Plus if you’ve got some extra time, the Ben & Jerry’s factory is only 30 minutes away and well worth it.
What Is Your Career Highlight?
Being a part of the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Week with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Over the course of four days, we showcased the city of Richmond, partnered with Richmond Raceway for a country music concert, created a one-of-a-kind Home Run Derby with players and celebrities, and finished it off with a sold-out All-Star Game. There were 9,560 fans at The Diamond that night, making it the most-attended All-Star Game in Eastern League history. There was a tremendous amount of work and effort from every member of the organization to pull off what we accomplished that week and I’m really proud to have been a part of that team. The icing on the cake was getting to call the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby with Trey Wilson.
What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?
Something that might go unseen is what and how broadcasters do to improve their day-to-day performance on the air. We spend hours listening back to ourselves (this can be painful, trust me) and critiquing our performance. We also constantly ask for feedback from peers and mentors. Everyone has their own style and hears things in a different way. Having multiple sets of ears and perspectives is crucial to improving.
Personally, I listen for a bunch of different things and over the course of a season may hone in on certain areas. It’s detrimental to try and get better at everything all at once. The goal is, at minimum, to get a little bit better at something every day.
Here are some examples of questions I think about when I listen to myself:
What moment(s) resonated with you from this game? Were there descriptions, stories, words, jokes, etc. that stood out to you? Most importantly, why did they resonate?
Are you setting up each pitch? Are you reminding the listener of the inning and score in a timely manner?
Is the story/statistic I’m sharing relevant to the game or situation? Did I share it in a digestible, relatable and entertaining way? How long did it take for me to get to the point?
How was the pace of my words? Am I talking too fast? Did I rush through anything (a name, thought, etc.)? How am I speaking within the rhythm of the game?
How did I use the tone of my voice to convey emotion? Was it the right emotion for that moment? Is there energy and enthusiasm in my voice and does it match the game?
Is the volume of my voice too loud or too soft? Did I control my voice and project during that big play?
What parts of that description helped the listener visualize the play/pitch? How could you describe it more succinctly? Are there better/different words you could’ve used?
Do I sound natural and comfortable or stiff and robotic?
Similar to other kinds of performance, the best way to improve is to consistently work at it—evaluating yourself, trying something new or different, and evaluating yourself again so that the next broadcast is better than the last.
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What's Your Best Story From The Road?
I’ll never forget the day Omar Vizquel turned 51.
The first road trip I got to take with the 2018 Winston-Salem Dash came at the tail end of April. It was a six-game trip—three in Lynchburg and three in Wilmington—and Joe Weil (the Dash’s lead broadcaster) was kind enough to let me tag along. It’s pouring as we’re driving up from Winston-Salem to Lynchburg to start the road swing and we get word sometime around when we crossed the border into Virginia that that night’s game was going to be postponed. So, not only do we have an unexpected (and rare) night off, but it’s also Dash manager Omar Vizquel’s birthday.
Turns out there’s a bowling alley just across the hotel parking lot. Joe and I mention it to Omar and assistant coach Guillermo Quiróz in the lobby and Omar winds up challenging us and the rest of the coaching staff. We had an absolute blast hanging out, bowling, singing “Happy Birthday,” etc. Josh Fallin (athletic trainer) was the champ in both games, but Joe and I held our own.
Omar has a knack for just about everything and was unsurprisingly good, but proud to say that Joe and I each topped him in at least one of the two games. There are a lot of special moments from that season—the Dash finished 84-54 that year, one of the best records in franchise history—but celebrating Omar Vizquel’s 51st birthday with him at a bowling alley in Lynchburg, Va. will always be one of my favorite memories.