Big Shoes to Fill
Allow me to introduce myself as I begin my second day as the new Radio Broadcaster for the Pawtucket Red Sox. My name is Jeff Levering and I am extremely humbled to be given the opportunity to come to Rhode Island to be a part of Red Sox nation. And, I have some HUGE shoes to fill (more on that in a bit).
Also, I’m sorry for being a day late on my first blog entry. Day One was needed to absorb the inner workings of McCoy Stadium and give me a chance to catch my breath!
What a whirlwind last couple of weeks… I had my first contact with the PawSox on February 6th, interviewed over FaceTime on the 7th and was offered the job on the 13th. I told my previous staff with the Springfield Cardinals (Texas League, Double-A St. Louis Cardinals) that I was leaving on the 14th. Two weeks later, I packed up my car to capacity and my wife, Ashley, and we drove 1,400 miles in two days (22 hours worth of driving from Missouri to Rhode Island). We moved me into a nice apartment Saturday, she headed back to Springfield Sunday and I started work Monday…WOW!
I am coming from arguably the most storied franchises in National League history in the Cardinals to arguably the most storied franchises in the American League history in the Red Sox. And, being a part of the PawSox Radio Broadcast is as big an honor as there is in Minor League Baseball.
The booth at McCoy Stadium has seen a wealth of talent pass through over years. The likes of Gary Cohen (NY Mets), Don Orsillo (Red Sox), Dave Flemming (Giants), Andy Freed (Rays), Dave Jageler (Nationals), Dan Hoard (Cincinnati Bengals) and now Aaron Goldsmith (Mariners) have all made it to the Big Leagues after coming through Pawtucket. I am well versed in the history that comes with this position and am excited to share PawSox baseball with this passionate fan base.
Aaron has been a friend of mine since 2010 as we were both candidates for each others jobs in Frisco and Springfield. As fate would have it, the Cardinals opened the season in Frisco that year. I had shared just a couple of emails and phone calls with Aaron before the season started, but had never met him face to face. When the team bus arrived the night before the opener, I looked in my travel bag to find that I had had left the power cord for my computer in Springfield exactly 400 miles away (way to go rookie). We would then head to Midland (another 351 miles away) after a three game set with the RoughRiders and there was no possible way my computer would last seven days with no extra charge.
So, I swallowed my pride, called Aaron and he came and picked me up from the team hotel to take me to Best Buy to get a new power cord. He had to go to two different hotels and drive an additional 30 minutes out of his way just to schlep me around because I forgot a power cord. This, of course, was the eve of both of our Double-A debuts on the radio. What a way to start a friendship and thanks for saving my bacon.
From there we shared lunches in each others home cities, chatted about players coming through and learned of mutual friends that had come across each of us in different paths of life. I could not be more proud of Aaron and his accomplishments landing his job with the Mariners. He has tough shoes to fill, that’s for sure!
I’m excited for this new challenge and I am thrilled to be a part of this organization. What an opportunity!
I’ll do my best to keep you, the fans, as up to date as possible on what is going on with the PawSox, new events at McCoy and entertaining tidbits from the defending 2012 Governors’ Cup Champions!