You could say that Jill Geary’s major league debut was a home run.
Moments after analyst Tom Kanditti was welcomed into the Arizona Diamondbacks radio booth in the top of the third inning on Sept. 20, his audience was greeted with the classic crack of the bat.
Gearin was no longer on board.
“First pitch swing. Deep fly ball to right field. Gallo, the right fielder, is backing up, looking up – it’s a home run for Dault Warsaw,” she said, without hesitation, without pausing, waiting to make it a lifetime, no doubt.
“And just like that, the Diamondbacks lead the Dodgers 2-1 in game one of this doubleheader.”
“Well, that didn’t take long,” said Candetti.
That’s a matter of perspective.
It took a woman last week to stream any part of a Diamondbacks game. And before that, all 73 years of Visalia Rawhide’s existence were gone before Guerin became the minor league club’s first female catcher.
As a sports broadcaster, the number of women in the coaching ranks is not growing rapidly. Entering this season, there were 11 women on the field as coaches in the majors and minor leagues, including MLB. This is 11 times more than in 2018.
Guerin — a native of Hermosa Beach — became the third female broadcaster in Little League history when she was hired in 2019 as the D-Backs’ Single-A associate broadcast director, media relations manager and play-by-play person. League baseball. Three more have since joined the club.
Guerin, 26, said she and fellow broadcaster Emily Messina, the play-by-play voice of Reading’s Phillies, the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate, discussed various trends and tried to pinpoint the cause.
Guerin’s theory: “I think because you’re in this unique situation as a transmitter of evidence.” You’re part of the front office, but you’re on the road half the time, so you’re part of the team – but you’re still part of the media, and you’re not a player or a coach… so you can make good friends with these guys on the road, but sometimes that gets annoying. So waiting to sit in a hotel room for six nights straight can be difficult and lonely. I can see why that wouldn’t appeal to you.”
Maybe for most women, not even those who love baseball. But Gerin is having a ball.
“When vacation comes, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ It looks like,” she said. “I love the grind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exhausting and sometimes I come home and sleep, cry or call my mom, but at the end of the day, I love what I do.”
She estimates she has been called to 350 games, enough to develop confidence in her voice.
“I understand the speed of the game,” she said. “Now, ‘OK, let’s figure out better ways to explain the field goal, better ways to explain the line drive.’ You don’t want to use the same verbs every time, and you start weaving stories.
Although Guerin missed three big league innings last week, his goal is to play at a high level every game.
No, no woman has ever held such a position, but it’s been Gerry’s dream job since she was 12 years old.
Something her mother said sparked his thoughts after Gearin complained that some men made fun of her for knowing too much about sports.
It seemed like a good fit for Gerry, who had been recording baseball games since she was a little girl and doing homework with the music of Red Sox broadcasts playing in the background (her affinity for Boston is a family thing).
She played softball growing up and at Emerson College, so her on-air delivery is that of a “retired former ballplayer.”
Last week, D-backs fans were able to tune in because the club’s vice president of broadcasting, Scott Gear, invited Geary’s regular season starter Chris Garagiola to write for three innings.
The Dodgers won Guerin’s game 6-5, but while she was on the call, Arizona built a 4-1 lead.
With Dodgers radio play-by-play broadcaster Tim Neverett, her mentor, showing up to support her on the day off, Gearin called Varshon’s RBI single in the fourth. Then a couple more runs in the fifth on Christian Walker’s solo shot and another run on a throwing error.
It was a busy three innings and an error-free outing by Guerin.
“In the bottom of the third, I had an ‘oh wow’ moment,” she said. “I turned around and saw ‘Dodger Stadium’ and thought, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’ But I felt natural, I felt like I could keep who I was, I wasn’t trying to channel someone else’s voice. I called the game and tried to have fun.
First strike b @jillgearin And it’s a call to remember. pic.twitter.com/RwSjqpJADD
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 20, 2022