I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Gellman-Chomsky for the first time at last year’s Winter Meetings in Dallas. Ben is a play-by-play guy, who broadcast games for the Hickory Crawdads of the Sally League in 2011 and the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League this past season. He’s a nice kid. Originally from Columbus, too.
I caught up with him last night and, as is often the case with young up-and-comers like Ben, he’s looking for his next gig at the Winter Meetings. Given what I know of him — he has a good voice, is smart, knows the game and he’s funny — I think he’ll do fine. But every little bit helps in the competitive world of sports broadcasting, and Ben has a little bit that, if the world is just and fair, that should help: a killer business card.
The front is pretty normal:
But check out the awesome back:
Yeah, that’s a 1989 Topps back. I recognized it the second he gave it to me. Ben is only 26 so he himself was too young to really appreciate that card, but I bet he’s banking on the old men who make hiring decisions in baseball to see that card and have an instant, positive reaction. I sure did.
Good luck, Ben. Although with your savvy, you probably don’t need it.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.