Feb 23, 2010

PBS, your source for baseball talent

Now that baseball spring training is under way, eager fans are counting the hours until opening day. While spectators will be eating hot dogs in the bleachers, some PBSers will take to the field in their National Adult Baseball Association (NABA) league. KCET/Los Angeles President and CEO Al Jerome (at left in photo) formed the California Blue Jays team in 2002 and recruited athletic talent from around the system, including the strong double-play combination of shortstop Lloyd Wright (president and CEO of WFYI/Indianapolis, Ind., right in photo) and second baseman Andy Russell (senior v.p., PBS Ventures, center in photo). Former team members have included Mel Rogers of KOCE/Huntington Beach, Calif., and Jeff Clarke of KQED/San Francisco. The far-flung players practice on their own using local batting cages and, no doubt, family members drafted into playing catch. The California Blue Jays come together for one week each year to compete; Wright reports that last fall they won the 1A Division of NABA National Tournament in Las Vegas. Jerome, whom Wright calls "a crafty southpaw," was starting pitcher; Russell and Wright were the team's top two hitters in the tourney. Quips Wright: "You might say these executives are 'out standing in their field.'"

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