Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tim's Views - Living The Dream On MLB Network

Image courtesy of Wikimedia - public domain

As many of you who follow us and our traveling adventures here on The World on Wheels may know, I consider myself a pretty big sports fan. So much so that I have another blog of my own called Tim's Sports World dedicated to all things sports from my own unique perspective.

When it comes to watching and writing about my views on sports, there is no doubt that the sport I love watching the most is Major League Baseball (MLB). Those of you who know me very well will also know that one of my lifelong goals and dreams as a fan of baseball and as a sports fan in general  has been to see all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums and or ballpark throughout my life.

Before the start of the 2017 MLB Season, my parents and I had started discussing potential family vacation plans for the coming year. If I remember correctly, those vacation plan discussions took place during baseball's off season Hot Stove period and during Spring Training 2017 as well. At first, my dad Darryl wanted to go back to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands but then I countered with the suggestion that we should look into doing another MLB ballpark trip so that I could get one or two steps closer to completing and meeting my lifelong goal of seeing all 30 stadiums that Major League Baseball (MLB) has to offer.

To make a long story short, during the course of those early 2017 vacation planning discussions, I came out on top on the winning side and we had settled on a plan to go on a  late April/early May springtime vacation in Texas to both the Dallas/Arlington and Houston areas to go see two more games and ballparks featuring both of the hometown Texas teams in the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. There was also the added excitement for both games that we would end going to because the Rangers would be playing against the Angels which is my favorite team and the Astros game that we went to would be the first game of the 2017 Silver Boot Series between the aforementioned Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros!

Another important part of this story for me that is worth mentioning is that in addition to being a huge fan of Major League Baseball (MLB) and wanting to achieve my lifelong goal of seeing every major league ballpark, I am also a huge fan and have been for the last several years and counting of the Major League Baseball Network (MLBN).

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
Eric Drost under CC BY 2.0 license

Fast forwarding the story of my own personal major league ballpark quest a little bit, towards the beginning of the 2017 MLB regular season if my memory is correct, one day while tuning in, I noticed that there was a season long MLB Network promotion going while watching the nightly highlights show called Quick Pitch hosted by Heidi Watney. on that was geared towards fans like me of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Network (MLBN) TV channel.  It just so happened that the main purpose of this fan promotion for the Quick Pitch show was that if you tweeted in a picture of yourself from any ballpark or baseball game that you went to during the 2017 MLB regular season with the #quickpitch hashtag on Twitter, then that picture could up end being put on the air for the show for you and all your friends and family's viewing pleasure!

Once I saw that MLB Network and Quick Pitch was doing this kind of promotion for their TV viewing fans on one of their signature daily shows, I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to be a part of it while my family and I were on vacation in Texas and Florida. A few days before we left for our trip, I became even more focused and determined to make a possible appearance on Quick Pitch more of a reality while watching a Facebook Live video that Heidi Watney and the rest of the Quick Pitch production crew did.

In this video, which also gave a little of a behind-the-scenes look at the show, Watney once again reminded the show's fans that they could send in their photos to the network's Twitter page with the required #quickpitch hashtag from any ballpark they went to throughout the 2017 regular season and that those pictures could possibly be shown during the show as a result of sending them in on Twitter. Now armed with more than enough focus and determination to make this possible dream appearance on my favorite baseball TV channel come true, my parents and I set out for a fun Spring baseball games and stadiums vacation of epic proportions deep in the heart of Texas and Florida.

To make sure everything went off relatively smooth and without too many technological hitches and or obstacles, I enlisted the help of my dad Darryl to be my designated official ballpark Twitter picture sender. For the most part, we were very successful in completing my Quick Pitch ballpark photo mission on Twitter. If my memory of what transpired is correct though, I believe that when we sent in my picture from Globe Life Park in Arlington with the #quickpitch hashtag, I think we forgot to also tag Heidi Watney on her Twitter page so that she could see the picture of me from Globe Life Park as well. The good news is is that as far as I know, that picture of me from Globe Life Park was still included on MLB Network's Twitter page as part of the collection of ballpark photos from other fans but I don't know for certain if my picture from Globe Life Park was put on the show or not.

The good news however is that my Quick Pitch ballpark photo story does not end there. While it is still true that I don't really know if my picture from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was ever shown on Quick Pitch, I know for a fact that after tagging Heidi Watney on her Twitter page for my photo from Minute Maid Park in Houston for another installment of the Quick Pitch show, my dream of appearing on an MLB Network TV show would soon become a reality! As the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try and try again!

Having now made all the necessary corrections in putting my second ballpark picture in the proper way, the momentous day of my eventual MLB Network TV appearance came and went during the late night/early morning hours of May 1-2, my picture from Minute Maid Park would be shown to a national viewing audience for all to see! For my family and I, it was very exciting for us to say the least when lo and behold while tuning into Quick Pitch myself from our downtown Houston hotel room I was able to catch the tail end of the final Quick Pitch show from the previous evening on a laptop on the morning of Monday, May 2, 2017!  It was during this time that I saw that my picture from Minute Maid Park had been included as part of that night's episode of Quick Pitch complete with an on-air shout out my tweet from the show's host Heidi Watney!

Heidi Watney-Host of MLB Network's Quick Pitch show!
Photo Courtesy Of:Wikimedia And Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA Under CC BY-SA 2.0 License

At that point, once I saw that my picture was indeed being included as part of that night's/morning's episode of Quick Pitch, my parents and I stopped what we were doing at that time (which included brushing our teeth after having breakfast and getting ready for our next adventure on the trip to go see the Johnson Space Center) to focus our attention and listen with great anticipation for what was about to be said by Ms. Watney about my picture from Minute Maid Park that was now plastered in full view on my laptop and the big TV screen video monitor inside the network's very own Studio 21 for everyone who was tuned in to see in all of it's beautiful glory!

While my family and I were watching Heidi Watney talk about my picture from Minute Maid Park that was now being shown for all to see, it quickly became clear to me that all the hard work I had done and put in an effort to make a dream appearance on an MLB Network show come to fruition had finally paid off and was actually really happening!

I should also mention that while mostly everything about my appearance on Quick Pitch that day had gone smoothly and was very exciting up to that point, my growing excitement while watching my appearance that morning was diminished a little when it came time for Heidi Watney to give me and my family credit for sending the picture in to the show by saying the name of our Twitter Handle username When it was time for Watney to say the name of our @musickchannel Twitter Handle username, she had mistakenly through no fault of her own referred to it on-air while speaking as "At Music 'K' Channel!" At that moment for me, I knew that she had not something was wrong and that she had not said our family's last name correctly. The good news was that she did pronounce the first part of the name correctly by saying "Music."  Where she made the made the mistake however was when she actually pronounced The letter 'K' that appears at the end of the "@Musick" portion of my family's Twitter Handle username. What most people don't know about the proper pronunciation of my family's last name is that the 'K' is actually silent. When you take all those things into consideration, the proper way to say our Twitter Handle username is "at music channel."

As I just mentioned above though, the slight error in mispronunciation that was committed by Watney was done through no fault of her own at that time during the show and I'm not going to be too hard on her for it even though she did make a little mistake at that time in saying our family's last name. At least she gave it the "good college try" and actually came closer to the proper pronunciation of my last name that I have heard in previous attempts from other people I have come across such as "Moosik" or "Musik." In the future, for anybody who has difficulties with how our last name is pronounced or is just curious in general about it, a very easy way to remember how our last name is said is to just remember what is the most common thing that we all hear when we are tuned into a certain radio station? That would be music of course!

My apologies for digressing a little bit and getting a little off topic up above, but I should also mention that as far as having to watch Quick Pitch that day on a laptop instead of the TV in our hotel is concerned, I would have preferred to have seen the show on the TV in our room, but sadly MLB Network was not included as one of the channels that the hotel offered as part of their TV channel lineup viewing package. As a result, I had to settle for the next best thing which was the laptop.

All things considered however, it was definitely a thrill for me to have made an appearance on MLB Network in one form or another and make a dream of mine come true. It is something that I will most likely always remember and never forget that happened. The only other thing or experience that could top it is if MLB Network were to someday offer  tours that could be open to the general public of their studio facilities in New Jersey so that baseball fans like me could get an up close look at where all the magic happens as well as getting the chance to meet some of our favorite personalities from the network. As of right now however, as far as I know, the network does not offer any tours to the general public at this time. For the time being, while I can still dream that that may someday change or not, I can find comfort and peace in knowing that I have already done something that not too many too many before me have done. Many thanks to both MLB Network and Heidi Watney for their hard work in making my appearance from earlier this season on the show Quick Pitch possible! It was very much appreciated!

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Tim Musick (Pronounced MYOO-zik. For more information on name pronunciation, you can check my Facebook page in the "Details About You" section.)
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