Throughout the season, whether the IronBirds are on the road or you can’t make it out to Ripken Stadium, there was one voice that kept you in the action. That voice was Paul Taylor. Paul was the 2013 radio announcer for the IronBirds. Paul was on air for all 72 regular season games and the two playoff games. Throughout the season Paul traveled to nine different ballparks, totaling 6,472 miles or 106 hours and 30 minutes on the IronBirds team bus.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Paul and discuss some of his favorite moments of the 2013 season. Here is the first part of this interview:
IB: Paul, what was your favorite IronBirds play of the season?
Paul: It had to have been Conor Bierfeldt’s homerun in Brooklyn on September 1st. He had to have hit it 430 to 435 feet. This play was big because it came right after a strikeout and another player caught stealing. This was the run that tied the game the IronBirds would go on to win.
IB: What was your favorite game of the season?
Paul: July 1st at Hudson Valley. The game went 13 innings and we won 1-0. Sam Kimmel hit a line drive to score Hector Veloz. That was the series where I really knew this team was something special. That series was also the first time the IronBirds had swept a three game series versus Hudson Valley since 2006.
IB: What was your favorite stadium to visit?
Paul: Staten Island. The skyline in the outfield is incredible. You can see the Statue of Liberty from the pressbox. It is the perfect setting for baseball. Plus, it has a huge visiting clubhouse.
IB: Who was the most fun player to watch this season?
Paul: I always root for the the whole team I broadcast for, but I would have to say Jeff Kemp. He was really the unsung hero. Kemp may not have had the flashiest stats, but he always gave 100%. He made great plays at 2nd and always committed hustle plays.
IB: Which player are you most looking forward to watching in the future?
Paul: I have to pick two players, one hitter and one pitcher. For the hitter, Conor Bierfieldt. He’s got a bat. I am really interested to see how he develops into a left-fielder. For the pitcher, I would say Sebastian Vader. He had really good stuff and had good games. This season he pitched two of our biggest games of the year.
IB: What was your favorite game to call?
Paul: The night we clinched the division and the playoff spot. We all had a feeling once we knew Brooklyn lost. You could feel it in the clubhouse and with the excitement and anticipation in the crowd. The fans were so loud that night.
IB: What was your favorite memory from this season?
Paul: It was getting to be a part of the first playoff game. Also, spending my summer with a great group of players and coaches.
If you miss listening to Paul nightly, he currently is broadcasting games for Stevenson Hockey so make sure to listen to him there. Stay tuned next Wednesday for part two of the interview where Paul recaps the top 10 moments of the 2013 season.
IronBirds fans, keep sending your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to see if they appear in our next blog post, Mailbox Monday. Until then, have a great weekend and …
Photo by Bob Rinker