LLWS is a unique event that ESPN loves to be at
When asked what their favorite moment of this Little League World Series has been so far, ESPN broadcasters Julie Foudy and Karl Ravech paused for a second to think. That’s when David Ross, sitting in the makeup chair in their ESPN trailer, spoke up.
He didn’t hesitate to say that his favorite moment was being there to see Jennifer Bloom watch her son Dylan score a run while ESPN interviewed her. Jennifer Bloom was diagnosed with leukemia and made it to the Series to watch her son’s Minnesota team play.
“It just put perspective on the whole thing, to listen to her talk about what her husband’s done not only with coaching team but still checking on her,” Ross said. “It really put perspective on how there’s a whole ‘nother side of life.”
It’s those type of moments that Ross, Foudy, Ravech and the rest of the ESPN broadcasting crew gets to experience during the duration of the Little League World Series tournament.
The three spoke to the Sun-Gazette prior to going on SportsCenter on Saturday morning in the ESPN trailer.
All three agreed that covering the World Series is a unique event they’re grateful they have the opportunity to do.
“It’s a little more laid back. It’s all positive, it’s fun, it’s about the kids. So you’re not criticizing them, you try to find the positive in every moment of what’s going on. For me, it’s unique in that way in that it’s a lot of fun,” Ross said. “I laugh more during these games. The crew, we all goof off. It just doesn’t get any better than this. You’re teaching, you’re having fun, you get caught up in the stories. You just root for these kids and what a unique experience it is.”
Ravech has covered the MLB World Series, College World Series and Little League World Series and said hands down, his favorite to cover is the tournament every summer in South Williamsport.
“We have an audience that watches Little League that doesn’t watch Major League Baseball games. You get 5 year olds, 55 year olds and even 85 year olds, and that’s how people who watch every year are. It’s consistent,” Ravech said. “They’re not into this because somebody’s got 10 strikeouts. They’re into this because they remember when they played Little League Baseball or their grandchildren played Little League Baseball. There’s a joy in South Williamsport.”
For Ravech, it’s now an event every summer he looks forward to being able to be part of a broadcast crew with.
“Every year it’s different. There’s different kids, different managers, different personalities. The consistency is in this (broadcasting) group,” Ravech said. “We all get along, we’re laid back and have context with how serious we should take things and this is a fun group here that understands that this is Little League Baseball.”
That laid-back approach and having fun at the Series is an approach Foudy said she wishes they’d take in other sports broadcasts.
“I always say gosh, we should take what we do here and really push it to other sports,” Foudy said. “It’s always different in that it’s not 12 year olds playing, it’s professionals, but that’s the joy that sports is. It’s the fun you have. It’s so competitive now a days, I think it’s important for people to see that it shouldn’t all be so serious.”
Foudy noted how there’s tons of great people for her and her colleagues to talk to, from the parents at the Series to “Dancing Doris,” “Charles the Cotton Candy Man” and Loyalsock’s Pedie McDonald, who Foudy mentioned by name.
“All these people make it so special,” Foudy said.