CINCINNATI — ESPN NFL Nation reporter Coley Harvey has covered the Bengals for three years, but he definitely knows a thing or two about baseball and Cincinnati, home to this week’s 2015 MLB All-Star festivities. Harvey has been juggling working his “regular job” with helping ESPN cover All Star Week, including features and live SportsCenter appearances from Great American Ball Park.
He talks about his love for baseball and history with Front Row.
What draws you into baseball?
Baseball was always the place I would come back to. I know general sports history and football history of course, but baseball history is unique. It’s different because it’s been such a big part of American history and I love that about it. It’s a dream come true to be covering the festivities surrounding All-Star Week this year.
Tell us about the city’s energy, fans, and admiration for Pete Rose.
This city is connected to baseball history — from [former Cincinnati Reds’ homes] Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium and [current Reds’ home] Great American Ball Park, people love the game whether they’re Reds fans or not. At the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, nurses gave the newborns onesies that read, “2015 Rookie League, The Christ Hospital All Stars” with the mustache logo. In a way, they were introducing the next generation of baseball fans.
Pete Rose is an icon. There’s nuggets of Pete Rose around the ballpark and the city even has a street named after him, Pete Rose Way. He has a strong relationship with the game but also the city. Cincinnati is a baseball city and Pete Rose plays a strong part in that. You’ll see how we captured a lot of that in the features we’ve been doing.
What has been the most exciting moment for you during the festivities so far?
In this business, you don’t really get starstruck because you get used to speaking with professional athletes, but when I spoke with [Baseball Hall Of Famer] Ozzie Smith, I said [to myself], “This is a pretty big opportunity for me and I better enjoy this moment.”
Another highlight was going back to the National Underground Railroad Museum in the city, which is about two blocks from the ballpark. I’m a student of history and the museum shares stories of the diversity in baseball. The diversity isn’t only in race, but in gender and sexual orientation as well. I learn something new each time I go. There are just so many stories.
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will be available on ESPN Radio with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton calling the game tonight at 7 p.m. ET.