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“Catching” up with ESPN’s Karl Ravech

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Karl Ravech, Baseball Tonight mainstay and one of the faces of ESPN’s MLB coverage, is always finding ways to innovate and help reach new fans.

During ESPN’s SportsCenter Spring Training tour, which was highlighted by a fresh, high-energy approach, Ravech played his part by creating a new segment – “Catch with Karl.”

Ravech reflected on the new segment, one he hopes will continue on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown, this spring.

How did the “Catch with Karl” concept come about?
I was thinking, ‘How could I create content that would utilize and take advantage of relationships I have fostered over the last 15 years?’ How could I get involved and also ind an environment which would make the player far more comfortable than sitting in front of a camera? The concept allows our consumers to see their favorite players in a different light.

In what ways did you feel this format enhanced the interviews?
By putting the player in their comfort zone, with a ball and glove, I figured they would be more apt to open up about things other than baseball. They have been playing catch their entire lives and I’m sure they’ve have had great conversations while doing it. It’s been player-friendly, as each taping was done in less than three minutes, no editing, no lighting issues. They put on a microphone, I put on a microphone and a pair of sunglasses – which contained a tiny camera – and off we went.

What were some of the highlights from “Catch with Karl”?
Three stand out. [New York Yankees infielder] Alex Rodriguez on his daughters helping him with social media; [Boston Red Sox infielder] Dustin Pedroia on being a role model to his boys; and [Washington Nationals outfielder] Bryce Harper on his good friends still attending college.

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