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Moving Ahead In The Action With…Kelly Carey

As more live sports return to ESPN platforms, meet some of the people working to deliver these events to fans

(Illustration: Katie Hughes/Photo: Kelly Backus/ESPN Images)


This week ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters have served as the epicenter for the brand new MLB Wild Card Series – an expanded first round of the MLB Postseason featuring 16 teams competing in the best 2-of-3 series.

ESPN has been the exclusive home for seven of the eight series. That’s up to 21 games in four days across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2.

At the heart of an event that ESPN has appropriately dubbed the “Fall Frenzy” is production manager Kelly Carey.

The 13-year ESPN employee has helped put all the puzzle pieces together to ensure the high-powered ESPN MLB engine runs smoothly and efficiently. Carey has been front and center in helping ESPN bring sports back to the masses since MLB Opening Night in July. If you ask any MLB commentator who their MVP is, it’s Carey.

As part of Carey’s multi-faceted role, she is responsible for creating the master production schedule, which outlines commentator assignments and individual production responsibilities. Considering that includes dozens of commentators per day, in various locations, it’s no wonder why she’s considered so valuable.

Co-worker, production coordinator Gabrielle Riback, said of Carey: “She never complains and always has the right answer. She does it all with grace, poise, and is always kind and respectful.”

Kelly, who was celebrated by trailblazing ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza as part of Front Row’s Team Player series, described her role: “My job is to make sure that everyone knows where they need to be, gets where they need to be, and that everyone has everything they need to ensure they can do their jobs without worrying about any of the little details.”

Karl Ravech, a leader on ESPN’s MLB property and a veteran host and commentator, on Carey: “The truth is the baseball operation wouldn’t function without Kelly’s contributions. Her ability to anticipate potential issues and address them before they ever become a problem is unparalleled. She has an incredible attitude, positive energy and she is selfless. An absolute rock of the baseball family.”


Name: Kelly Carey
Hometown/Residence: Bristol, Conn.
Role/Dept/Years at ESPN: Production Manager / Event & Studio Production /13
Favorite Sports Team: Boston Celtics
The thing I missed most about sports … Actually being there in person to experience the passion of the fans (and the teams) first hand. Flyovers. My “road” family.
Proudest moment since sports returned: The moment I’m most proud of since Major League Baseball returned was sending out the first draft of the MLB Wild Card Series production schedule. It was like a 5,000-piece puzzle that I helped put together – a puzzle that we were missing the corner pieces of until we finally knew the teams.

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