ROANOKE, Va. – Like many things in 2020, Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Melanie Newman’s call up to the big leagues from the Salem Red Sox was one big waiting game.
“I found out I was going to get the job in late February, like the first week of the month,” Newman said. “We reported to spring training, we got that one spring training game done and called on radio and we were prepping for the next one.”
Within the hour, spring training was canceled due to COVID-19.
“From that point, that’s when we found out things were coming to a halt.,” she said. Newman spent some time with a friend in Tampa, then stayed with her family in Georgia, “The first two weeks, it gave me much of a mental break.”
Finally, after months of waiting, it was time for Newman to head to Baltimore.
“I was dying to get going after that and was so excited when they finally called and said okay this is your official start date, you’re good to go.”
And it was only fitting that her television debut had a rain delay, “I had to laugh about it. I mean, it was delayed several months because of COVID-19, then another week because of COVID-19, then once the rain started coming in and the tarp was put on the field, I was like yeah, this is pretty par on course.”
But all of that waiting lead up to her history-making moment a few nights later. Newman, while in the booth calling play-by-play for the Orioles game against Tampa, became the first female in franchise history to call play-by-play for a regular-season game. She is the fourth active female broadcaster in the nation.