Blog by: Eric Kuznar
As a group we have been in Florida for two days and have covered stories around Ball State University baseball and the New York Mets .
The obvious choice of stories would be the players performing on the field or the loudest most exuberant fan in the crowd.
Over the last two days I have covered stories and done interviews with both of these types of sources. While these stories and their sources are valuable, as a reporter it is easy to overlook other stories.
I’m not talking about stories that readers usually think of as breaking news or stories that take three months to compile sources and data. They are often quiet, reserved and sitting right next to you in the crowd.
These types of stories can contain a few of the most heartfelt and genuine people.
During my experience at two separate ballparks searching through the proverbial haystack for stories, I managed to stick my hand in the right clumps of hay and get pricked by two such stories.
At Ball State’s spring games against Northeastern and Chicago State University it was two men who were college teammates at BSU during the 1960s’ who reconnected later in life. They’ve become close friends who chase Ball State baseball when they can even though they live on opposite sides of the country.
During the New York Mets spring game against the St. Louis Cardinals it came in the form of a friendly usher who I happened to be standing next to by chance. I began interviewing him for one story only to see a man walking up to him holding an old NBA players card.
The man proceeded to ask the usher for his autograph. The Usher turned out to be Steve Mix who played in the NBA and works as an usher at Mets games to fill time in his retirement.
While neither of the stories are what you would think of as front-page headlines. These stories are just as valuable and often harder to find because they are not in your face, the focus of everyone’s attention or yelling over everyone in the crowd.
They often come as diamonds in the rough that reporters find with a mixture of just talking to people and sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time, shaking the right person’s hand.