Women in the Booth

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Photo By Thomas Jones

RamTV sports makes history with its first female broadcast crew at a Rams Baseball game. Samantha Hallquist and Michelle Barnett took the leap into the broadcast booth on a Sunday afternoon at Foster field. Hallquist is a native of Minnesota that grew up a baseball fan from a very young age. “I celebrated a birthday at the old Twins dome wearing my little tiara and enjoying a game,” Hallquist said. Barnett had a smile on her face as she talked about her upbringing and her first steps as a child were probably on a baseball diamond.

These aspiring broadcasters credit their families and the staff at RamTV for the support in their pursuits.“Angelo State and RamTV have made so easy for me to learn broadcasting and camera work that will carry me in my career,” Barnett said. Hallquist echoed that by stating that the program at Angelo State offers possibilities that other schools do not. Briana Ray is the assistant director of communications at RamTV and is in charge of the talent scheduling for broadcasting. “We look for knowledge of the sport when we assign broadcasting positions for the games,” Ray said. “My background knowledge is my strength when it comes to broadcasting,” Hallquist said.

Hallquiest also said that her mother was especially influential in preparing her for her broadcasting debut. “My mom got me into softball and playing when I was very young, so I grew up loving the game,” Hallquist said. Barnett had similar stories when she discussed her influences. “Just because I never played baseball or softball doesn’t mean that I don’t know enough about it,” Barnett said.

Both have acknowledged that there are not many women doing broadcasting inside the play-by-play booth, but both hope for change. “I want to see more women in baseball that have the passion and the knowledge of the sport,” Barnett said. “I hope more women can take the leap in pursuing careers that have been associated with just men,” Hallquist said.

I happened to be there the day these young ladies got the opportunity to call their first game together. I had the honor of working with both of them as they found their way, and I can tell you without hesitation, they have great talent. They worked long hours doing camera at games as well as the different technical positions in the booth long before they received the opportunity to go live on the air. Nevertheless, all the hard work and long hours paid off for these two young broadcasters as the Rams finished a four game series with Cameron University at Foster Field on that Sunday afternoon. Two young baseball fans made the most of a chance they earned with hard work and perseverance.

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