BELOIT—Beloit College senior Kat Grzeszkiewicz has had plenty of sports heroes she’s looked up to.
Now that her own athletic career is over, though, there’s a particular ex-Buccaneer she’d love to emulate.
His name: Joe Davis. The one-time Buc quarterback is the lead broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, having replaced none other than legendary Vin Scully.
Thanks to some networking, that’s exactly who the former Buc catcher looked to for advice in starting her own broadcasting career.
“(Beloit College President) Scott Bierman invites groups of seniors to his house for dinner so he can get to know us,” Grzeszkiewicz said. “I explained what I wanted to do when I graduated and that was work in sports broadcasting. He said he would connect me with Joe (Davis). That’s just Beloit College in a nutshell. You make connections. The president of the college helped out here.”
Grzeszkiewicz played three seasons of softball at Beloit and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and minor in Journalism. She helped Media Studies become its own department.
She has done her best to find practical knowledge in her field of study. One of her classes with Professor Brian Morello dealt with the process of producing a television broadcast from equipment right up to content.
Off-campus, she put in a summer internship with the Milwaukee Milkmen American Association team and started working for the Beloit Snappers as an intern by the time she spoke with Davis about her career goals.
“He explained how important it was to get started and how he wrote for the Beloit Daily News while he was at the college and worked in minor league baseball,” Grzeszkiewicz said. “I told him about my current internship with the Snappers and he said, ‘There you go.’”
The Greendale, Wis., native got plenty of experience with the Milkmen, an independent minor league team playing in a new 4,000-seat stadium in Franklin, Wis.
“When I started out with the Milkmen, I was doing lots of general stuff, helping with parking and the clubhouse,” she said. “The problem was to get credits for my major I needed to get experience in that area. My unofficial title became visiting media ambassador and I had a bunch of jobs.
“I would get to the stadium five hours before a game and print stat packets, write game notes, remake rosters if there were changes and I delivered those to the clubhouses, the broadcasters and the public address announcer. Once the broadcasters got there I would see if they needed interviews arranged. I would film them, mike them up. do edits for our online streaming service. I would write up a script for the PA guy on the players. Then I would help with pregame events. I’d help keep the show moving during the game. I also kept some notes to compare with the postgame release and help vote for the player of the game. Afterwards, I edited the final writeup and posted it and sent it on an email list. When the visiting broadcaster left I could lock up the field. It was a lot of work, but it was fun.”
She began a sports media and marketing internship/special project with the Beloit Snappers in February. She said she appreciates that the college offers a special project in your field of interest that you receive credits for, in place of a traditional course.
The coronavirus pandemic has put the Midwest League season on hold, but the Marketing & Media trainee says there’s still work to be done.
“I’m learning how to build website pages and manage the website, Grzeszkiewicz said. “I write press releases and post them. It’s been rough with the pandemic, but it’s important that we try to keep the community involved and let them know Snappy is still out there.”
The internship will end in a few weeks and Grzeszkiewicz will take her finals. She hopes there is a MWL season and that the Snappers hire her. She’d love to be part of a second stadium opening. The Milkmen played in a brand new stadium last season.
“The new stadium here will be awesome,” she said. “I love it. I could be around for the building of two new stadiums which would be pretty cool.”
Either way, she has a clear idea of what she wants to do in life.
“I’m determined to stay in sports and use my journalism skills,” he said. “I’d love to do anything with play-by-play or sideline broadcasting. I also enjoy writing and reporting. I love being on the air.”
While she loves baseball, what could be more perfect than the diminutive Grzeszkiewicz interviewing Giannis Antetokounmpo? How many reporters can claim to have as many letters in their last name as the Greek Freak?