Behind the Mic: Hard to Believe

Today’s “Behind the Mic” blog is written by long time RCN personality Scott Barr. He has covered a wide range of sports, including kickboxing, track and field, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, football, and baseball. Most of our viewers, of course, will know him for his work with District XI wrestling. Fans across the valley have heard him call “Give him six!” after a pin, while working with three legends of Lehigh Valley sports—Gary Laubach, Ray Nunamaker, and Jim Best. Outside of RCN, Scott helps small businesses set up retirement plans for their employees, and lives in Macungie with his wife, Melissa, and their four children.

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Hard to Believe

I have a secret that I have been keeping from wrestling fans for years.  When I discovered this about myself, I wasn’t proud, and it took a long time before I could even admit it out loud.  Nonetheless, it’s true.

I like baseball better than wrestling.

There.  It’s out.  I feel a little better now.  Because this is a blog, and there’s space to fill, there is definitely room for explanation.

Many of you know that I have a son who played baseball at a high level.  He had a great career at Emmaus High School.  He was named to various “all-conference” and “all-area” teams as a hitter and a pitcher.  He went on to pitch in college, and was actually a member of an NCAA championship team.  My love of baseball is a direct result of his career.  Each year on opening day, he sends me a “BEST DAY OF THE YEAR!” message, and we both know that it’s true.

As his career got more competitive, my understanding of the game grew as well.  I began to focus on every pitch and every movement of each player.  I even began to appreciate a team’s approach to pre-game rituals, and how they chased after foul balls that went out of play.  Baseball, played well, is a beautiful symphony of activity.  While the pace of the game is often reviled, I appreciate the time to observe, reflect, and consider what is going on.  I really do love it.

Now, baseball for the Barr family has entered a new phase.  I have a younger son—nine years old—who is playing.  From a baseball standpoint, he is NOT his brother.  Let’s just say that he plays for the love of the game.  And I have to tell you, it is an absolute joy to watch.

The little guy has taught me the pleasure of baseball without the pressure.  He, like the vast majority of nine-year olds, does not have a perfect swing.  He’s not interested in a perfect swing.  He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but sometimes he will make a cannon sound effect when he throws, just to be cool.  He plays to be with his friends, to get dirty, and to wear a jersey with his name on it.

He is not a future major league prospect, and would rather build Lego sets or play Minecraft if he had his choice all the time.  He truly has fun with the game, and he allows me to have fun coaching.  There is no fretting over an error, or a bad call by an umpire, or a stupid play—by either of us.  As a coach, of course, I will teach the right way to play the game, but it is not the “perfect” model that it used to be.  It is nine-year olds becoming better baseball players than they were yesterday, and that’s it.

Sometimes, while I am on the road for work, I will pull into a parking lot at an empty baseball field and have my lunch.  The scenery, and the memories, relax me.  Of course, I remember the glory of an amazing career for my oldest.  But now, as well, I chuckle to myself about some of the travails of my youngest.  It’s a true yin and yang.  I didn’t even realize that anything was missing five years ago, but it truly was.

I will always be a wrestler at heart, but as my boys and I say, “we will always have baseball.”

Scott Barr

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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