Penn State Football: Shoop Tries Hand In Spikes Broadcast Booth
As the ball quickly rolled deep into right field Penn State defensive coordinator knew there was going to be a play at the plate.
The runner was rounding third and headed home and the outfielder was preparing to launch the ball home.
The throw was in time, beating the runner, but the catcher was forced to catch the ball well to his right, the plate to his left. And yet a leaping drive back across his body and into the body of the runner saved the play, getting the out at home.
"To have that kind of athleticism, that's an amazing play." Shoop said.
Normally Shoop enjoys watching the games he coaches from the press box. He likes the view it give him of the game as it unfolds, seeing it play out like the film he watches every week.
And so as he took to the broadcast booth on Friday night it was a familiar setting But this time it was to offer some insight into the State College Spikes' eventual victory.
"Thanks so much for having me up here," Shoop told the usual broadcast crew. "This is awesome."
A passionate Pittsburgh Pirate fan and a close follower of college baseball, Shoop is well aware of the latest in American's great pastime. While at Vanderbilt, he and much of James Franklin's staff got extremely close to the Vanderbilt baseball coaching staff, their recent loss in the college world series did not go unnoticed in Happy Valley.
Surprisingly to most fans who assume their coaches have lived out a life dedicated to football, Shoop was a four-year baseball letterman at Yale. His football season and baseball season never intersected because there was no spring practice, allowing him to live that double life.
And so as Shoop spent the fifth inning breaking down the footwork of the infield and the Spikes' pitching staff he was a bit of a kid in a candy store. While some of his fellow assistants were enjoying their brief time away from football in warmer climates, Shoop was in the broadcast booth, talking about the other game he loves so much.
Maybe the Spikes will have him back too, a crowd of over 5,000 saw State College pick up a 6-1 victory and kick off the Fourth of July weekend in style.