Bellisario alumnus adds to broadcast experience with postgraduate internship

Katie DeFiore
May 30, 2018

(Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of stories about students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications completing summer internships). 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Matt Harvey spent his childhood listening to award-winning sportscaster Harry Kalas announcing play-by-play for the Philadelphia Phillies. He said hearing the late Kalas’ broadcasts made him realize that was exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up.

Harvey, who graduated from Penn State in May with a degree in journalism, said he loves all sports, but baseball was the first sport his dad exposed him to. It ended up being the sport that always stood out to him as unique from all the others.

“As a kid, baseball was really it for me,” Harvey said. “It was never a debate about which sport I wanted to end up in at the end of the day.”

Now, Harvey is the media relations and marketing intern with the Beloit Snappers, a Class A minor league baseball affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Harvey’s workday for home games often starts several hours before the team is even on the field. He said for a game starting at 7 p.m., he needs to arrive around 8 a.m. to go through game notes. He is responsible for taking the stats of the team members and putting them into a packet for broadcasters, scouts and other media members.

Once the game begins, Harvey is in the press box doing play-by-play for the radio. He also is responsible for writing a game story after each game to put on the team’s website.

“My job is really behind the scenes, getting things to the fans, getting people to the stadium,” Harvey said. “And then, when they’re here and interacting with the game, I’m giving them the experience of the game.”

At Penn State, Harvey got broadcast experience working for CommRadio, which he said has done a stellar job of preparing him for everything he is doing now. He said about 90 percent of what he is doing now at his internship he already got great experience doing with CommRadio, making his transition into the position so much smoother.

He also was a play-by-play broadcaster and media relations intern for the Front Royal Cardinals, a collegiate summer baseball team, in 2017. He said the major difference between that experience and working with the Beloit Snappers is the intensity of the work.

“When you get into the professional sports world, no pun intended, it’s a whole new ball game,” Harvey said. “Team roles are taken very seriously. In this day and age of minor league ball, you are a very integral part of the team, and you need to do your job 100 percent of the time or you will pay the consequences and you will not be in this business very long.”

When Harvey started applying for jobs and internships last fall, he didn’t have any contacts in minor league baseball. Bob Martin, assistant dean for internships and career placement in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, advised Harvey to attend the 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando during finals week to network and apply for jobs in baseball. Harvey said that was where he found out about the Beloit Snappers.

Harvey went through three rounds of interviews, and in the last round, his current manager, Eric Hall, interviewed him.

“He was so confident, and he felt like one of those guys that you knew would do anything and everything to succeed,” Hall said. “Now, he always gets me what I need way before I need it. He takes the initiative, which I think is the best thing.”

In the future, Harvey is looking into working for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Phillies.

He said his ultimate dream job would be play-by-play broadcasting for the Phillies one day like Kalas did.

“But it doesn’t matter where,” Harvey said. “Just being a broadcaster, a play-by-play for a major league baseball team is the goal at the end of the day.”

Last Updated May 31, 2018