The ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast this weekend will feature a unique innovation.
MLB players have worn mics before on Sunday Night Baseball telecasts. But this weekend, ESPN forays into new territory, as Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado will wear a microphone. Maldonado becomes the first-ever MLB catcher to wear a microphone during a game.
ESPN PR made the move official on Friday afternoon in a tweet.
This weekend, Martín Maldonado becomes the 1st ever catcher to be mic'd up for a regular season game on ESPN's #SundayNightBaseball telecast#StraightUpTX vs #LevelUp
⚾️ Sunday | 7p ET | ESPN pic.twitter.com/OAVrasi0l3
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 14, 2023
Maldonado will be made available throughout the game on a microphone to converse with the Sunday Night Baseball crew. Karl Ravech, David Cone, Eduardo Perez, and Buster Olney will call the game as always as the Astros prepare to play the Texas Rangers in what’s been dubbed a “Lone Star Series” by the Worldwide Leader.
Mic’ing up players during the game has produced intriguing results in the past, as your mileage may vary on this broadcast innovation. During the MLB All-Star Game, Fox mic’d up Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah. Manoah’s in-game conversation and approach to pitching had drawn high praise at the time.
Viewed as one of the premier positions on the team, a catcher has a lot of responsibility. They’re often looked at as leaders, and how they call the game for their pitcher is incredibly fascinating. Maldonado will be able to give viewers an inside look at how things go now that he’ll be mic’d up. It could make for a very interesting ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.