Suzie Cool and Melanie Newman are teaming up to become the first all-female broadcast team in professional baseball history.
Tentatively, the duo is set to debut on Tuesday, April 23 when the Salem Red Sox travel to Northwest Federal Field at Pfizner Stadium to take on the Potomac Nationals.
If you do not know the name Suzie Cool, you will soon. A hometown girl from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she knew she was destined for stardom. What she did not know is that she would make history. On May 3, 2018, that is exactly what happened as the Salem Red Sox announced that she would join select Red Sox broadcasts, making her the first female broadcaster in Carolina League history.
Fast forward exactly 300 days, and Suzie Cool’s name is in the headlines again. This time, she is not just making Carolina League history or even Minor League Baseball history. On February 27, 2019, her name became permanently etched in the history books of baseball as one half of the first ever all-female broadcasting booth in professional baseball. She will serve as the Salem Red Sox color analyst, alongside play-by-play analyst Melanie Newman, for the 2019 season.
WE HAVE BIG NEWS! 🚨@MelanieLynneN will be the new broadcaster for Salem in 2019! The Sox now have the first all female broadcasting booth in all of @MLB and @MiLB, with the duo of Newman and @SuzKewl.
— Salem Red Sox (@salemredsox) February 27, 2019
My immediate thought was, how does a girl from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is not much older than myself and attended a rival Division III school to my own, make this much of a ripple in such a small amount of time? So I reached out, and she graciously agreed to speak with me. Thirty-five minutes later, I now know that nothing Suzie Cool ever accomplishes will surprise me. Take a journey with me through the life of this remarkable individual.
Cool attended high school at West Allegheny Senior High School in Imperial, Pennsylvania, about half an hour outside of Pittsburgh. From her early days, she knew that she wanted to do something on TV or on camera. At West Allegheny, when a project was due for a class, students were given the option to write a paper, do a presentation, or make a video. “I always made a video, and I thought I was funny,” Cool told me, with a laugh.
She then attended Allegheny College to play college softball, but after a season-ending injury, she decided to transfer to Saint Vincent College to continue her career. It was while at Saint Vincent that she came across a job opportunity with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a ball girl. That is when everything changed.
The Beginning of a Career in Sport
On April 19, 2014, the Pirates were set to face-off against conference foe, Milwaukee Brewers, for the second game of a three-game weekend series. For players such as Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen, it was the 18th game of another season in Pittsburgh. For one unfamiliar face, grabbing a glove and heading onto the field would be a life-changing moment.
“When I walked out onto that field for the first time,” said Cool, “That was when I knew I wanted to be a part of it forever.”
Suzie was on the third base line as her name went over the intercom. She was beyond nervous because she had never been in front of that many people. At that moment, she knew that this industry was what she wanted to work in, she just did not know in what capacity.
Hello Pittsburgh Sports
In order to graduate from Saint Vincent, Cool needed to find an internship. After interviewing for multiple jobs she was not interested in, she saw an open position with the Pittsburgh Penguins. She applied and was hired as a Media Relations Intern. “After that, it opened the doors to the other jobs I got as well.”
After working with the Penguins for most of their home games in the first half of the season, Cool was able to befriend and network with the ROOT Sports (now AT&T Sports) workers at the games. She continued to network for the rest of her internship. This networking ended with her being recommended for an internship with ROOT.
That internship led her to a producing job with 93.7 the Fan, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins flagship station. These positions led to her first on-camera jobs with the Wheeling Nailers and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
“They always say, make sure you network, network, network, and that’s absolutely true,” explained Cool. “Every position I had, all of my bosses had worked together. Even if you get out of the (Pittsburgh) market, you’ll be surprised the amount of people that know each other.”
Move to Salem
With all these jobs and apparent success, I began to wonder what drove her to leave Pittsburgh in the first place. I did not want to paraphrase, so I have included her response below:
“It really wasn’t my choice. Basically, before I left, I got this job opportunity at the Winter Meetings in 2017, down in Orlando. It took me about a month to decide that I was actually going to come down and take this offer. The reason it took me so long is because I was in contact with everybody in Pittsburgh asking them for their opinions on what I should do and whatnot.
“Eventually I kept putting it off for so long that they all sat me down, and they were harsh, but they said, ‘It’s like you’re on a treadmill. You’re doing great things but you aren’t getting anywhere.’ That was how they raised me so I wasn’t upset because they were absolutely right. So after they said that, one of the on-air talents sat me down one day. He said ‘You need to go to a small town and make a name for yourself like we did. That is how you get into this business.’ So that’s what I ended up doing, because I was like if that’s what it takes to make something happen then let’s go.”
Cool has done much more than make a name for herself, she has made history.
This upcoming season will be Cool’s second season with the Salem Red Sox. When asked if she feels that she accomplished her goal of making a name for herself, she responded “100 percent.” She noted that that was the first thing she noticed when she went back to Pittsburgh.
In realizing that life had not stopped and was moving on without her, she noted that she knew she was moving on without it. No longer was she “Suzie the ball girl,” she was now “Suzie the broadcaster” or “Suzie that works for the Salem Red Sox.” Cool said she appreciates having this new identity.
Cool is looking forward to the upcoming season. With all the news out there about her being in the broadcast booth, she is still set on doing all of her jobs to the best of her ability. She was not even planning on being in the booth for the beginning of the season because her first job is Manager of Marketing and Promotions. In this position, she will be running the entire stadium during all home games. These tasks include making sure promotions are at gates, writing public address reads, having giveaways at gates, getting the promotion team ready, making all scoreboard graphics, among many other tasks as assigned. So, despite being in national headlines, she is taking the time to do her job correctly rather than bask in her glory.
Look Out World
Her work ethic speaks volumes about who she is, and she wears many different hats, no matter where she is. “If you’re not doing as much as you did yesterday, then you’re not working hard enough.” She is a true example of how hard work pays off. As I said at the beginning, if you don’t know Suzie Cool, you will soon.
“If you told me a year ago, that I could have done all of this in a year, I would have told you that you’re crazy,” Cool said. “So, I don’t know what another year is going to look like under my belt. But if it’s as special as this past year has been, then I can tell you, I’m gonna be a pretty happy gal.”
For the entire interview transcribed, please view below. Also, click “About Suzie” to view her website and see all the impressive work she has done.
Photo courtesy of Suzie Cool. Suzie Cool retains all rights associated with the image.
View the original article on Last Word On Baseball: Suzie Cool Makes History With All-Female Broadcast Team