SSTN Interviews Sportscaster Billy Pinckney
SSTN: Today we are here with sportscaster Billy Pinckney. Billy is just 18-years-old, but he has been involved with professional baseball since 2015 and has already developed a reputation as one of the young stars in the broadcasting game. Billy is the Press Box and Player Procurement Assistant for the New Jersey Jackals, the Founder of Billy the Batboy’s Corner, and the Owner of Batboy Productions LLC.
We are delighted to have him here with us today.
Billy, it is great to have this discussion with you. Thanks for coming to Start Spreading the News.
Thank you, I appreciate you inviting me on. I’m excited to be here.
Let’s begin by talking a little about your career, so far. This all began with you loving baseball and then serving as a batboy. How does one become a batboy?
It’s an interesting story. Baseball was always a passion of mine and I loved being around the game. I was eleven years old when I wrote a letter to the New Jersey Jackals independent baseball team, which was ten minutes away from my house, and they happened to be looking for batboys and that’s when I joined the crew.
From being a batboy, your career blossomed and has continued to grow. First, tell us about how your work and responsibilities increased year to year….
Having a passion for the game allowed me to keep a vast interest in the game while some other batboys quickly fell off and didn’t have that same passion as I did. I truly wanted to be there and be part of the team. The players and coaches treated me as such and I loved getting to know about their lives and careers, aside from the fact that they were indy ball players in New Jersey. A couple years into my batboy career I thought that interviewing players could be a fun way to get to know them. Also, to me it would be more valuable than a photo with the player or an autograph. In 2017, I approached Jackals management with the idea of helping them with creating content for social media and the video board and they were interested in the idea and ultimately ended up hiring me.
Next, please tell us how much of your success has come from your initiative and hard work. Opportunity doesn’t just come knocking, am I correct? In life, we need to work to find opportunities and live out our dreams. Please share your thoughts on this.
I absolutely agree. I don’t know of anyone else my age who works harder than I do. I was very fortunate to have found my passion at a very young age. I knew I wanted to work in baseball and when I realized that it wasn’t going to be as a player, my interest in sports media and even the business side of the game became very intriguing. Having a passion for something sort of replaces the “work” sense of it with “fun.” If people don’t enjoy what they do, it’s more difficult to be happy and successful with your profession. You can be good at something, but it doesn’t mean you enjoy it. I have realized that you create opportunities with the hard work that you put in. There have been plenty of Friday and Saturday nights where I was in my house editing a production while many other kids my age were out doing things they shouldn’t be. Little did I know that those extra nights working on my craft contributed to my present day success of working alongside Major League Baseball players and a professional baseball team at eighteen years old. Things don’t happen by accident, and the hard work that you put in will eventually pay off.
As you know, I am an elementary school principal. If I were to talk to the students of my school about what it takes to be successful, what advice would you tell me to share with them?
I would say that you have to be willing to do the things that others aren’t willing to do today, in order to do the things tomorrow that others can’t. Having that mindset no matter what your craft is will give you an advantage over anybody else. By exposing yourself to the real world at a young age is a great way to get to know the kinds of career paths that there are in this world. That was what I was able to do at a young age, and I am happy that I was in that situation with many adults and professionals in order to learn how to be a professional myself. If you work hard and put your mind to something, you will achieve success.
What do you most love about what you are doing?
The fact that I am talking to professional athletes on a daily basis is what makes what I do so special. Having been around pro athletes since I was eleven, it’s not scary for me or intimidating. I really enjoy the conversations I have with them and learning about themselves as people. You don’t always get to have positive relationships like that in other professions. It’s what makes the sports entertainment industry so fun to be a part of.
What do you find most challenging?
Many people in my field talk about the long days and late nights at sporting events that are draining, but I actually look forward to going to the ballpark everyday and being there until 11pm. I believe since it really doesn’t feel like work to me, it makes it easier to get to the stadium and spend my whole afternoon and night there. As opposed to someone who might not enjoy it as much being upset about wasting their late nights at a baseball field. For me personally, it’s probably balancing all of my responsibilities that require the most effort and attention. Luckily I can manage my time well, but of course there are times where it could get overwhelming and difficult to squeeze all of my responsibilities into a given time.
What’s next? Where do you see yourself over the next four to five years? What is your ultimate “dream job?”
Last summer I graduated from Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, New Jersey. I am currently a freshman at Montclair State University which conveniently enough is on the same site as Yogi Berra Stadium, the home of the Jackals. My goal is to continue my development for the next three years of college and sign on with a Network such as MLB or YES being that those are a couple of the top baseball networks. My goal is to create digital content for them, whether content for social media or player interviews. I am excited to see what the future brings.
You have interviewed many big-time figures in sports. I like highlighting when our sports heroes are good people. Which person who you interviewed was the kindest to you? The most helpful?
One of my favorite interviews was interviewing former Yankees fan favorite Nick Swisher the year he retired. He was in Triple-A Scranton and I had the opportunity to interview him on the field. Fun time, and a great experience. The amount of positivity and energy that he brings is second to none and it made the interview a ton of fun.
In looking at the history of the Yankees, or baseball in general, what person or event would you like to see a book written about?
I would like to see a book written by someone such as Brian Cashman who has such a vast amount of knowledge in the game of baseball. I would love to hear about the behind the scenes of signings, trades that have been made, or even potential trades that fell through which could have changed the franchise for a long time. The inner workings of the game is something that I have always loved hearing about and a book from him would be a great read.
In the book and the movie The Natural, the main character wants nothing more than to walk down the street and have people say, “There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was.” Who was the best baseball player you have seen (at any level)?
When I was around ten years old I had the opportunity to go to many Yankee games and Mariano Rivera happened to pitch in many of those games during his final season. The efficiency of his game and way in which he was able to get the job done was second to none and is a type of player who we will perhaps never see again in our lifetime.
Our final question is really just a collection of short answers…
What was your favorite baseball team growing up?
New York Yankees
Who was your favorite player?
What is your most prized collectible?
My 2019 New Jersey Jackals Championship Ring is extremely special to me.
Who is your favorite musical group or artist?
I enjoy all types of music. There isn’t necessarily a specific artist or group that stands out.
What is your favorite food (if it is pizza, what is your favorite pizza restaurant)?
Please share anything else you’d like with our audience –
A steak dinner with corn on the cob.
Please share anything else you’d like with our audience –
I appreciate the questions and having an opportunity to contribute to the blog!
Billy, we loved having this interview with you. Keep up the great work.
We all cannot wait to hear about your continued success!