It’s Opening Day!
Otherwise known as a ‘national holiday’ for baseball fans around the world, today marks the kick off of the 2019 Major League Baseball season.
To mark the occasion and explore how Summer Academy 2019 students can turn their passions into future possibilities in the sports industry, who better to ask than , a former professional MLB player turned writer, on-camera personality, and faculty member at The School of The New York Times?
As the longest serving faculty member at The School, Perez has mentored and taught Summer Academy students on the art of storytelling, sports management, sports media, creative writing and more. With his deep experience and impact in mind, we asked Fernando for his thoughts on this upcoming MLB season as well as the courses he’s teaching and the topics he’s excited to discuss and debate with this summer’s cohort.
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For starters, and for all the baseball fans out there, is there anything new and noteworthy about the MLB 2019 regular season? Anything you’re going to be on the lookout for?
“There is nothing new under the sun’ — but the boys of summer are trending younger and that is good news. MLB is packed with exciting, brilliant talents that the league will invariably fail to market. If you have to choose one to follow, pick . He is the most graceful ballplayer I have ever seen, and he is only entering his prime. Baez is an artist of the highest order.”
Asked about the audience for baseball today, Perez commented, “Despite baseball’s popularity decline being discussed ad nauseam, a baseball player named just received a $430 million dollar contract to play outfield for the Angels so I think baseball is alive and well.”
What courses are you teaching during Summer Academy 2019?
“I’m far more plugged into European Football now, covering The Champions League as a cultural reporter for TNT and . The atmosphere in European football stadiums almost makes baseball games look like the antiques roadshow.
Nearly half a billion people worldwide will watch the final match in Madrid on June 1st, after which I’ll return to New York to teach two Summer Academy courses: and .
Are there any specific timely topics you’re excited to grapple with and discuss and debate with this summer’s cohort?
“As always, in Creative Writing I am focused on helping students get their feelings, perspectives, experiences onto the page — intact. It’s always a thrill to get into the raw data in the “salon,” where we essentially learn how to talk about our work. Throughout the term I encourage them to open up and talk more and in return I learn from them about what’s happening now and what the future looks.”
In course I am really excited to debut new exercises that simulate different onscreen innuendos that students may encounter as working talent. This year I did a ‘piece-to-camera’ after jumping out of a helicopter and another while getting tattooed!”
Learn More about Fernando’s courses:
Looking for a sports course specifically? Check out these offerings: