Before she was a reality TV star and a famous one-name celebrity, she was a Mets fan.
Raised in Marlboro, N.Y., Nicole Polizzi, known nationally as "Snooki," was introduced to baseball as a young kid by her grandfather. Gramps loved the Mets, so Snooki loved the Mets. That allegiance was apparent during a recent appearance at Citi Field, when, decked out in Mets gear, she tried her hand at broadcasting an inning of a game with the Nationals.
Accompanied by her fiancée, Jionni LaValle, Snooki joined MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel to call an inning from the broadcast booth at the Mets' home ballpark. They taped this before Snooki became reality TV's most famous parent -- she and Jionni welcomed son Lorenzo just a few days ago -- but even when she's not making baby news, anything that happens with the "Jersey Shore" is still, clearly, news.
The broadcast is part of a new MLB.com venture called "Expressed Written Consent." The goal is to bring nontraditional broadcasters into the booth, to have a go at the pastime that's evolved alongside the national pastime: calling the game.
Snooki and Jionni approached their inexperience as broadcasters with a touch of humor, laughing at themselves for not knowing exactly how to fill air time between pitches or exactly how to properly "call" an opponent's home run.
Bryce Harper's two-run homer early in the game was the first test.
"Why are they clapping?" Snooki said. "Throw some French fries at him."
"This kid's unbelievable," LaValle responded. "I'm five years older than the kid and he's hitting home runs at Citi Field."
Snooki: "What a jerk."
Broadcasting may not be her forte, but if there is one thing we've learned about Snooki over the years, it's that she's not afraid to take on new ventures. Her "Jersey Shore" spinoff with pal Jenni Farley, titled "Snooki & JWoww," premiered on June 21, and a second season was confirmed earlier this month. Snooki also recently released her third novel, "Gorilla Beach."
So when approached to call an inning from the booth, it seemed only natural Snooki embraced the opportunity.
"What do you think they say to each other when they huddle up like that?" she asked during a mound meeting. "Like, 'Start playing baseball.'"
"Start throwing strikes?" LaValle guessed. "Keep your head up."
Then it was time to try their hand at actual play-by-play.
"Foul ball back, out of play," LaValle said.
"There's a little kid running on the field," Snooki offered.
"That's the ballboy," LaValle said.
MLB.com will be unveiling more original broadcasts over the next several weeks. Among the new crop are Bill and Willie Geist, and Kevin Pollak. So bookmark EWC to see which storyteller's story is the most fun and whose future in the booth is brightest.