We let you make the calls

May 07, 2001

We let you make the calls

I've been considering calling my doctor about this constant ringing in my ears.

Oh, no. Wait. That's just our telephones.

Spring brings the sunshine, April showers, May flowers ... all of that stuff. For the sports department, it brings baseball, and lots of it.

More specifically, it brings Little League baseball. The high school seasons are nearly over by the time the youth leagues begin play, which serves as a sort of blessing for us.

But there is a span of about four weeks - of which we are now in the second half - when it all overlaps. Little League and high school baseball. Youth and prep softball.


Then throw high school lacrosse, tennis and track into the mix along with the local college teams and adult softball teams and it's no wonder why my ears are ringing.

On any given night, from 6:30 to 10:30, the sports phones are ringing almost constantly from coaches calling in their results from that night's game.

Our sports staff fielded 192 phone calls between Monday and Thursday this week, an average of 48 calls per night. The majority of those calls come in between 8 and 10 p.m.

With coaches giving us three or four names with each game, we're getting anywhere from 150 to 200 names in the paper each day.

We try our best to get every name correct, but like Bill Buckner, the infamous ex-first baseman of the Boston Red Sox, every now and then a ground ball dribbles between our legs.

We'll keep striving for perfection. Like any baseball player who feels great about a 4-for-4 night at the plate, we feel great when we put together a local sports roundup without mistakes.

And how do we know when we've done that?

Our phones stop ringing, at least for a little while.

Some of the phone calls that we get in the sports department come from people asking how they can submit results or story ideas.

The best and most efficient way to send information is by e-mail. Our e-mail address is, and we check our inbox periodically throughout the night.

Our FAX number is 301-714-0245. If you are sending items via FAX, please include a cover sheet and send it to the attention of the sports department.

Most results are, as stated above, received by phone. Our local phone number is 301-733-5131 and our toll-free number is 1-800-626-6397.

When phoning in results, please have the information ready for the person who answers your call. The faster we can get the information from you, the better. We try not to keep our callers waiting, and we do not want you to be one of the callers who is waiting.

We also ask that if you are calling in results, please call the same day the event is held. We take calls until 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 10:15 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. That's usually plenty of time to call in a score.

Finally, press releases, event announcements or story ideas can be mailed to Herald-Mail Sports, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Please allow three days for delivery time if sending dated material.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 2332, or e-mail him at

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