Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jumping into the job

David Ubben

I knew I should expect anything heading into my first week at The Oklahoman, but I wasn’t expecting anything in my first hour.

I flew back to my hometown from Poynter on the afternoon of June 7, and made my way to Oklahoma City on Monday morning. I knew I’d be a little bit out of the loop, since the other interns had been there almost two weeks, so I stopped by the newsroom to check in and see how things had gone. I started making a couple calls on other stories before my editor got off his phone and asked me if I wanted a story.

I shouldn’t have to tell you my answer, but he needed someone to go cover Bryce Harper, who was playing in a summer league doubleheader later that night. The larger story was whether Harper, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated just a few days earlier alongside the headline “Baseball’s Chosen One,” would be relocating to the Oklahoma City area.

As soon as I arrived at the ballpark, I located Harper’s dad and took a seat next to him to see what he could tell me. Between games, I got a chance to isolate Bryce and he admitted there was no chance he would move to Oklahoma, answering a question that had dominated the day’s headlines. Later, his dad shooed away a few TV news reporters, providing me with news that was exclusive to The Oklahoman the next morning.

A pretty good first day, considering I wasn’t supposed to actually start until Tuesday.

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