Corey Gloor has spent most of his life in the Midwest — childhood and college in Illinois followed by a stint in Wisconsin. Baseball is his favorite sport to call, and he has worked games from high school up to minor leagues.
But Gloor has never experienced, or even imagined, a baseball environment like the one in which he now finds himself.
“It really floored me,” said Gloor, who is in his third season as the play-by-play voice of East Carolina baseball. “I come from an area where college baseball is close to nonexistent. The sheer amount of enthusiasm toward this particular team is hard to come by. It doesn’t really exist at this level. It flat out is second to none.”
Just a few months after accepting the job with the Pirates’ broadcast team, Gloor had the chance to call ECU’s victory at the 2016 Charlottesville Regional and its white-knuckle trip to the Super Regional in Lubbock. He enjoyed every minute of that run and knew it was special, but he was so new to the Pirate Nation that he couldn’t fully engage with the fan base and the historical context of the experience.
This regional appearance, of course, is different. He gets to do the play-by-play in the Pirates’ house, in the first regional at Clark-LeClair in nine years, after ushering fans through a wild ride of an American Athletic Conference tournament upended by impending weather and a scrambled schedule.
On Monday, Gloor at Mellow Mushroom with the players, coaches and a packed house of fans watching the selection show, and he was struck yet again by how many ECU baseball fans live and die with every big inning.
Looking ahead to the weekend, he has that rare sensation of a person who knows, before it even happens, that he is heading into an experience he will never forget.
“This is going to be something special,” Gloor said. “Regardless of what happens this weekend, you’re going to have some unbelievable baseball and some truly passionate and intense crowds. To be able to experience something like this in my booth at Clark-LeClair Stadium, it’s a little nerve-wracking, I won’t lie. But this is going to be something great.”
At his previous stop, as the assistant program director for an ESPN radio-affiliated sports station in Janesville, Wis., Gloor provided the play-by-play for the Beloit Snappers (A), the Midwest League affiliate for the Oakland A’s. While he didn’t approach his task differently in that booth, the flavor of the job is markedly different in the minor leagues, where most fans are just looking for a night of inexpensive entertainment and not wrapped up in the baseball itself or the team’s success.
Gloor first migrated south in 2014, when he accepted a job at IMG College in Winston-Salem. The central command for the broadcasts of more than 50 of IMG Sports’ members, IMG College is a natural stop for any broadcaster looking to find a regular play-by-play gig.
Gloor’s first unique opportunity came shortly after he arrived at IMG, when he accepted an opportunity to become the studio host and coordinating producer for the Texas Christian University football and basketball broadcasts.
“About 90 percent of the people I work with, we all want to be play-by-play broadcasters, so you feel like there would be a natural competition with everyone there, but there really isn’t,” he said. “It’s an unbelievably supportive and collaborative environment.”
For Gloor, that goal found its fulfillment three years ago when he visited ECU for an interview, knew without a doubt that he wanted to speak for the Diamond Bucs and accepted a job offer on the spot. Since then, he has had a great time in the booth, pointing out the funny and absurd whenever possible and dialing into a more intense focus during a game’s crucial moments.
No doubt, several of those moments are ahead this weekend.
“You’re there to tell the story of those nine innings,” he said. “That’s how I’ve approached each and every game.”