Touching Base

By Ron Donoho / Photos by Paul Body

Troy Hirsch has been a TV sports reporter since 1995. He first appeared on the San Diego airwaves on XETV (Channel 6) in 2002 and now hosts FOX5’s weekend sports wrap-up show, “Game On.” Whenever he gets the chance, this boy-next-door from Pullman, Washington, likes to waterski on Mission Bay.

PacificSD: What was the first sports story you ever covered?
Hirsch: “In eighth grade, I did play-by-play for my middle school’s girls’ basketball team.”

What was your first experience in a professional sports team locker room?
“Lou Piniella was the manager of the Seattle Mariners. He sat at his desk with a lit cigarette and a beer. I was an intern. I asked Lou what it was going to be like on the upcoming road trip to Kansas City and Texas. He looked me up and down and said, “Kid, it’s gonna be cold in Kansas City and hot in Texas.”

How are the Padres going to do this season?
They’ll be a .500 team. They won 76 games last year, and it’d be something if they win 81 this year.”

What’s an embarrassing moment you’ve had on live TV?
“I was out covering Sesame Street on Ice. The anchor asked me who was my favorite character, and I said ‘Emo.’ They looked confused. I said, ‘You know, Emo, the little red guy.’ Of course, I meant Elmo.”

What’s a tough situation you’ve had to face on live TV?
“I was in a bar in Spokane, Washington, getting fan reactions. Right when we went live, a guy poured a beer on my head. I had to keep going. And, I had to hold the mic away and tell the girl next to me to stop saying, “Oh, shit!”

What happened to the guy who poured the beer?
“He ran away and I never caught him to give him a beating. I went back on the air for the next segment with a towel on my head.”

Read Troy Hirsch’s “Heavy Hitter,” an interview with the Padres weight-gaining centerfielder, Cameron Maybin.