A league of his own

Inspired by his father’s sports journalism career, AJ Lee’26 is calling balls and strikes in broadcast gigs on and off campus. Sports have been an integral part of AJ’s life since childhood.

A career in sports journalism is the goal of baseball player and Round Table sports editor AJ Lee'26. A career in sports journalism is the goal of baseball player and Round Table sports editor AJ Lee’26.

His father, who recently retired from a 40-year career in sports journalism, often brought AJ along to games, giving him a behind-the-scenes perspective. “My dad’s newspaper career definitely impacted my passion for sports,” he says. “Just seeing all the special access he got, it was a no brainer for me to enter the sports media world.”

AJ began playing baseball in third grade. Continuing in college was always his goal, and this dream became a reality when Beloit’s baseball coach called to offer him a position on the team. Having grown up in California, AJ was not familiar with Beloit. However, after touring the campus, he was excited by this opportunity, the small student population, and the prospect of experiencing a real winter.

For AJ, the main adjustment to college baseball was the fast-paced practices. He also found that every player was there because they genuinely wanted to be — something he couldn’t say of his high school team.

This shared passion for baseball has cultivated a tight-knit community. “I’m biased, but I think it’s the best sports dynamic at the school,” says AJ. “We all love each other. When you’re struggling, there’s always someone there to pick you up.”

It was support from his team that led AJ to his current position as sports editor of the student newspaper the Round Table. “A couple of my teammates who were already on the Round Table told me it was something I should do, and I was interested,” he says. He became a staff writer, and then the previous sports editor graduated, leaving the position empty. Two of his teammates nominated him for the position and he got it.

While AJ found that writing for the Round Table helped him enjoy and improve his writing, his passion lies principally in the world of sports broadcasting.

AJ remains a member of the team, but he is currently taking a break from baseball to focus on media. He is taking Beloit’s advanced broadcasting class, which gives students the opportunity to work at BeloitTV, the community access television station operating out of CELEB.

This experience has expanded his opportunities beyond the classroom; AJ has broadcast for the college’s basketball team, and will announce baseball games and run the team’s social media account this season.

AJ also secured an internship with the Beloit Sky Carp, the city’s minor league professional team.

These opportunities allow him to talk about the sport he loves, while getting paid for it, and they come with challenges. “It’s definitely hard. I screw up sometimes and mispronounce names,” says AJ. “It’s an adjustment… a lot of talking and a lot of water, too.”

Beloit’s size has made local internships more accessible. “I’m one of two people on campus who want to do [sports broadcasting]. If I want to work the scoreboard, [the director of sports information] is like, ‘cool, do it.’ If I want to broadcast, she’s like, ‘cool, do it,’ so they’re very open to whatever I want to do and usually let it happen,” says AJ.

AJ also believes that the diversity at Beloit will help him succeed. “Being from California, everyone’s a surfer, like the stereotype, it’s very white. I think that [Beloit’s diversity] is helping me build a stronger understanding of the world,” he says.

Balancing these roles isn’t always easy, but AJ has found staying busy benefits him. “It helps me sleep better…and I overthink a ton, so if I’m always busy, I don’t have time to think,” he says.

AJ plans to continue his busy lifestyle. While his main goal is to continue broadcasting, first in the minor league and then moving up, this isn’t all he hopes to achieve. “I want to own a business, a sporting goods store,” he says. “I just want to do so much in this world.”

By: Emma Laus'27
March 11, 2024

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