Chicago, Ill. – Aug. 6, 2019 –Jon Zaghloul’s summer broadcasting position with the Crestwood Panthers of the Midwest Collegiate League ended in a way he never saw coming.
After a week of lobbying manager Isaac Valdez for the chance to assist a depleted Panthers pitching staff, the University of Chicago student and former Andrew High School baseball player took the mound to pitch the final inning of Crestwood’s 7-2 loss to Bloomington in Sunday’s season finale at Howie Minas Field.
Zaghloul called every game over the final week of the season in full uniform with hopes that he would be inserted into the game for the Panthers, who finished 11-29 and missed the MCL playoffs. Zaghloul does not play college baseball but was permitted to play in the league since he is a college-eligible player. To the delight of his teammates, he allowed just one run on one hit and one walk and helped complete a rundown for the final out of the inning.
Since Zaghloul goes solo on the Crestwood Panthers video stream, the broadcast booth was vacated with no play-by-play for the final two innings of Sunday’s game as Zaghloul warmed up then entered the game.
The story garnered national attention on Tuesday morning, when Zaghloul appeared on SportsCenter at 8:45 a.m. Central Time to discuss the unusual in-game move of going from the broadcast booth to the pitcher’s mound.
The 19-year-old, who just finished his freshman year at the University of Chicago, is one of the top young sports broadcasters in the Chicagoland area. He hosts his own podcast on SportsTalkChicago.com that has featured countless professional athletes, journalists and broadcasters as guests.