One year into their venture as co-hosts of “The Big Swing Podcast,” Ross Stripling and Cooper Surles organized the show’s first live recording. Held inside the Baseballism store in Scottsdale, Ariz., Stripling and Surles recorded in front of an estimated 50 Los Angeles Dodgers fans.
The live show was promoted through “Big Swing” episodes and on social media in the weeks leading up to the appearance, though Stripling and Surles remained guarded against expectations. But when they arrived two hours before the scheduled recording time, they were welcomed by a line of fans.
“Tried to give them as much face time as we could, which is also calming and gets you nervous at the same time,” Stripling told DodgerBlue.com. “But we’re just happy to see people here at the first live one. It’s awesome.
“We want to do as many of these as we can. Obviously, it’s hard because we’re remote with Cooper being in Texas and me in L.A. most of the time. But any time we can do a live one and meet people face to face, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Alanna Rizzo and former Dodgers catcher Kyle Farmer were guests for the live episode. Rizzo had previously appeared on “The Big Swing,” while former teammates Farmer and Stripling remain close friends and live with one another during Spring Training.
The night included the hosts and guests taking questions from the live audience, and also provided Surles and Stripling with an opportunity to reflect on their growing level of comfort with podcasting.
“We’ve had a blast,” Surles said. “Ross and I being good friends, honestly we started it really as a way to kind of just catch up and hang out during the season. We’ve had so much fun. We didn’t think it would get this far, we really didn’t know anything about the podcasting format or ways to do it. It was just sort of trial and error and we grew as we went.
“I think we’re at a point now where we can easily do 45 minutes and feel comfortable doing it. I think the biggest turning point was feeling comfortable with him going on a tangent and I could get it back on track, or vice versa. At first we just stuck to the questions.”
Stripling added: “It was hard. I have respect for you guys and what you all do. It’s hard to, one, if you make a script and like it, to deviate away from it. Sometimes someone goes down an awesome path and you want to be like, ‘No, let’s go back and ask him his favorite color or something.’ But then on the flip side to be as conversational enough to keep something going if you do go down a tangent is kind of a skill. It’s not an easy thing. I think Cooper is significantly better at it than I am.”
The duo hopes to organize more live shows in the future, but at minimum will relish their opportunity together. “We hope it grows, we hope it continues to build,” Surles said.
“But we’re having fun with it and if that’s how it stays forever, then we’ll be happy with it.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our live shows, and more!