Not many women can say that they have covered back-to-back World Series or held several jobs as a sideline reporter for major sports teams. However, Meredith Marakovits, New York Yankees clubhouse reporter for the YES Network, sure can.
Marakovits’ passion for sports has been a lifelong one as she was an athlete herself growing up, earning a scholarship to play NCAA Division I volleyball at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I also played basketball and did pretty much every sport growing up,” Marakovits added. “I would say I really learned to love basketball and baseball the most, although I enjoyed football. I’m really not a huge hockey fan at all.”
In the early days of her career, Marakovits held multiple internships and various radio jobs and began working for a small television station out of Lehigh Valley, PA, doing everything from photographing, editing, and reporting to a type of “one-man-bad” situation.
“I’m certainly not that old, but they used to have beta cameras. I don’t know if you are familiar with those, but they were so heavy,” joked Meredith. “Nowadays cameras are so much lighter, but I used to lug around the camera and do everything myself.”
Marakovits landed her first “real” gig as the pre- and post-game host and sideline reporter for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) Television Network in Allentown, PA. She also served as a sideline reporter for college football, indoor football, and college basketball.
“I would pretty much take anything and everything to get my name out there,” she said. “And it worked. It payed off for me.”
Marakovits went on to cover the Philadelphia Phillies as a beat reporter for 97.5 The Fantastic/950 ESPN Radio before moving to New York, New York to become a Yankees reporter for 1050 ESPN.
“I covered everything that you could possibly imagine, but I left Philadelphia for New York for a radio job and eventually wound up getting the Sixers gig,” clarified Marakovits, who also held other radio jobs at the time, such as contributor to WFAN 660.
Before long, Marakovits found herself on the sidelines of Philadelphia 76ers games as a reporter for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia before ultimately returning back to the baseball world.
“Although I loved basketball, it was very weird to have Opening Day roll around and not be doing any baseball coverage,” she admitted.
Another door, perhaps the most important one thus far, opened for Marakovits when Kim Jones left the YES Network at the end of the 2011 season. Meredith assumed the role of Yankees clubhouse reporter when the 2012 season began although it was slightly sad for her to part ways with basketball.
“It was more a tough thing to leave the Sixers because they treated me so well and I was from the Philadelphia area,” she added, “but certainly, you get an opportunity like the Yankees and you don’t even think twice.”
These days, Marakovits can be easily found reporting on the YES Network’s Yankees Batting Practice Today, pre- and post-game shows, and during Yankees game telecasts. She also contributes to the network’s website and appears on other Yankees programming.
“Getting the Yankees job was certainly a big job for me. It’s brought me into market one television, and that’s probably the best sports franchise you can work for,” she noted. “The YES Network is a bunch of fantastic people, and to be able to join that team – it is definitely an accomplishment.”
While her career is still young, Marakovits has already experienced a few of sports’ most exciting moments, such as the World Series – twice. The Phillies clinched the title in 2008 while the Yankees followed suit a year later, but that night in Philly still stands out.
“That’s something you thought you would never see. Philadelphia was so starved for a championship,” she recalled. “Remembering that run and being able to be a part of it as a member of the media was pretty special.”
It definitely isn’t typical to find a sports reporter who was lucky enough to start off in a large market, either, and Marakovits will be the first to tell you that.
“Everybody wants to know how to get to a professional sports team right away and how to get to a good market right away. There’s just no easy way to do it,” said Marakovits. “Not many people start off in a market like that. Often times you have to start off in a small market and kind of work your way up.”
And as a female in the industry, Marakovits warns young women aspiring for a similar career just how important it is to be taken seriously and not perceived the wrong way.
“You need to understand your environment, understand the situation, and try to act as professional as possible. Remember, people do keep a closer eye on you because you are female,” she said. “It’s extremely important to do your homework and show up prepared, otherwise people aren’t going to take you seriously.”
Marakovits also reminds that like with any job, it’s an extremely competitive industry, regardless of gender.
“You need to work hard, pay your dues, and put in a lot of time before you get to a job you really want and you really enjoy,” Marakovits concluded, “and be very conscious of your decisions along the way because once you’re branded a certain way, often times it’s really hard to go back.”
Marakovits is currently covering Spring Training as the Yankees prepare for the approaching season. She has already experienced some great moments during her time at YES, such as her “first New York dousing of champagne when they clinched the playoffs last year,” but the team and their diehard fans definitely aren’t the only ones hoping for another playoff run and championship title in the near future.
“My only hope is that’ll happen with the Yankees this time around while I’m still with the team!” she exclaimed. “Who knows when, but it would be nice to relive that again.”
Here’s to hoping. Nicole can be reached for comment on Twitter, @nicolesorce.