Blair Setford a Broadcast Crew of One, Production by Luciano Lo Franco
The 2021 ISC World tournament is in the books, with Hill United capturing the title of ISC World Champion, their first since 2017. But we would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to tip our cap to the ISC and the ISC Network. The global pandemic of 2020 has dragged on and through 2021, making most everything difficult, if not difficult to plan. A month ago, we watched as Tokyo Japan hosted the Olympics, enduring all of the limitations that the pandemic imposed, most notably, not having fans in the stands to enjoy the games.
The ISC World Tournament in 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and the 2021 tournament was in doubt, starting with difficult in finding a locale to host it. But find one they did, in Eldridge, Iowa, just up the road from longtime host, Quad Cities, and the games went on. The number of teams was reduced, due to the closure of the land border between Canada and the US, and the inability that many teams from Ontario and western provinces had in getting to the event.
But the tournament kicked off a week ago Saturday, on August 14th, with 22 teams competing. Blair Setford was in Iowa in person, sans his usual accompaniment of broadcasters in the booth. Vin Scully was the last of the big league broadcasters to do games alone, but for this week, for this event, Blair flew solo. He welcomed us back in the opening broadcast, reminding us that it had been 700-odd days since the last ISC World tournament. Production of the games was thanks to Luciano Lo Franco, the Spanish-language broadcaster and producer, who streamed the games to our cell phones, onto the computers in our offices and into our living rooms. From the first pitch, to the last, the tournament proved to be one of the more exciting, and evenly matched, with a good number of extra-inning games, and last inning heroics.
By the end of the tournament, on Saturday night, the duo had broadcast two dozen or so games, enabling fans around the world to tune in, and follow the action from wherever they were.
Fittingly, the final broadcast ended with Luciano’s Lo Franco’s drone soaring over the field, capturing the awards ceremony, letting our optimism for the future soar with it, and for this greatest game of ours.
Enjoy the video clip below, put together by Luciano Lo Franco, and the archive of broadcasts available at the ISC YouTube channel.
And the ISC tips their caps to Les Novak, Mr. Ned’s Vahram Mateosian and Peligro Sports for this year’s ISC Network streaming, and sponsors Skelton Truck Lines, Circle Tap Bar & Grill, Corbett’s Source for Sports & Murphy’s Fish & Chips: