Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
Jeanne Zelasko is very popular these days. "Men want their girlfriends and wives to hang around me," she says. "They hope that whatever I have is contagious." What she has is a burning passion for sports, evident each Saturday afternoon when she hosts FOX's Emmy Award-winning Baseball Game of the Week pregame show. Since 1996 Zelasko, 35—who will be a dugout reporter and anchor the pre- and postgame coverage during the World Series—has won fan respect for both her stat smarts and her foresight. "In July I picked the Yankees and [Arizona] Diamondbacks. So I am looking pretty good right now," she says.
Her expertise wasn't honed on a field but on the sidelines—as a cheerleader at her San Diego high school. "Being down there helped me learn football and basketball," says Zelasko, who still lives in San Diego and has also covered football and NASCAR for FOX. She got her professional start in sports radio in 1993, when women were a locker-room oddity. "Players would yell, 'Check her credentials,'" she recalls. "And I got voice mail saying, 'We don't want to hear a woman.'"
But Zelasko, who met husband Curt Sandoval, 37, a local TV sportscaster, at a Padres game in 1996, is particularly amused by the stereotype that "'women reporters are only there to meet the athletes.' I tease that I was there to meet the media."