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Friday, April 18, 2014

Area girl on mission to interview MLB stars

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted
Photo courtesty by Marc Smilow
Haley Smilow interviewing New York Mets infielder Justin Turner during Spring Training in Port St Lucie Florida on March 5.

Interviews with Yankees’ star outfielder Curtis Granderson, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ ace pitcher David Price and Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton are major “gets” for most sports reporters. 

But 12-year-old Haley Smilow takes her meetings with Major League Baseball (MLB) stars in stride.

“I don’t get nervous easily, so I wasn’t that nervous,” the Riverdale resident said of her first interview, with Mr. Price. “I was just more shocked about certain things, to see how everything is behind the scenes and see how baseball players really are.”

Since she was 9-years-old, Haley and her family have trekked throughout the country on a mission to visit every MLB stadium. Along the way, she has interviewed 15 pro ballplayers, regularly getting write-ups printed in outlets including Sports Illustrated Kids and Baseball Youth.

So far, the Smilow family has visited 22 of the 30 MLB stadiums. On their most recent trip, they drove to Cincinnati and Pittsburg, then flew to Dallas and parts of Florida.

Such an undertaking is not unheard of among families of baseball fanatics. 

However, in her journalistic work, Haley is overcoming the dyslexia she was diagnosed with as a toddler.

“This has been a really good way to help with her writing and — I don’t know about self-esteem, because she has good self-esteem — and just be more articulate,” said Haley’s mother, Jill Smilow.

In Haley’s process, she said she spends about a week researching her interviewee and taking notes. After that, she devotes a day or two to writing up her questions. Once the interview is done, she transcribes the questions and answers and usually sends them to publications. Haley’s father, who also has dyslexia, helps throughout the process.

“My writing has definitely gotten better,” Haley said. “But it’s also with school and stuff that it gets better, because they help with strategies, too.”

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Smilow

Thank you to Jim Palmer & Shant Shahrigian from The Riverdale Press for interviewing and posting my daughters interview. Thank you to Jay Horwitz and Ethan Wilson from the Mets organization and the biggest THANK YOU goes to Justin Turner.

The Smilow Family

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
delvove

This is a great story for a couple of reasons. First, Haley writes as an adult - you would never guess that a 12 year old was doing the interview. Second, it is a credit to her determination that she is working to overcome her condition. Her parents must be very proud of her and I'm sure they are. Great job, Haley!

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
crweinberg

Great job Haley! Keep up the good work.

Caryn Weinberg

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
thecht

I've read Haley's interviews, she asks all the questions the professional sports reporters forget to ask. (And the ones that are most fun to know-!) What ball park foods players like best, what stadiums they most enjoy playing, how they got started in sports. I love Haley's interviews, and it's about time someone interviewed her! Way to go Riverdale Press.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
martini007

Great job Haley! You really did ask some excellent questions and now I found out some new stuff I didn't know about my favorite NY MET (for obvious reasons). :) Like Justin said, you can do anything...don't let anyone tell you that you can't and BELIEVE!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
KoufakisKids

Love that she took it nationally, She is learning way more than any kid could learn in any school So proud of her, and her supportive parents !

Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Report this
Aikoprod

Interesting Interview. Good questions. After you finish the Major League parks maybe you can start working on Senators!

Friday, September 27, 2013 | Report this
qami3210

Great interview, great questions! And wonderful to see that Haley is able to overcome her own obstacles by putting herself out there in what could be an intimidating situation, interviewing sportsmen on the field! Very proud of you Haley, and I completely agree with Aikoprod; Senators next! Ask them the really tough ones!

Friday, September 27, 2013 | Report this
dsa8585

Haley is an inspiration for people of all ages to follow their dreams and do what they love. You are a naturally great reporter, thinking of questions that I'm sure adults and kids alike wonder about their favorite athletes. Keep up the great work and I hope you achieve your dream of reaching all 30 MLB stadiums, wish I could join you in the West coast! Love, Daphna

Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Report this
Lauren

Great article about a great kid. I look forward to reading more if Haley's articles.

Sunday, October 6, 2013 | Report this
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