Giants TV reporter Amy G juggles sports, family and her own kids books
Amy Gutierrez, better known as the San Francisco Giants in-game reporter Amy G, just got back from spending 12 days on the road in late March - first at spring training in Arizona, then in Hawaii on spring break - and the mother of two and wife of sports reporter Paul Gutierrez is facing a re-entry slump.
“We landed yesterday ... my husband slept and then went back to Arizona for NFL meetings,” she said in a phone interview. “There's no food in the fridge, my daughter Gracie has a fever and my son doesn't want to go back to school.”
Still, the Petaluma native sounds upbeat as she talks about the release of her second children's book this week (“Smarty Marty Steps Up her Game,”) and the launch of her 10th season covering the Giants for NBC Sports Bay Area, formerly known as CSN Bay Area,
“The 10 seasons is a big deal for me,” she said. “It officially starts April 2 (today) in Arizona, which I will go to, but I covered a couple of games in spring training last week, and I will do a couple of exhibition games this week.”
This season, Gutierrez will not only broadcast during the game and interview the “Hero of the Game “ (when the Giants win), but she will also serve as a contributing reporter to the both the pre-game and post-game shows. Plus she will cover all the games broadcast by NBC Bay Area and contribute to the MLB Network.
As far as succeeding as a woman in a man's world, Gutierrez appears to have arrived. And she's come a long way from her first season covering the Giants back in 2008.
“I was not received well at all ... people would said “Who is this? She's horrible!'” she recalled. “My first few years, I would know who they (the players) were. Now the young guys know who I am because they watch the games ... I have a little more power on my side. “
Navigating as a female in the male-dominated world of baseball is also the theme of her children's books, which revolve around a young girl nicknamed Smarty Marty. In “Smarty Marty's Got Game,” Marty teaches the game to her younger brother, Mikey, sparking his love of the game. In the new book, Smarty Marty serves as official scorekeeper for her brother's Little League division, then fills in as the announcer.
Gutierrez wrote both books to honor her grandmother, a lifelong baseball fan who was on hospice during the 2012 Giants Championship season but lived to see the team win the World Series that year. Back in 2012, Petaluma publisher Cameron + Company came to Gutierrez and asked her to write a baseball book for kids 6 to 10. It was her grandmother who encouraged her to step up to the plate.
“She said, ‘You've got to do that. And I said, ‘Oh really?” Gutierrez recalled. “You are about to go rest forever, and I can't even get a nap!'” But after her grandmother died in November 2012, Gutierrez decided she would dedicate the book to Martha and name the main character after her.
“It's like paying it forward,” Gutierrez said. “I went back to Cameron + Company and said ‘I want a character to be a girl and to know everything about baseball, and I want to focus on the educational aspect of the game, which is scoring.'
We asked the 43-year-old Gutierrez - who has been scoring baseball games since she was 4 years old - to talk about the many hats she wears, and how she manages to make all those double and triple plays as mom, sports journalist and book author.
Q: How much of your own life have you used as research for in your children's books?
A: A lot of Marty is me. A lot of Mikey is my son, Zachary. He's not really a fan of baseball, but when we score together, he's much more into it.
Q: After the first book, you created “Smarty Marty's Official Game Day Scorebook.” What was its purpose?
A: I wouldn't classify it as a book. It's a scorebook, and it came off the first book, where you learn the basics of the game and scoring tips .... You can take the scorebook to the game, and it goes into more detail on how to score, with tips and a foreward. There are maybe 25 games in there.
My grandfather saw Babe Ruth, and that's a big deal to us now. And then to have a scorecard from that game ... That's what I wanted kids to get out of it. If Buster Posey is catching and Madison Bumgarner is pitching, that's something that you can keep ... we're in it now, and we don't realize the legend that that scorecard is going to have.”
Q: When do you find time to write?
A: I wrote the original book in the off season. The new book I wrote during the season last year. I got to the games early, sat in the dugout, and I would try to knock out as much as I could before I had to get going.