THE PADUCAH SUN
Photo by: Ellen O'Nan
Walking into the Chicago Cubs mecca that doubles as Ethan Morgan’s bedroom, no one could doubt where his passions lie.
The team-themed bedspread and the large player decals on the slanted ceiling, the stacks of baseball cards and the pedestals displaying all his autographed balls all attest to his express desire to meet Cubs star Kris Bryant in person.
And while a conversation with the superstar third baseman may have been a pipe dream in the past, Morgan may well get the opportunity this season.
The Reidland 10-year-old recently won a contest sponsored by Major League Baseball and Chevrolet to be the “PLAY BALL” youth reporter for the 2019 season.
Morgan will work 12 events, including multiple regular-season games, Opening Day, the All-Star Game and the first game of the World Series.
“It’s just amazing how I won,” said Morgan. “It all started with me having a love for baseball.”
Morgan, a student at Reidland Intermediate, didn’t care much for the sport when he started playing as a 4-year-old.
“I really didn’t like it but my mom encouraged me to stay with it,” Morgan said.
With that encouragement and a die-hard Cubs fan of an uncle, it didn’t take long for him to develop a deep passion for America’s Pastime.
Last May, Morgan entered a contest he thought was just for tickets to the All-Star Game.
He submitted a video of himself pretending to interview MLB stars and giving their possible answers, but the video didn’t win the contest.
“Out of the blue on Wednesday (March 6), I got a call from Chevrolet,” said his mother, Jennifer Morgan. “My jaw dropped through the floor."
The younger Morgan had trouble taking it in as well.
“It was hard to believe. The first day I didn’t believe it,” he said.
“Just thinking of all the kids who love baseball, and just knowing that anybody could have won,” he added.
Morgan said he’ll be reporting for MLB.com and the MLB Network, sometimes doing live reporting and sometimes prerecorded interviews.
And he doesn’t think he’ll have a problem walking up to his sports idols in his official capacity.
“It’s definitely a skill to talk,” he said. “I’ve never had a problem making friends, talking to people, talking to a higher authority.”
“It’s a thrill, absolutely. He’s deserving of it,” said his grandfather, Terry Wallace.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” he said, and added jokingly, “I wish they had a contest for 57-year-olds.”
To win the position, Morgan was selected from a pool of youth countrywide between the ages of 8 and 14.
He’ll have his own cameraman, and said he’s particularly excited about the All-Star Game.
“Just being able to interview all the players, the all stars. Those are the best of the best,” he said.
Morgan also took a moment to address his thoughts on the Cubs’ chances to win the World Series this year.
“I think they’ll make it.”