Location: Pittsburgh Pirates TV broadcasting truck, parked underneath PNC Park

Featured guests: Pete Toma (broadcast director), Jason Steele (broadcast producer), Drew Brown (instant replay guru), Briana Harsany (graphics wizard) and many other folks from the AT&T SportsNet team

3 things that surprised me:

1. There’s a team of four people in a cubby of the broadcast truck that are each watching cameras with their hands on sturdy-looking joysticks. These folks are responsible for all the instant replays you’ll see during the game. They can slow them down, adjust the timing, and have them ready to replay in seconds. Not only is this a good way for fans to relive an exciting catch, but it could also be used by replay officials to take a closer look at a play and decide whether a team scores or not.

2. Pete Toma always holds a baseball in his hand during a broadcast. When he was a producer, he always had to hold a stopwatch and when he moved into the director position, his hand felt empty — so he grabbed a baseball. Now the baseball serves as a reminder for him to think like a player and try to stay ahead of the game’s action.

3. There’s a video team in the back of the broadcast truck whose job is to make sure that the grass on the field looks exactly the same from the start of the game to the end. That might sound easy but passing clouds and changing light conditions could potentially make the grass look a completely different color throughout a broadcast. This video team is constantly fiddling with a panel of knobs and switches to color correct the turf no matter the conditions, so that when they play a clip of the game’s best plays, the grass color will be identical throughout.

One thing that didn’t make the final cut: These broadcast trucks aren’t owned by the Pirates or AT&T SportsNet — they’re just rented for each individual game or set of games. That means that sometimes the Buccos broadcast team might end up in a city where there are already a lot of events being broadcast and they’ll end up having to rent an older 1990s-era broadcast truck, which can be challenging.

Additional info: Find out when the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing next at their website.

Want more Yinzer Backstage Pass? Check out our visit to Pitaland, where we watched their magical pita machine make 1,800 loaves an hour.