Competition for GKR? Kid broadcaster nails cameo in Mets booth

August 26th, 2022

When Eddie Kraus heard about SNY’s Kidcaster competition, he immediately jumped into action. The contest required entrants to submit a video, so Kraus, 12, from North Bellmore, N.Y., texted his mother Jen.

“She was like, ‘Uh, can we do this tomorrow?’” Kraus said. “And I was like, ‘No, this cannot wait. I’m doing this video now.’”

He submitted his video -- his call of Pete Alonso’s walk-off home run in a May 19 win over the Cardinals -- and waited. In early August, he heard back: He was a finalist. A few days later, after a phone interview with an SNY producer, he and his family had just taken off for a trip to Disney when his mom got an email. He had won.

“I was freaking out on the plane,” Kraus said.

The big moment came during the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Rockies on Thursday, when Kraus entered the SNY booth to call the bottom of the second inning. Wearing the orange and blue tie he’d chosen, he took his seat between Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez.

“It was crazy, because you watch these guys almost every night,” Kraus said. “You see them on TV, you hear them commentating, and it’s unbelievable because you turn to your right, there’s Keith Hernandez. There’s Gary Cohen. There’s Ron Darling. Sorry Ronny, I kicked you out of your chair.”

Kraus had been preparing for the moment for years. He started interviewing his family at age 3, then started a YouTube channel a few years later, posting videos about the Mets and Islanders. This summer, he attended a sports broadcasting camp at Hofstra University. For years, he’s been watching baseball games on mute (“Obviously not Mets games,” he said, “because the Mets booth is the best, always want to listen to Gary, Keith and Ron.”) and commentating over them.

With all that preparation, the rave reviews were no surprise.

“Kid absolutely killed it,” Taijuan Walker tweeted after the game.

The SNY booth was just as impressed. When the inning ended, Kraus took his headset off and looked around.

“I turn to my right and I see Keith, and his jaw is on the floor,” Kraus said. “He’s astonished. He says, ‘I think you’re one of the best kidcasters we’ve ever had.’”

Back on Long Island, the stint in the booth has turned Kraus into an overnight celebrity. He’s being recognized in the street, and his Twitter following has swelled from around 200 to almost 2,500. Unfortunately, though, the moment can’t last forever. School starts Sept. 1. Going into seventh grade, Kraus is starting at a new school, moving from elementary to junior high.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said, “because they do have a radio club.”

Meanwhile, as far as the Mets are concerned, Kraus is hooked. The 2015 postseason is his first Mets memory, but this year, he’s watching the best Mets team of his life in his first start-to-finish division race.

“I know we say this every year, but this team is different,” he said. “Trust me. I’m telling you, you’ve got to trust the process. I mean, you got to believe, you know?”