Sometimes life has a funny way of throwing you a curveball when you are looking for a fastball right down the middle. That is exactly what happened COVID-19 happened for Gabriella Kreuz. She was laid off from her work with the Cleveland Indians. Like the pro that she is she handled it with grace and has been able to expand on what she does creatively. She recently started a YouTube channel that focuses on local sports stories that have always been on her bucket list.
When I was making a list of different people I would love to interview, Gabriella was on the list. (I should also mention that when I asked people who I should reach out to she was mentioned a few times as well.) What made me want to reach out to her though was her passion for different projects.
Gabriella has covered my hometown baseball team (the Cleveland Indians) and sometimes does segments on the local news. She runs a foundation that works with local schools to promote healthy communication and relationship skills to prevent dating violence. She’s also an amazing songwriter and singer that occasionally can be found in commercials in Northeast Ohio.
So without further ado, meet Gabriella Kreuz!
1. How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I would describe myself as a “creative” and a freelancer. I use my personality, writing, and creativity to add value to the different teams that I parachute into. As a host, reporter and actress, I’ve enjoyed gigs that include working for the Cleveland Indians, Fox Sports Ohio, Cleveland 19 News, and commercial work.
2. Who or what inspired you to start your start Love Don’t Shove?
My personal experiences of violence inspired the creation of Love Doesn’t Shove, mostly due to the incredible support I’ve had from close family and friends. I felt like it was very important to start an interactive and educational conversation with young people about the dynamics of healthy relationships to prevent violence. Healthy communication practices are especially valuable life skills.
3. Have sports always been a part of your life? Are you a fan of sports or teams outside of the Indians?
I’ve always enjoyed sports! I think being an athlete opened me up to loving sports in general, and as a Clevelander, I’ve always followed our big sports teams. I was a huge Cavs fan actually for most of my life because I played basketball and loved watching LeBron because he was such an inspiring talent. Ironically, I wasn’t a die-hard Indians fan until I started working there. Now I feel pretty invested! As a former cross country and track athlete, I also do keep up with the running world pretty closely and follow a handful of my professional runner girl crushes on social media.
4. What does an average day for you look like during the baseball season? What does it look like currently for you?
During the baseball season, the days can be busy! I get to the ballpark 3 hours before first pitch, go up to the press box and grab game notes, and start writing a head to head matchup and pitching matchup for our pregame show. If my cohost has game notes that day then I will look at all the highlights we will have for the pregame show and will practice calling them. Typically we go MLB highlights and then an Indians win highlights if we won the night before. We also find time to shoot a few “pretapes” which are feature or promotional segments we shoot before the game that roll in-game (these help us when we can’t get from one part of the ballpark to another quickly enough during the game). Then during the game, after the pregame show, I scurry around to different parts of the ballpark to feature fans or hype up the crowd in between innings. Postgame, hosting fireworks when we have them!
This year, I felt so lazy!! I didn’t have to do any homework for games or stress about being on a deadline or anything because most of us in Scoreboard were furloughed for the season. Instead, I picked up other jobs. I decided to help coach my high school cross country team and become the social media manager for a local chocolate company while my other jobs like hosting Cleveland Now segments for Channel 19 and commercial work came back.
5. What has been your favorite sports memory since working with the Indians?
I have so many positive exchanges and memories with fans at the ballpark… probably orchestrating and hosting a military homecoming surprise for a little boy and his brother when his dad came home from a year-long deployment. There were tons of media outlets there and a lot was riding on my shoulders to keep the surprise and facilitate a “Deal or No Deal” game making sure the kid opened the right box, then came intro-ing the dad properly with all these accolades… There was some pressure involved for sure but it went so smoothly and it was a real tear-jerker!! Obviously, Rajai Davis’ two-run bomb in Game 7 of the World Series and working the World Series and All-Star Week, in general, were incredible memories, but truly bringing joy to fans is my favorite! All-Star week I got to interview about 15 All-Stars and get them to sing with me in a “Finish The Lyric” game to Old Town Road which was pretty funny.
6. Covid has affected the sports world a lot – seasons have been changed, shortened, or canceled while some leagues have been moved to bubbles and hub cities. Add in the fact games are being called from studios or empty ballparks. How has it affected you this year?
It essentially left me jobless! FSO and the Indians didn’t need/couldn’t use me. So that was tough. But like so many others affected by pandemic job loss, I tried not to take it personally. I leaned on my family and friends for emotional support and was able to power through and have fun in new gigs like being the social media influencer for a nifty wine company called Fun Wine.
7. You have released a few songs, what inspires you when it comes to music? Can we expect any more music from you?
So far, my songs have just been the result of writing about things that affected me at different times. I wrote My World because I needed a pump-up song during the time when I put pen to paper, and Light As A Feather when I felt like I was in love again, and I Cry when I felt heartbroken that it didn’t work out. I have a ton of songs written it just always takes a while for me to get into the studio because the producer I have worked with is pretty busy. “Can’t Flatter Me” is a song I wrote years ago but finally recorded in the studio— it’s basically done! Just got a couple finishing touches to make. And that one is about not settling for less than you deserve! Writing and singing is purely a creative release and empowering personal endeavor that makes me happy.
8. What advice do you have for women looking to expand into sports (journalism / reporting, etc)?
My advice would be to always find a way to have fun. It sounds cliche, but so often we are forced in our individualistic country to just “grind” and “achieve success” and that’s all it’s about. I think first and foremost, choose what will make you happy in sports… then, work hard and be kind! Home your craft, network, and again, have fun!
9. What’s next for you professionally?
I recently started a “Good News with Gabriella Kreuz” YouTube show where I cover good news with our local sports and then good news in the community. Ideally, I’d like to pitch this show idea to sponsors and see if I can get it more steam. Like I mentioned before with fun, it was a concept I chose to do because it was fun for me. Hosting my own show has always been on the bucket list. While Covid shut a lot of things down and I felt emotionally and creatively stifled for about three months, I eventually blossomed and got a little confidence to give myself permission to do my own show Independently.
10. What are five things you are currently loving?
A. Cocoa almond butter from Trader Joe’s
B. Running! I’m in shape again for the first time in 3 years
C. My sister! She celebrates 4 clean this month and I’m so happy our relationship has been able to grow because of it because she has been such a treasured friend and source of Light and laughter when things felt dark this year.
D. ESPN documentaries like Lance Armstrong’s
E. my new Jeep! After driving my 2001 Corolla, Sally, for the last 8 years, it was finally time to let her retire and get something else. I for sure thought I would just get another practical vehicle but after doing my homework and building a budget, I decided to treat myself to a bright yellow Jeep! Took my sister for our first ride without the top on today.
11. Where can we find you online? Any social media handles or any initiatives you would like to support / promote?
• Music on streaming services: Gabriella Kreuz
• Love Doesn’t Shove www.lovedoesntshove.org
• YouTube channel: Gabsalot
• Twitter: @thesportsGab, @lovedoesntshove
• Instagram: @gabriellakreuz, @lovedoesntshove