PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- So beloved was Kevin Burkhardt as SNY's field reporter that hundreds of fans gathered on Citi Field's Shea Bridge during his final home broadcast last September, crushing around Burkhardt as he signed autographs and posed for pictures. For eight years, Burkhardt built a reputation as one of the game's best local television reporters, parlaying that into a high-profile national job with FOX.
Steve Gelbs, in other words, has quite the challenge ahead of him.
SNY on Monday officially named Gelbs its new field reporter. Mets fans should already be plenty familiar with Gelbs, an SNY reporter since 2013 who filled in for Burkhardt frequently last season. The Greenwich, Conn., native and Syracuse University graduate will now assume the role full-time, working in tandem with booth voices Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling.
"I'm incredibly excited to join one of the best, if not the best, broadcasts in the entire country," Gelbs said. "Growing up in the area, it's a dream come true."
SNY also released its Spring Training broadcast schedule, beginning with the Mets' March 6 Grapefruit League opener against the Braves. The network will broadcast 15 spring games in total, including March 8 against the Red Sox and March 22 vs. the Yankees.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.