I won the broadcasting lottery twice.
The first lottery win was in 2005 when I was hired to be the radio pre/post game show host of the Chicago White Sox. I grew up a Sox fan, and the Sox won the World Series in 2005. The second lottery win, and one could say this was a greater lottery win than the first for a reason I will get to in a moment, was with the Texas Rangers.
In addition to being the radio pre and post game show for the Rangers, I was their fill-in radio play-by-play broadcaster. Play-by-play in Major League Baseball is rare. Thirty teams kind of rare. You get a taste of it, and you appreciate it even more. I savored every moment. My first fill-in broadcast was in 2010 when the Rangers hosted and defeated the Chicago Cubs. Greatness.
I filled-in on nearly 60 Rangers games throughout the past three seasons, and this is the number five media market in the country! Of course, it whets your appetite for more, but the opportunities are few. Have I mentioned that already?
ESPN Dallas did not renew my contract for the 2013 season, and I am looking for work. This is a topic I have not yet blogged about, but I might (or will) at the right time. Anyway, I became one of the hundreds looking for that next gig.
In MLB, there were just two teams looking for a radio broadcaster this off-season—Seattle and Houston. I bought a lottery ticket for both. Keep in mind, sometimes there isn’t even one job opening in an off-season.
There is so much luck involved in getting a job in MLB. There are so many experienced and entertaining voices in minor league baseball, and most will not even get a cup of coffee in the Big Leagues.
You might know the right people, said all the right things over the years, climbed the minor league ladder or made a million sacrifices to get to the point where you felt like you were ready for a full-time big league job, but it’s a subjective business. What may have worked for the White Sox or the Rangers does not necessarily mean it will work for the Mariners or Astros.
A high-ranking baseball executive told me in November, “you may have chosen the most difficult profession.”
Another high-ranking baseball official told me over the winter, “I don’t know that being the voice of a team now is what it once was.” He was referring to it being a more prestigious gig just five years ago, but advanced technology has played a role in changing broadcasting.
So…I made it to the second round for the Seattle job, but I did not make their final cut. For the Houston gig, I did not make their final round either. Of course, I would have welcomed either opportunity, but I’m not down about either one. This is the baseball broadcasting lottery. I’m already playing other job lotteries.
I don’t know what’s next. It could be in broadcasting, or not. Either way, it will be a lottery win.
You are immersed in The Cool Factor.