With: Joe Buck

Early Influence:

My mom was on Broadway. She was a singer and a dancer. The way I was brought up, I think most other kids were probably listening to Boston, and I was too, but I was also subjected to the soundtracks of Oklahoma or Guys and Dolls around my house at the same time. So I have a wide range of music that has influenced me over the course of my life.

A lot of people tell me that about my dad, who did the Cardinals baseball games for so many years. They tell me how his voice was kind of a soundtrack to their lives growing up, being around St. Louis in the summer and hearing him while they’re mowing the grass or hearing him bouncing off the walls in their kitchen. That was usually the case for me too, but I was usually down at the ballpark. When I wasn’t at the park with him, I was really into music. I saw that as a kid; my parents having friends and family over, standing around singing, that’s really how I grew up.

I equate different years and different events that I’ve done with what music was out or what’s on my radar at that moment. For example, when Pearl Jam’s Backspacer came out in 2009, I was doing the World Series between Philadelphia and New York. I would go listen to that album over and over and over, whether it was after a game late at night, in preparation before the game or even during the game. The record paired with that series perfectly. They now always remind me of each other.

Music & My Work:

I’m not a huge numbers guy. I’ll sit at my desk and put down every relevant statistic to the game I am about to do with music going on in the background. It’s not always the same music. It’s usually something that is soothing to me, like Chris Cornell’s latest album. It can be older stuff as well, that takes me back a little bit. I think when you do TV you kind of have the ability to separate different tracks in your head. I can focus on the numbers better and what I’m putting in, if I have something else going on. That’s why I text people during games and during breaks. It keeps my mind active. Music provides me with that opportunity during my preparation. It makes me concentrate.

We also have this great audio guy named Joe Carpenter. If something is hot on both of our lists, he’ll play it out over the PA that goes into everyone’s headset; whether it’s camera operator, audio personnel or my headset in the both. It really calms me. It lets me know, as I’m about to get ready to do the game, (which at the time feels like everybody is paying every seconds worth of attention to and it’s the biggest thing in the world) that you are just part of a bigger picture going on in the United States and nobody really cares how you do or what you do. You just do your best and have fun.

~Joe Buck

photo via Joe Buck

Joe Buck’s book, Lucky Bastard was released on November 15th. To order, visit: Penguin Random House|Joe Buck or Amazon|Joe Buck

In collaboration with Jeff Gorra — Artist Waves

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