For those who love baseball, Life At The Ballpark gives you an inside peek into the game with entertaining stories from those who play it, scout it, and broadcast it every single day.
Life At The Ballpark is hosted by John Frost, a veteran broadcaster who has enjoyed over 20 years as the public address announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins at their Spring Training home and minor league clubs in Jupiter, Florida.
Life at the Ballpark with Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel
This podcast with Rick Hummel was recorded during Spring Training 2019. I'm reposting at the news of his passing because of how elequontly he reflects on his life. You'll hear Rick share about his love for baseball and how he became a sportswriter. You'll hear about his receiving the phone call informing him that he had been elected the the writer's wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the year that Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. were inducted. He shares stories from his (then) 42 years of Cardinals' Spring Trainings, first in St. Peterburg, then when they moved to Jupiter in 1998. His nickname was “The Commish”, partly for his organizing the NCAA basketball lottery each year but also from the respect he had from his colleagues in the baseball world. I hear that two former baseball commissioners even referred to him as “The Commish”. Rick was a very kind man with an encyclopedic knowledge of Cardinals baseball. I sat within 20 feet of Rick for 23 spring trainings and he always made a point to visit our portion of the press box to say goodbye when spring training wrapped up and he was on his way back to St. Louis. The 4 “Life at the Ballpark” podcasts we recorded together are some of my favorites, and this is the first. When I visited Busch Stadium in St. Louis for my birthday a couple of years ago Rick, who the press box is named for, insisted that I have the microphone to announce the game time temperature. That’s the kind of guy he was. Honored to know you, sir.
Tom Ackerman, sports director at KMOX
Tom Ackerman, sports director for KMOX that has covered the St. Louis Cardinals for over 50 years. Tom shares about how his dad took him to Cardinals' games as a kid and encouraged him to pursue his dream of sports broadcasting.
S5E3: St Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel Reminisces about his 50 year history
On this episode, you’ll hear stories from a Hall of Fame sportswriter who has covered the St. Louis Cardinals for 50 years, through 7 World Series and 20 postseasons.
You'll hear "The Commish's" opinions on the new rules in baseball, such as the pitch clock, bigger bases, and defensive shift restrictions.
The Hall of Fame sportswriter also reminisces about a couple of Cardinals' Hall of Famers that we've lost in the last year, Tim McCarver and Bruce Sutter.
St. Louis Cardinals' season preview with sport columnist Ben Frederickson
Sports Columnist Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch shares his thoughts on the Cardinals’ lineup as we begin the 2023 baseball season. How will rookie Jordan Walker impact the club? Is the starting rotation strong enough to compete? Can the fact that they are moving guys around at various positions actually be a strength?
Ben also reflects on last season's impact of future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols on the team and the city of St. Louis.
Stories from the Astrodome with Todd Kalas
On this episode, you’ll hear stories from the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas of the Philadelphia Phillies, who is now the voice of the team he grew up rooting for as a kid, the Houston Astros.
Todd shares stories about growing up around the Astrodome while his dad called games when the Astros began play in 1965. Harry Kalas was honored with the Ford C. Frick award as lead play-by-play announcer for Philadelphia Phillies, a position he held for 39 seasons.
Todd began his MLB career with the New York Mets, then spent three seasons with the Phillies where he got to be near his dad. In 1998 Todd joined the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for their inaugural season before joining the Astros in 2017, where they have reached the postseason every year since Todd’s arrival.
Other episodes about the Houston Astros:
Take a walk through the history of the Houston Astros with their official team historian Mike Acosta. Part One Part Two
Houston Astros 30-year veteran broadcaster Bill "Brownie" Brown gives you a very special inside look at the Houston Astros franchise including their worst seasons and best seasons as well as insight into the careers of two Hall of Famers, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. Listen Here
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Pt 2: Texas Sports Radio and TV Legend Bill Mercer
Bill Mercer is the original announcer for the Texas Ranger. He also called games for the original Dallas Texans in the old AFL which eventually became the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Dallas Cowboys, including the Cowboy's first Super Bowl. Bill shares behind-the-scenes stories from the earliest days of the Texas sports world.
You'll hear Bill talk about what it was like to announce the historic Cowboys/Packers "Ice Bowl" in 1967 in Green Bay where it was 30 below zero. It was so cold the inside of the glass in the press box was iced over and they couldn't see the field. You'll love hearing Bill recount one of the greatest football games of all time as he shares what he did to not lose focus on the game.
Bill even announced wrestling matches at the historic Dallas Sportatorium. He talks about how he was hired to announce the matches on KRLD TV even though he had no experience with wrestling. Bill is very honest and transparent about how nervous he was to take on this gig. It eventually became a big part of his life.
One of the biggest events in Bill's life happened at 12 Noon on Nov. 22nd in 1963. He was doing the local "Noon News" when President Kennedy was shot and killed. Bill was assigned to go to Dallas police station to do one of the nation's very first live broadcasts. He was there as Lee Harvey Oswald was brought into the station. At 1 o'clock in the morning, the police decided to do a press conference with Lee Harvey Oswald. It was here that Oswald heard for the very first time, from Bill Mercer, that he was being charged with the murder of the President of the United States.
You'll even hear Bill Mercer discuss his insight on the theories that Oswald didn’t act alone. He shared an incredible recounting of Oswald's actions following the assassination of Kennedy.
From Oklahoma to Okinawa: 18K Miles on the LCI(G) 439: A Signalman's WWII Naval Memoir is a book Bill Mercer just released that was a fulfillment of a promise he made to his shipmates who wanted him to write about their experience in Okinawa Japan from 1943 to 1947.
Catch up on previous episodes of Life at the Ballpark with John Frost.
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