In the fall of 2011, I had an idea: Why not have long-form conversations with some of my mentors, and let people hear their stories, struggles, and insights?
That idea turned into the internet's first play-by-play podcast series: Candid Voices with Donny Baarns. I wasn't prolific, but I'm proud of the episodes and the stories that they captured for posterity.
Here are all 16 Candid Voices conversations:
Doc Emrick (NHL on NBC):
Donny speaks with hockey broadcasting legend Doc Emrick about his early career struggles, how the game has changed in the last 40 years, and the most memorable fight he's ever called.
Jon Miller (San Francisco Giants)
Donny talks with Hall of Famer Jon Miller about his legendary career, including learning to broadcast with StratoMatic baseball, his Vin Scully impersonation, and why he doesn't care for "The worst baserunning in the history of the game."
Jon Miller (Part 2)
Donny welcomes Jon Miller for a follow-up visit, in which Miller discusses Cal Ripken Jr's record-breaking night, handling Barry Bonds' steroid controversies, and that time he mispronounced the word "puck."
Brian Anderson (Milwaukee Brewers, TBS Sports, CBS Sports)
Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson stops by to chat about what he learned from Ernie Harwell and Al Michaels, how he once tried to quit broadcasting to become a PGA club pro, and the importance of saying "No."
Pat Hughes (Chicago Cubs)
Donny talks with Pat Hughes, the Voice of the Cubs, about having fun on the radio, working with Bob Uecker, and what he might say if the Cubs ever win a World Series.
Mark Boyle (Indiana Pacers):
Donny converses with Indiana Pacers voice (and singularly eclectic guy) Mark Boyle about calling rodeos, the infamous Malice at the Palace brawl, and why he still loves Ron Artest.
Eric Nadel (Texas Rangers):
Donny speaks with the Voice of the Rangers about the agonizing 2011 World Series loss, what he writes to himself before every game, and how close he was to becoming a lawyer instead of a broadcaster.
Joe Castiglione (Boston Red Sox):
Donny talks with longtime Red Sox voice Joe Castiglione about 1986, 2004, and his days as "The Big Cheese."
Ken Korach (Oakland A's):
Donny chats with A's radio voice Ken Korach about his cameo in Moneyball, Derek Jeter's famous flip in the 2001 playoffs, and what Bill King didn't like to wear in the press box.
Ken Levine (Seattle Mariners):
Seattle Mariners broadcaster (and Emmy Award-winning TV writer) Ken Levine tells Donny about his unorthodox entry into broadcasting, replacing Dave Niehaus, and interviewing Vice Presidents on the fly.
Ryan Lefebvre (Kansas City Royals)
Royals radio and TV broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre tells Donny about getting what you want at a young age, his difficult battle with depression, and how he's determined to use his experiences to help others.
Dave Van Horne (Miami Marlins)
Dave Van Horne's a Hall of Fame broadcaster, and his 45-year career began with a dare. He also discusses his 3 decades as the voice of the Montreal Expos, credits his mother for his crisp enunciation, and reminisces on the lost art of game re-creation.
Scott Franzke (Philadelphia Phillies)
Phillies voice Scott Franzke talks about calling MLB playoff games, giving up a Big League gig to hone his craft in the minors, and his hastily prepared on-air eulogy for Philadelphia icon Harry Kalas.
Rick Rizzs (Seattle Mariners)
M's radio voice Rick Rizzs missed his first job interview with the team...and got the job anyway. Hear how 33 Girl Scout cookies gave him the edge, how impossible it was to be Ernie Harwell's replacement in Detroit, and his memories of the 1995 Mariners club that saved baseball in Seattle.
Greg Schulte (Arizona Diamondbacks)
He's the only radio voice the D-backs have known since their first season in 1998, but it took Greg decades to get his shot at a lead broadcasting job. He talks to Donny about working in small-town radio, being a color commentator and producer for years, his successful battle with Lymphoma, and the incredible 2001 World Series.
Jerry Howarth (Toronto Blue Jays):
Donny talks to Blue Jays voice Jerry Howarth about his late start in radio, his father's initial displeasure with his career choice, and why he doesn't wear headphones.
Jim Kelch (Cincinnati Reds):
Donny chats with Reds broadcaster Jim Kelch about his 25-year journey to the Major Leagues, his most discouraging moments along the way, and how he found the ability to persevere and reach the top.
Monte Moore (Kansas City/Oakland A's 1962-80, 1985-92)
Donny talks to former A's voice Monte Moore about working for Charlie Finley, why he didn't care for Harry Caray, and what really happened on that infamous team flight in 1967.