It's taken me a little over 10 years, but I've finally landed the type of job I wanted when I departed San Diego State. I accepted a job offer Tuesday from AM 970 ESPN Radio in Modesto to become the station's sports director.
My primarily responsibility will be the play-by-play announcer for the Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team (California League; Rockies affiliate) for all 140 games. I think I will also do play by play for the Friday night high school football Game of the Week in Modesto, in addition to do three sports updates an hour between 5-9 a.m. on the station's morning newscast. (I have no idea when I will sleep.)
Making the transition from newspaper reporter to radio broadcaster is extremely exciting, yet more than a little nerve racking. I basically said "yes" before I had the chance to think it through and get cold feet. It's something I've always wanted to do, I love new challenges, and I didn't want to look back later in life with any regrets for not giving this my best try.
Over the past month in Texas, where I've basically been testing to see if I'm any good at broadcasting, I've learned that describing the action of a baseball game is challenging, but highly rewarding and quite the adrenaline rush. After Wednesday's game, which was actually close and entertaining, I had the amazing sensation of a sober buzz.
Whether or not I'm good enough to reach the majors again -- this time as a broadcaster -- remains to be seen. It's just as much about luck and timing as skill, but maybe I can pull it off.
I start in Modesto on March 1. I still can't believe I'm leaving San Francisco, the city I love so much, but at least it's only a 90-120 minute drive away.
I'll definitely miss seeing my friends and family in various cities throughout the league. That was always a highlight of the job, which usually made up for the time I missed at home. Now I guess these friends and family members will have to get out their Cal League schedules and meet me in Rancho Cucamonga or Stockton, instead of Chicago or Miami.