Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Intro from Alana:

OK, I must admit, I have a little hero worship for today’s guest blogger.  A native of suburban Philadelphia and Chicago, Joel Goldberg hosts the (my) Kansas City Royals’ pre- and postgame shows for FOX Sports Kansas City, serves as the television play-by-play voice for the ECHL Kansas City Mavericks, and also calls UMKC basketball.  For years, people have been telling Joel and me separately that we needed to get to know one another – a mutual friend, Craig, finally took care of connecting us and I’m so glad he did.

Joel has spent more than 20 years in television, developing and maintaining relationships with professional athletes, coaches, and team management.  He has become a powerful public speaker and presenter, talking with groups about the networking principles he’s learned from his experiences of interviewing successful icons. Joel drives home a strong message of personal perseverance tailored to each and every audience and focuses on delivery impact for growth.

Upon completion of his degree in journalism and history at the University of Wisconsin, Joel began his television career in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, before moving back to Madison as a sports reporter.  He worked in St. Louis for ten years and was awarded the 2001 Mid-America Emmy Award for Sports Reporting.  Joel relocated his family to Kansas City in 2008 and continues to be an integral part of the Royals’ broadcast team and the Kansas City community.  Please welcome my friend, Joel Goldberg, to CLC!

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer.  Guest Post by Joel Goldberg

“Katie Casey was baseball mad,

Had the fever and had it bad.”

It’s as well-known as Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”  The aforementioned Katie is part of a tune bringing people together for generations, although she never seems to get any R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  “She did not want to go see a show with her beau,” according to the lesser known verse of this 1908 melody, but Katie, more notably, said he could:

“Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

I don’t care if I never get back.”

Teams all across baseball continue to search for a signature tune to play during games so their fans can take part in a fun sing-a-long.  Fenway Park in Boston rocks to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and Astros fans harmonize in unison to “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Finding that perfect song can be a challenge.  Some fans like country music.  Others love hip hop.  We all have our differences.  Different values, interests, and yes, music.  Yet, night after night in baseball, smaller gatherings of 15-thousand often disappointed fans of a struggling team and larger masses of 40-thousand exuberant die-hards of a winning club stand together in the middle of the seventh inning to take part in a generations’ old tradition.  Linked perhaps through a love of baseball or just a familiar melody, men and women, boys and girls, moms, dads and grandparents join with strangers to come together as one.

I believe we can build relationships with anyone.  As a baseball broadcaster, I must connect with superstar athletes who may come from a different background, speak another language and probably share an opinion with my kids in thinking I’m not too cool (meaning not at all).  How do I do it?  I find a common bond over a shared interest.  We don’t have to be best friends, but to build that network, there must be trust.  To build that trust, there must be a connection.

At the stadium, baseball fans don’t even need to like the same team, but when the seventh inning arrives, they join together, changing one word for the team of their choice.  Cubs fans felt a connection to legendary announcer Harry Caray because he sang with them.  We all sing together at the ballpark.

“When the score was just two to two,

Katie Casey knew what to do,

Just to cheer up the boys she knew,

She made the gang sing this song.”

Networking and relationships involve pulling for each other.  Or in baseball terms, we “root, root, root for the home team.”

One thought to “Root, Root, Root for the Home Team”

  1. Wonderful posting about the harmony that sports, organizational team building and networking can play in balance and personal / professional development. Of course you two had to meet!

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