With my left arm in that ridiculous compression sling, I decided to put down my bat and pick up a mic. Once healed, I could still play rec baseball, so I began to concentrate on trying to team my passion for baseball with — oh, I don’t know — broadcasting, perhaps?
My voice was maturing into a rich, relaxing delivery. Not terribly deep, but more easy-listening. It would stand out from the crowd.
I started a radio station in my family’s basement. My dad repaired record players and other electronics for fun, so I had a pair of turntables, cassette recorders and a mic.
Once I had enough nerve to tell my friends, they reacted as though they wanted to try it, too. They brought their own music and we played radio through a real Radio Shack AM transmitter.
We didn’t care that the signal traveled less than 60-feet. We had fun creating radio.
Between that, recording my own play-by-play baseball onto cassettes and listening to radio stations more intently than ever, I talked to my folks about contacting the local radio station with a letter and one of my tapes. I offered to clean and make coffee for the opportunity to learn.
The owner (also the GM, sales manager and locally well-known morning host) called me to arrange an after-school meeting. I received a tour (studios and offices in a modest colonial house), a quick audition in the production room, and an offer to learn on-the-job!
The family-owned AM day-timer (broadcasting dawn to dusk according to FCC regulations) was six miles from home. My parents reminded me that I would be sacrificing other activities. However, if I was willing to make the commitment and this is what I really wanted, they assured me that they would provide “taxi service” until I could drive.
The stars seemed to be aligning. I could now get paid to learn broadcasting at a unique radio station that could pay even more dividends for my career.