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Out of the Park: Diversity – Joel Goldberg Media

Newsletter / February 29, 2024

In recognition and celebration of Black History Month, the February edition of the newsletter focuses on the beauty of diversity. There are few things more valuable than the richness of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds that only a diverse network can provide. I also believe that honoring diversity is something we should strive to do all year long. I’m proud that my podcast, book and speeches all include stories of phenomenal people who are black, white and every color in between.

Kansas City is also home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It’s a true gem nestled in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. It’s accessibility and the many commemorative artworks that have been produced as a result serve as constant reminders of the benefits – of character and skill – that stand to be gained by welcoming diversity.

As a baseball guy, it’s never lost on me just how fortunate we are to have such an institution in our own backyard. Its cultural impact only seems to grow each year thanks to the leadership of the Museum’s longtime President, Bob Kendrick. I’ve written about him in the newsletter before. Royals fans will also know he is a frequent guest on our Royals Live pre-game show. I consider him one of the greatest storytellers I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I’m also fortunate to call him a friend.

Speaking of baseball, after months of anticipation, spring training is finally underway. As you read this, I will actually be en route to Surprise, Arizona. While there I will report on the players vying for a position on the Royals’ Opening Day roster. I look forward to getting in the swing of another season. It is sure to bring diversity of players, stadiums and experiences, inside and Out of the Park.

Stadium Standout 

This month, the title of favorite stadium belongs to one that doesn’t actually exist, and possibly never will.

On April 2, voters in Jackson County, Missouri will decide whether they want to extend a 3/8th cent sales tax for the next 40 years. If approved, this would provide funding needed for a new stadium. It would house the Kansas City Royals beginning in 2028.


This is a topic that crosses into politics, something I usually avoid. Many people oppose it because Kauffman Stadium, built in 1973, is the only one they’ve ever known. As someone who has been to every active stadium in MLB (as well as many that no longer are), I know that downtown baseball works.

Change is never easy. But if the proposal moves forward, it will be an incredible opportunity to grow the economy and add even more diversity to an emerging part of the city. 

These deals are always controversial and emotionally charged. Personally, I look at the drawings with nothing but excitement. We’ll find out what the people decide in about five weeks. Stay tuned to see how the story unfolds.

Local Flavor

I love the Lake of the Ozarks for a quick getaway. 

This is hardly unique for a Midwesterner. In the summer, people from Kansas City, St. Louis and their surrounding areas flock to “The Lake” for big boats and even bigger parties. Whether visiting or escaping to their home away from home, it’s a place that is near and dear to many. But because baseball monopolizes my time during the on season, my perspective is based on a different type of experience.

My visits to Lake of the Ozarks have always been in the fall or winter. Crowds are sparse and the vibe is decidedly more tranquil. Over Super Bowl weekend, my wife Susan and I were able to enjoy the weekend away and still make it home in time for “showtime”, as Kansas City Chiefs fans say.


Spending time with our friends Bill and Lori was the highlight of our trip. Dinner at The Tavern at Trails End came in a close second.

The ambiance and menu were both spectacular. It’s understandable that this restaurant is busy year-round. Chef John has owned a number of restaurants in his 25 years, with menus that span an impressive diversity of cuisines. This one was no exception.

The night we visited, there was a tomahawk steak special in honor of the Chiefs. It proved to be a winning meal in advance of the winning game.

Rounding the Bases Rewind

For the past few years, I have quietly made every February episode of Rounding the Bases about Black History Month, and 2024 was no different.

First up was Roy Scott, a former rapper and rising tech star. His company, Healthy Hip Hop, is on a mission to become the urban Disney. His story was also highlighted in the February edition of my blog, Keeping the Score.

I was equally excited to welcome authors Ebony Reed and Louise Story. They joined to discuss their upcoming book, Fifteen Cents on the Dollar. It’s a compelling exploration of America’s pay inequities that deserves a read. Due out in June, its available now for preorder. 

Also joining were Sam White, Donnie Gardner and Jeff Bolden, three African American pilots who took Rounding the Bases to new heights. They’re doing big things to empower the next generation of black pilots, a historically underrepresented demographic in aviation.

Finally, there are my good friends Andre Davis and Chandra Clark. They join the podcast every year to facilitate meaninful discussion and valuable perspectives. This year, we explored what Black History Month means to them, and how to preserve its significance all year long. Click below for an exclusive clip.

Our schedule is already being booked into summer, but we are always looking for interesting guests with standout stories. Would you or someone you know make a great guest on Rounding the Bases?

Apply Today

To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please email my Executive Producer Ashleigh Sterr: ashleigh@joelgoldbergmedia.com

Dugout Dialogue

Baseball season has finally arrived. With it, you can expect more behind-the-scenes content from my travels around MLB, as I do from spring until fall.

Winter typically puts a hold on my visits to Kauffman Stadium. But this offseason, the Royals made some big moves. It resulted in my television network regularly calling me in to cover news conferences. Of them, there were two significant events that will impact the long-term trajectory of the organization, and both took place in February.

The latter involved ownership, politicians and dignitaries who were present for the unveiling of the new stadium plans. This will be a story I continue to follow leading up to the vote on April 2. The earlier of the two news conferences was about a young star who will be the face of the team for the foreseeable future.

At only 23 years old, Bobby Witt Jr. is already one of the most talented young players I’ve covered in my career. He is also quite possibly the most skilled I’ve seen in my 16 seasons in Kansas City. His new contract, valued at 11 years and $289M, made local and national news.

It’s not often that a small market team can afford a high dollar player. Still, the Royals chose to invest in the powerful, athletic shortstop. By doing so, it also invested in the future of the franchise. Watch below to see what he had to say about the negotiations.

Keeping the Score


Every week on my podcast Rounding the Bases, I get the opportunity to interview business leaders, athletes and everyone in between. No two experiences are alike, but each conversation tells a significant story and provides an enlightening lesson.

My blog Keeping the Score rounds the bases with a single, double, triple and home run from one recent podcast. This month, the blog covered my recent interview with Roy Scott. He’s the founder of Healthy Hip Hop, a platform that fuses hip hop beats kids want with the positive messages they need.

His story is one of turning a gut-wrenching setback into the catalyst for something bigger and better. But along the way, he made the most important discovery of all – his purpose in business. Click here to read more about his incredible journey.

Speaking Engagements 

Between events in Las Vegas, Dallas and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, February was a busy month of speaking.

I presented my newest keynote, Winning Trust, to two different audiences. The first was to producers from Assured Partners at a conference in Sin City. I rolled out a shorter version the next day, when I spoke to a crowd of 750 for Church of the Resurrection’s Men’s Conference held at Arrowhead Stadium.


It was an honor to take the stage after former Chiefs football players Jerry Cornelison, Sean Barber and Trent Green, as well as the always-dynamic Pastor Adam Hamilton.

In Dallas, I shifted back to my Small Ball, Big Results keynote to meet the needs of Axalta Consulting Systems’ leadership team. The discussion explored topics of positivity, adapting to change and trust during the ups and downs of business.

March will bring another flurry of activity before regular season baseball begins. I’m most looking forward to a keynote to the Impact Legacy Group in Branson, Missouri.

Limited availability remains prior to Opening Day, as well as on select dates during the season. For more information, please contact my speaking manager, Charlotte Raybourn

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