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Out of the Park: Inclusivity – Joel Goldberg Media

Newsletter / February 28, 2023

This month’s newsletter focuses in part on inclusivity, which was done to honor Black History Month, but really our celebration began weeks ago.

All month long, my podcast Rounding the Bases featured African American guests. It was an intentional decision, but not a publicized one. I did ask a few of the men and women about the significance this month holds for them, but the most important objective was to tell the stories of successful people. Their credentials speak for themselves.

My lineup of guests represented a wide range of career fields. For example, one was an engineer turned empathy expert. Another was the CEO of a wealth management company that is fostering conversations about race. It even included the local barber who keeps NFL star Patrick Mahomes looking his best.

Speaking of Patrick Mahomes, this month we saw him lead the Kansas City Chiefs to its second Super Bowl victory in four years. It was a game that garnered even more attention than usual, and for a few different reasons. For the first time in history, brothers played against each other. We also saw two black quarterbacks go head to head in the biggest game in football.

In some sense, it’s disappointing that is still newsworthy in 2023. But it’s also something worth celebrating, especially in the month of February. The hometown Super Bowl parade was a thrill. It was also a perfect signal that something even more exciting was about to begin: baseball season.

A few days ago I returned from spring training in Surprise, Arizona. The new faces – but familiar places – reminded me that the Home Opener is just around the corner. Between the pandemic and the lockout, the past few season have been anything but normal. The broadcast team did finally get a taste of it last year when we were once again permitted to travel with the Kansas City Royals.

I can’t predict how the season will go, but I do look forward to the possibility of it all, inside and Out of the Park.

Stadium Standout


When I’m working at spring training, most of my time is spent at the Royals facility. It’s a stadium I have come to know well since joining the Bally Sports/Fox Sports broadcast team in 2008. The venue holds a little more than ten thousand fans, and like most stadiums in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues, it offers a more intimate experience than the bigger ballparks we visit during the regular season.

Fans looking to catch some action up close should plan to arrive mid- to late-morning and wander to the back of the fields. The players are out there almost daily, creating a unique opportunity to snap some pictures. My best piece of advice is to give them their space. They have a job to do, and being respectful of that will go a long way.

As for the games, there’s not a bad seat in the house. My favorite way to watch a game is sitting on the lawn out in the bern while getting some sun. Also, fans wanting autographs should try to grab a spot the left field line. The spring training locker room is behind the bullpen, not through the dugout.

Local Flavor

This month, the local flavor features two Arizona favorites, plus an unrelated bonus.


As seen in the opening video, the White Tank Mountains are a stunning must-see if you are on the west side of Phoenix and like to hike, no matter your skill level. 30,000 acres makes it the largest park in Maricopa County, and I try to go at least once per visit to clear my head and enjoy the scenery.


Unfortunately, I needed more hiking after visiting Lucky’s Pizza. It’s a little slice of heaven hidden in a strip mall…and a nice break from the endless row of chain restaurants on Bell Road. It’s not fancy, but it’s good, making this old school, East coast pizza spot a top pick every year at spring training.


Finally, if you have a chance to see Bruce Springsteen on his recently launched tour, I encourage you to go, no matter where the show is. At 73, he still plays with a passion and energy that is unmatched by most musicians of any age. I’ve always considered myself a casual fan and finally saw him in person for the first time six years ago. After that, I vowed to go again if he ever returned. He came, I went, and I will do it again as many times as I’m able.

Rounding the Bases Rewind

Every episode of Rounding the Bases during the month of February is a must-listen. But if I had to choose just one, it’s the story of Tammy Buckner.

As the CEO of WeCode KC, she’s a black woman in technology who is setting up young girls – and boys – to succeed in an industry where the sky is the limit. The non-profit’s mission is that “every child, no matter their zip code or their family’s financial status, should have the opportunity to code.”

She furthers it with a curriculum that uses innovative, project-based learning to teach technology concepts and leadership skills. By making this education accessible, she’s not only creating a pipeline of future-ready professionals. She’s also giving them the tools they need for long-term success. You can listen to the full interview here.

Don’t miss new episodes released every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Would you or someone you know make a great guest on Rounding the Bases?

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Dugout Dialogue 

Interviews with sports superstars can be amazing, but my favorites are almost always the ones with lesser known players. There’s nothing better than an unexpected hero.

One such example was during our first spring training broadcast from Surprise, Arizona. A prospect by the name of Tyler Tolbert ended up front and center on live television after he hit a home run and made two spectacular catches. The former 13th round pick from the University of Alabama-Birmingham has yet to play AAA, or even AA, the two highest levels in the minor leagues. But after stealing 60 bases in 60 attempts last season, he captured enough attention to be included in big league camp.

He may not be a top prospect yet, but I still made a point to introduce myself early in the week. His moment came after a more highly rated prospect named Diego Hernandez hurt his shoulder while playing center field. Enter Tolbert, who immediately put on a show. I could sense his excitement, adrenaline and even some nerves in his interview, and it was an honor to be a part of it.

Also be sure to watch my interview with Casey Wright, the President of Chief of Staff Kansas City. We sit down to talk about leadership lessons learned in the recent Super Bowl.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements 

A huge thanks to IBT Industrial Solutions for giving me the opportunity to keynote its 2023 Summit. The packed ballroom had an incredible energy to it as employees, family members and suppliers came together to celebrate this third-generation company.

I look forward to speaking to Liberty Hospital in early March about Small Ball and leadership. It’s the beginning of what is shaping up to be a busy year of speaking before, during and after the baseball season.

For more information on my speaking services or to schedule me for your next event, please contact Charlotte Raybourn.

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