By Angie Weidinger, Host
So, you think you know Joe Buck? The Fox Sports announcer who has called 19 World Series and five Super Bowls, was a St. Louis Cardinals baseball broadcaster before that, and the son of beloved Cardinals announcer Jack Buck? Well, Joe Buck would disagree with you.
“People think they know me between calling ball one, strike two, homerun, touchdown, and they really don’t. I think you kind of get pigeon holed as someone’s son coming into a business, and I think that engenders a lot of jealousy to some degree and I get it, it’s part of human nature.”
To clear the air, Buck puts it all out there in his book, Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV. For example, the book begins with him peeing in a trashcan during a broadcast.
“If that doesn’t sell books, what will?” said Buck of that story during our Maryville Talks Books interview in the Missouri Athletic Club’s Jack Buck Grill.
Buck’s memoir covers a lot – his relationship with his dad, being accused of being a “homer,” broadcasting in a social media driven society – and yet it’s a fast, easy read. In fact, you can almost hear the broadcaster’s deep voice reading it to you as you turn the pages.
In recent months, the book’s gotten a lot of hype for Buck’s writings on his hair transplant surgeries.
“The way it first came out in Sports Illustrated was that I was A.) addicted to hair transplant surgery which I don’t know that you can be,” said Buck. “Maybe I’m addicted to the result, but I’m not addicted to the surgery. It’s barbaric. And 2.) the word addicted – when you go public with that it’s like people think you’re looking for their sympathy. I’m not addicted, I don’t free-base hair plugs in the corner of a party. It was the ironic twist and means to an end of how I lost my voice in 2011,” said Buck.
That nerve-wracking time of his life was one of the main reasons Buck took time out of his busy schedule to sit down in front of a laptop and write about what he says is “the first 47 years of my life: the good and the bad, the fun and the not so fun, the funny and the emotional and sad. So, it’s as open and honest a look as I can give while maintaining relationships in my life.”
During our interview, Buck talks about several of those relationships, especially his close one with his dad.
“My dad taught me how to be a good person,” said Buck. “And, he didn’t sit down in a classroom and say here’s how you’re a good person. I just watched him. I watched how he treated the person operating the elevator at Busch Stadium the same way he treated the commissioner of baseball if he walked into the booth. It didn’t matter what you were in life to him. If you were a good person, he wanted to get to know your story.”
As part of his Lucky Bastard book tour, another famous St. Louisan returned home to headline an event with Buck: Jon Hamm. Hamm and Buck became friends in high school through a mutual buddy who also calls Paul Rudd a friend.
“I always liked [Hamm] because he’s smart and funny, but also, he was good looking back then and I was just kind of, eh,” Buck said of his relationship with Hamm.
Our interview includes Buck’s impression of Hamm and Hamm’s impersonation of Buck, as well as what Buck says was the “worst call he’s ever done” (hint: it was a St. Louis Cardinals baseball call). Plus, how he became part of the Monica Lewinsky/Linda Tripp historic phone calls – see that and more in a very entertaining conversation with Joe Buck at hectv.org you can find here!