I want to be a Toys R Us kid!
So the day has finally come that I have to pick the topic for the weekly blog. I decided that we're going to do polar opposites off of last week. Instead of what will you do with your last years on earth, I proposed a "What did you want to do when you were a kid, and how did that influence your decisions to be what you are today?" I'm also going to throw an extra twist in there, that of, what I do anything different?
When I was 4 I started playing T-Ball...ever since that first practice I had always wanted to be a professional baseball player. For 14 years I made that my dream, I trained, and trained and trained...I got award after award, won a few championships here and there, played at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, but never even so much got a glance from a scout. I guess being 5'5 didn't help me, but I did learn something along the way. If I put my mind to something, it usually comes out pretty impressive. If nothing else, baseball gave me confidence along the way.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take a physical science class. (Boring, right?? Stay with me.) My teacher happened to be the Athletic Director, and was more interested in finding opponents for the upcoming football season than he was in educating a bunch of teenagers on where lightning comes from. Granted, I wasn't performing all that well in the class, so my mother suggested I ask for extra credit. The next day I went in and asked, and to my surprise he said that if I announced the freshman basketball games for him that he would overlook my test scores. In a heartbeat I said yes. That was also the last time for about 2 weeks my heart beat at a regular pace. What had I gotten myself into?? Announcing...in front of people...that knew me!!! The game finally came, and I stepped into character as the PA announcer, I had heard the Chicago Bulls announcer and tried to imitate him, much to the fans (and my own) delight I did well. I then went on to be the varsity announcer for 3 years and probably had one of the more recognizable voices in East Palestine History.
The reason that I shared this, is because that one day in SCIENCE class changed my life forever. From the time I put down the mic on that cold November night, to this very blog I have known what my talent really is...sports broadcasting. Had I never taken the chance and said "yes" to my 'extra credit' then I probably would not be here today. My life has taken many twists and turns (many more to come,) but the one constant has been broadcasting. It's my outlet, it's where I feel successful, it's where I feel proud. I'm fortunate enough to recognize this as my lifetime occupation. Being a baseball player taught me the art of communication, it taught me leadership, and responsibility. Being an inspired baseball player never truly made me a great baseball player...being an inspired baseball player hopefully will make me a great employee in the broadcast business. So would I do anything different, or change anything about my past?? Aside from letting Mike Speery "borrow" my Peter Venkman action figure when I was 5....not a thing. Until next time...I'm DJ Yokley