Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Catching up With Ryan Wagner

Earlier this week, MLB Fan alumnus Ryan Wagner was hired as the voice of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ryan was chosen from among 670 applicants vying to be the Orioles' new public-address announcer. We recently caught up with Ryan to discuss his new job and what else he has been up to since the season ended.

MLB Fan Cave: How did you find out about the Baltimore Orioles' public address announcer contest?

Ryan Wagner: Oddly enough, someone posted the casting call on my Facebook page, mentioning that they thought it would be a wonderful opportunity. Which of course, it was.

Earlier this week, MLB Fan alumnus Ryan Wagner was hired as the voice of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ryan was chosen from among 670 applicants vying to be the Orioles' new public-address announcer. We recently caught up with Ryan to discuss his new job and what else he has been up to since the season ended.

MLB Fan Cave: How did you find out about the Baltimore Orioles' public address announcer contest?

Ryan Wagner: Oddly enough, someone posted the casting call on my Facebook page, mentioning that they thought it would be a wonderful opportunity. Which of course, it was.

MLB Fan Cave: What was your immediate reaction to learning that you had been hired?

Ryan Wagner: When I found out I had been hired, I was overwhelmed by the moment. Humbled, excited, ready. This was something that I had never set out to do, simply because it's not the kind of job that becomes available very often. For a MLB PA position to open up at all is exceedingly rare, but for it to open up with my hometown team is just absurdly fortuitous.

MLB Fan Cave: What else have you been up to since your time in the Fan Cave came to an end?

Ryan Wagner: I've been catching up on sleep! No, in all seriousness, I've been trying my best to stay busy and stay relevant. I knew there was going to be a point when people would forget who I was and I wouldn't be able to use my time in the Fan Cave as a catalyst for taking the next step in my career, so I was actively trying to figure out what that next step was going to be. In fact, even with the Orioles job now becoming a reality, I still need to figure out what else I'm going to be doing.

I've been working on two Internet projects that I'm excited about: JockTalk.com, which is a new, innovative social media platform that allows fans and athletes to interact closer than they've ever been able to before, and socialnewsmedia.net, which is a once-weekly webisode newscast that breaks down the top stories of the day. Here we use updates from sites like Facebook and Twitter to tell the stories in a ridiculously funny way (think The Soup meets Tosh.O meets The Daily Show). I'm also trying to break into the sports talk radio and voice over arenas.

MLB Fan Cave: What do you miss most about being in the Fan Cave?

Ryan Wagner: The interactions with Mike and the rest of my Fan Cave family. When you work that closely with a group of people over an extended period of time, you become very much like a family, in good ways and bad ways. But just like any family, when you leave them, you miss them. I made some friends in the Fan Cave who I hope to have for the rest of my life, and the jokes, stories, creative ideas, and heartaches we all shared are the things I'll remember most, and therefore miss the most, about my time at the Cave.

MLB Fan Cave: How did the Fan Cave prepare you for your current role?

Ryan Wagner: Well, I certainly know what it's like to watch a whole lot of baseball. But more importantly, I know what it takes to perform over the course of a long season, doing very similar things day in and day out, and make it entertaining, and interesting, and new each and every day. And I know a lot about the pressure of working in Major League Baseball. There is an excellence that is, and should be expected. And I'm confident, thanks to my time at the Cave, that I can deliver that excellence.

MLB Fan Cave: What are some of the classic baseball voices that have inspired you?

Well, obviously having grown up watching baseball at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the legendary Rex Barney. Rex became part of the fabric of Orioles baseball. He became one of the many reasons folks would go see Orioles baseball. His successor, and my predecessor, Dave McGowan, was a professional of the highest regard and someone who is remarkably talented. His voice is one that I've been privileged to hear for the last 14 years, and he never disappointed. And, obviously, if I could chose my career as the Orioles PA announcer to follow someone else's path, it would that of legendary Yankee Stadium announce Bob Sheppard. Mr. Sheppard is the gold standard in stadium announcing, and his refined and smooth delivery, consistency, and ability to pay both home and visiting players, Hall of Famers and rookies alike the same amount of deference and respect is something I hope to emulate.

MLB Fan Cave: What excites you most about your new job?

Ryan Wagner: The ability to be a part of what makes Oriole Park at Camden Yards so special. I may be a bit biased, but I think Camden Yards is still the greatest ballpark in the country. It is an icon, and I'm now a part of that. And, if I may be permitted a brief moment of self-accomplishment, I'm looking forward to working very hard to become a legend in my hometown. I want to be someone who, 50 years from now, people talk about in the same way that they talk about Rex Barney and Bob Sheppard. Now, it seems I have that chance.

MLB Fan Cave: Thirty MLB Fan Cave finalists are headed to Spring Training next week to further audition for a spot in the Cave. What advice do you have for them as they experience the selection process?

Ryan Wagner: Enjoy every moment. Realize that this is an opportunity that will never come along again. And remember that, though you are competing with the other finalists, you all will now forever be linked. Find a way to remain friends. This process will challenge your ability to balance your professional and private lives. It helps to have someone at home; a friend, family member, significant other, or whomever; to keep you grounded. Find that person and utilize them. And, last but not least, have fun!

MLB Fan Cave: What's your take on the new Survivor-style format?

Ryan Wagner: I think it will certainly make things more interesting. Baseball, after all, is a competitive sport and so it's Fan Cave should be as well. I think everyone who makes it to NYC should find a way to continue to work together, even while competing, because that collaboration in the face of elimination will make for some remarkable content. I wish everyone the very best, and I hope I get the chance to meet them all soon!