From diamond to airwaves: Former MLB players explore broadcasting careers at MLBPAA’s 2023 Career Development Summit

December 4th, 2023

After Major League Baseball players hang up their cleats, they often want to transition from the dugout to the broadcast booth. 

Professional broadcaster Mike Ferrin, who has spent more than 17 years at SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio, operated a workshop at MLBPAA's 2023 Career Development Summit in which players had the opportunity to record a mock radio talk show segment with Ferrin to add to their reel. 

Before the segment, each player was given the option to talk about one of three topics: MLB Free Agency, the pitching rule changes and which team would land Shohei Ohtani. 

"It's an opportunity to get them exposed to what it's like to be in the media and specifically,” Ferrin said. "What we're doing is demoing what a segment of a talk show would be like." 

After their playing career, MLB players have noticeable name recognition, but Ferrin also emphasized the importance of former baseball players having a reel to present to their future employers. 

"It's a lot easier for an employer to hire you, if they can see or hear what you sound like doing the job, than just guessing based on a phone conversation," Ferrin said.  

Following each of the players' segments, Ferris provided feedback on their segments on what they did well and what they could improve on. 

"One of the advantages that we have in this is that by keeping [the recording] relatively short, we're able to give them instant feedback on things that we think that they can improve on and things that they do well," Ferris said. 

Edgar Olmos was one of the former ball players who participated in Ferrin's workshop. 

When Olmos was in high school, he pictured himself either having a career as a baseball coach or a history teacher. 

Olmos was also a dominant high school pitcher and a third-round pick in the 2008 MLB draft. He went on to play in professional baseball for more than 12 years, including Major League stints with the Marlins and Mariners. 

After his playing career, Olmos launched his company, Blessed Baseball, where he teaches young ball players the fundamentals of the physical and mental side of baseball.  

Along with the coaching, Olmos' company also has a podcast called "Rounding The Bases," where he brings in former MLB teammates and friends to talk about the mental side of the game. 

"I want to give insight to the youth to the kids that are kind of upcoming and that want to be able to go on to the next level," Olmos said. "I want to give them insight on how we prepare." 

Ferrin's workshop also provides an opportunity for MLB alumni who have not been on air and want to see what it is like. 

"It was an opportunity for them to try it out,” Ferrin said. “For some guys they may never do anything again and just wanted to see what it was like to see if they can do it."  

Former MLB pitcher Graham Godfrey has a passion for player development and went to the career summit to create connections with MLB alumni with the hopes of having a career surrounding the game of baseball. 

Godfrey participated in the broadcast workshop because he had noticed former teammates go the broadcast route after their playing careers, and he wanted to see what it was like to be on the mic. 

"I see guys that I've played with, they're on TV, they're on radio," Godfrey said. "Being around other baseball guys and being able to talk baseball, there's not many better options than getting to do that." 

Godfrey was new to the mic, but after his mock talk show segment, he got a reel of tape that he could show employers, which opened up another opportunity to stay in the game of baseball. 

"Opportunity is an opportunity if there's a door, take it," Godfrey said. "That was one of the things that I wanted to explore with this." 

After the workshop concluded, Ferrin was impressed by the reels that the MLB Alumni recorded at the 2023 MLBPAA's Career Summit. 

"I think there is a real career path for a number of them," Ferrin said.