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The Real Joe Buck: His life, his dad & what he doesn’t share on air

January 18th, 2017 will be the 30th anniversary of a very important day for me.

I’d been laying in a hospital bed for a full day after being burned on 100% of my body. I couldn’t move. My eyes were swollen shut. Into that darkness came my very special hero, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals, Jack Buck.

He was told I’d die. But yet he came back day after day to encourage me to live. Then, he held “John O’Leary Day” at the Ballpark at Busch stadium to help me celebrate life. Next, he taught me to write again by giving me 60 very special gifts. And the story keeps going…

To do justice to Jack’s story and legacy I have a very special guest joining me on our show. Today, we’re joined by Emmy-award-winning announcer, father, husband, leader, author and Jack Buck’s son: Joe Buck.

Joe will share about his life, his dad and things he can’t share on air. From being bullied as a kid to dreaming about how to improve dialogue between inner cities and police enforcement, Joe doesn’t hold anything back.

I’m honored to be the first to interview Joe about his new book Lucky Bastard. Join me on Facebook to see how you can win a copy – I bought 60 to share with you!

Do not miss this episode! Here are a few of my key takeaways:

  • We all have a past. We all have insecurities. We can all learn from each other’s experiences. We have much more in common than we think.
  • When life hands us lemonade, it is important to stay grateful.
  • Sometimes it’s best not to fill the silence with words, but to listen and absorb the energy in the room.

The LIVE INSPIRED 7 segment is a series of 7 questions, shared “rapid fire” and answered boldly (without prep!) by our guests. My hope is to leave you reflecting on our guest’s answers and YOUR answers… and excited to apply ideas from today’s show to help you live an inspired life.

Joe Buck’s Live Inspired 7

1. What is the best book you ever read?

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I only allowed myself to read one page a day because I didn’t want it to end. That’s how beautiful the writing was.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do?

Come up with a way to open the dialogue between law enforcement and inner cities. Without law enforcement we’re lost… I don’t know what it is like to live in the inner city or mistrust law force. It must be an awful feeling. So educating… talking… that is where I’d put my money.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?

Nothing. There is not one thing. I learned that the hard way with my Mom’s house fire. Is there a picture or letter that I have to have? If it’s that important to me, I have it in my mind. I would be upset if we lost the painting of my two daughters. But I can picture it in my mind, I don’t have to hold it. As long as everyone can get out, let it burn.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?

I’d love go back and know my Dad as a contemporary. I’d love to see him in his 40’s. I didn’t really know him in his 40’s. I’d like to see him in his 30’s; what he was like in WW2 if you were on an airplane coming back from war before he was “Jack Buck.” I have a feeling we’d be best friends… I’d also like to tell him “thank you.”

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

From my Dad. He taught me that there’s nothing you can say that is more impactful than a loud crowd. So if the Cubs win the world series, shut up and let the stadium shake and let people hear that. Also the golden rule, when no one is watching: treat people the way you want to be treated.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20?

It’s going to be a hell of a ride. Keep doing what you are doing. Be confident in who you are. When you grow up a fat kid, getting made fun of – that stuff never really goes away. I’m not the most confident person in the world — but you are going to have a great life. Enjoy it while you’re going through it.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?

He was a great father, a good family person, cared more about others than himself and didn’t take himself too seriously.


If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe, rate and review this podcast on Apple Podcasts or on the player below! I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Until then, remember: Today is your day. Live Inspired.

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