Joel Goldberg’s second grade teacher never had to watch the big game — because Joel was always there to give her a play-by-play at school the next morning.
Goldberg, known around Kansas City for his role on the Royals broadcast team, is doing what he has loved to do for as long as he can remember: telling stories about sports.
A Philadelphia native, Goldberg has spent a dozen years in Kansas City as one of the faces Royals fans rely on for news and stories about the hometown baseball team. Over time, he has come to realize his work isn’t just about wins and losses. It’s about bringing people together.
“I don’t know if I understood that when I was younger,” says Goldberg, who lives in Leawood with his wife and two teenage children. “I think about that every day. I have a great responsibility.”
When the team is doing well, everyone says he has the greatest job in the world. But when the Royals are losing, people start worrying about his well-being.
“I just don’t look at it that way,” he says. “There are always stories to be told.”
Here are nine of his favorite things.
1. Al Michaels. The legendary sportscaster famously asked fans “Do you believe in miracles?” in the final seconds of the medal-round ice hockey game between the United States and Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The improbable U.S. victory eventually became known as the Miracle on Ice.
2. Joe Posnanski. “I was a huge fan before I arrived in Kansas City, before we became friends. He is one of the best sports writers in the world.”
3. Salvy Splash pictures. “That’s one of those rare moments in sports they know is coming. I have a lifetime’s supply of Salvy Splash pictures.”
4. Sedona, Arizona. “Our favorite home away from home. The hiking, red rocks, arts and people make it a magical place.”
5. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “A lesson in baseball, but more importantly in American History.”
6. Joe’s Kansas City and Jack Stack. “I’m a spicy barbecue guy. So, those two I like — but I really like them all. I wash it down with Boulevard (beer).”
7. Hockey. “While hockey isn’t new, it’s growing in KC and I love seeing the little ones jump on the ice without fear of failing or falling.”
8. Being a parent. “I miss so much due to traveling with the Royals and late nights at The K. So, when I’m home, there’s nothing better than watching our son play hockey or our daughter acting and singing in a play or musical.”
9. My USO trip. “I was asked to go on a USO tour with George Brett, Mike Sweeney, Brett Saberhagen and Reggie Sanders. We spent September 11 in Kuwait watching a Royals game in the middle of the night. When we say ‘Welcome’ to the troops around the world, I have a better appreciation now of what they are going through. I’ve covered Super Bowls and The World Series and breaking news, but that experience was the best.”