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Listen: Walking Across Ireland with Rick Becker | Irish Baseball Podcast

In episode 44 of the Irish Baseball Podcast, host Rick Becker discusses his recent trip to Ireland with guest co-host Brian McArtin. Rick walked the Ireland Way, Ireland’s longest coast-to-coast walking and cycling trail.

Show Transcript

Rick Becker: Hello, and welcome to episode 44 of the Irish baseball podcast. I’m your host, Rick Becker. But today, I’ll be sitting back and playing the role of guest as Brian McCartan interviews me about my recent pilgrimage on Ireland’s national famine way. And we will also talk about a ton of other topics. Thanks for doing this, Brian.

Brian McArtin: no problem. And it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Looking forward to getting this done and learning about what you have going on. And hearing somebody actually ask you the questions for once is that you asking the questions everybody else. So it should be fun.

Rick Becker: I don’t know if I will like it more because I have to do less preparation, or if I will like it less because I have less control. So we’ll find out.

Brian McArtin: If it makes you feel any better. I did zero preparation. So we should be okay, fantastic. Let’s get into the whole thing of the common link that we have between each other here is the big link we have between the Irish American baseball society. I got involved in it earlier on with John Fitzgerald, we, you know, and John’s a great guy, and he’s a local guy by me. And we did a lot of stuff earlier on. 1015 years ago, Don and I worked on the Emerald diamond movie together. John brought me in. We did music for the Emerald diamond movie and stuff like that. And that’s how I got involved. So my question is how you got involved in the Irish American baseball society?

Rick Becker: Yeah, that is a fantastic question. So I had been following the Irish American baseball society on Facebook, because I found out about it because of the movie, the Emerald diamond. And I was just following on Facebook. And I had started another podcast, a completely different podcast, when John sent out the feelers for somebody to host an Irish baseball podcast, on the Facebook page. And I’m like, Well, if I’ve got the equipment, and I’m already learning how to do this thing, I mean, I have over 25 years in radio broadcasting. But this was my first foray into podcasts. And I thought, if I cast a wider net, if I did two podcasts at the same time, it would sort of help me develop all of those skills. And I’ve really, really enjoyed it. And at this point, it’s not even about developing skills. It’s about hearing all these different stories and talking to all these different people about baseball, about Irish history. It’s really taken me in a lot of different directions. And that’s how I got involved. I just send them an email on Facebook.

Brian McArtin: right? Yeah, it’s crazy how many people this thing is linked together? You know, people of all walks of life, have really jumped into this whole thing that John’s put together and with the baseball society, and the board of what together, you’re talking about radio, something that seems to be like, it seems like 2030 years ago, everybody wanted to be on the radio. No, that was the big thing. Everybody wanted to be on the radio, with the change of podcasting, and all that other stuff. I’m sure. This is kind of like the next evolution for you as being somebody who was in radio before.

Rick Becker: You know, I was thinking about this yesterday, just yesterday, actually, it really feels like the people who were doing radio because they wanted to make money or because they thought it was an easy way to get into the local scene or something like that. They fell off when radio started to die. But the people who really loved the art of broadcasting made their way into podcasting. And it’s so similar in some ways to what I was doing in radio. I mean, I was in sports radio for over a decade. And I’m talking about sports here on the Irish baseball podcast. So it’s similar in that respect, but it’s so different. Because even though John does run the society like it is John’s baby here, still, he gives us so much more control than you would have from a program director at a radio station, or when I was a sports director for a statewide news network that my news director would ever have given me. And it’s really fun to have all that autonomy to go out, find interviews, find stories that I think are particularly interesting, and share them because I never would have had that opportunity. If I would have just stuck to radio.

Brian McArtin: It’s crazy. My father is a ham radio guy. He’s gonna if he he’s never gonna see this or listen to this because he’s just not that guy. But my father is the ham radio guy. His house looks like a bomb shelter have radios everywhere. Florida sale, I have guitars. He has radios, you know. And so I grew up with him in the other room, trying to reach the guy on the other side of the world and having conversations. My dad was essentially

doing a podcast before there was a thing called podcasting. So we just kind of bring that whole thing around and all the stuff that my dad did, you know, now I’m doing, you know, and I guess it’s just all because of, you know, how much we enjoyed that radio atmosphere. You know, I don’t have to, you know, talk about it to another person that we have to go back to the whole clubhouse thing, you know, in sports. And how all of that thing, it’s very, you know, it’s very much the same.

Rick Becker: Yeah, I definitely understand. And, you know, I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and my dad, we didn’t have a ham radio, but my dad would take us up to the lookout tower. And we would see how far we could get to the guy in Pittsburgh, which was about 40 or 50 miles away on the best days. So there’s definitely a little bit of that there. But you know, it’s funny, because when I first started in radio, I wanted to be a rock DJ, that was it. I wanted to be the shock jock. And when I got into broadcasting, I went, Wait a minute. I’m not sure that I really have the personality to be a rock DJ. So I went in another direction. And I’ve kind of done that throughout my career, just following what I’m interested in. And it’s really helped me along the way. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for those experiences and those opportunities. And that’s something that I’m trying to bring to the podcast now.

Brian McArtin: Yeah, you know, I think that the biggest thing that I’ve found, you know, getting into podcasting was just the fact that there’s so much, there’s so many different things you can do with it, you know, as far as like, I did the podcast that I had done before this. It was a little bit about sports, a little bit about entertainment, a little bit about this, that and the other thing. But you know, like this, with this whole thing with the Irish baseball podcast, it’s all about learning about different people in different places and different things and, you know, being a part of it, and, you know, helping to, you know, further the whole movement with the baseball society, and, you know, help John get out his, his word to the rest of the world and spread the, you know, the, the wealth and the knowledge that he has about this whole thing. And it’s just been a lot of fun. And I really think that you know, there’s there’s room for a lot more podcasts, and there’s a lot more people that could do this and you know, we would love to have more people you know, hop on board and, and do a podcast because you know, there’s just so many different things that you can do with it. And it’s so much fun. I mean, I was laughing. I had like, the last time I had done an interview. I hadn’t done an interview in like, probably a year. And it was just it was funny because I was like, what am I gonna do this and then I hit the record button and then I just went right back into it. It was like I had never left, you know.

Rick Becker: Yeah, that’s funny that you say that, because I did one interview on Saturday. And then I did this interview on Sunday, and I got halfway through it. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, I used to do this every day. This was my job. Yeah, I forgot about that. But it’s funny that you say that about being able to do so many different things because I have talked to John before about doing interviews with him. And I’ve talked to people that were players on Team USA in 1990, and people who played for the Irish national team, and people who were involved with Irish baseball teams, like the Ashbourne Giants or the Galway Brewers. And it’s just, it’s interesting how you can just find so many different stories. And it’s so easy to just find somebody, sit them down, and say, hey, tell me about this thing that you did. And they’re more than willing to talk to you about it, because it’s like, Oh, yeah, I remember that thing that I did. Yeah, that was really fun. I’ll tell you all about it. And it’s, it’s such an interesting time to be a podcaster.

Brian McArtin: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the thing is, it’s like, it’s not just like, like, I think a lot of people get the wrong idea with podcasting, like, Oh, I have to have all this equipment. And I have to know how to do all this stuff. And it’s like, No, you just have to be able to have a conversation. And then, you know, just be able to know how to work a couple of buttons on a computer and it’s really easy. I mean, you know, I started out with, you know, John was gracious enough to give me a microphone. So I had the microphone and then I had a $20 recorder from Walmart, that’s what I use. And that’s what I still use. You know, now I’m using a digital version of it, you know, the Tascam DR 40, something like that. But it’s just it’s amazing how much stuff has come down in price and how much easier it is to use and how easy it is to, you know, be able to you know, go to a ballgame, you know, do a little, you know, three minute thing on, you know, talk to somebody on the radio, and then come home and, you know, record an hour long podcast and then upload it to a website. And it’s just, you know, all these things that we thought were so hard, you know, are so easy now. And it’s just, you know, it’s great.

Rick Becker: Yeah, it’s definitely opened up a lot of doors for me personally, because when I was still working at that statewide news network, I was working 50 6070 hours a week, depending on the time of year, and the amount of news that was going on. And there was just no way that I could do another job on top of that. But with podcasting, I could do another job on top of that. And I mean, I don’t have a whole lot of time with my full time job, and then my other job that I have part time, I’m still working 50 6070 hours a week. But I’m doing that because I like it, not because I have to do it. And it’s so nice to be able to work on something that I really, really enjoy.

Brian McArtin: Right? Yeah. And that’s the biggest thing is that you know, if you find something that you enjoy doing, you know, the old saying, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. And it’s just so true. You know, I mean, I love being a musician. And I love being able to play the bass and, and do all

this other stuff. But it’s just, you know, it’s so much fun to be able to, you know, have these conversations and to, you know, go to these ball games and to, you know, do all this stuff. And it’s just, it’s it’s something that I never thought I would be doing. But you know, I’m glad that I’m doing it now.

Rick Becker: Yeah, it’s funny that you say that about never thinking you would be doing it because I remember when I was in school, they talked about doing a podcast before there was a thing called podcasting. And it was, it was on the internet. And I listened to it. And I thought, Well, that’s kind of interesting. But I don’t know that I would ever do that. And now I’m doing it. So I think that’s really interesting how that worked out.

Brian McArtin: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s just it’s funny how, you know, things have changed. And you know, now you can just record a podcast on your phone, and you know, upload it, you know, wherever. And it’s just, it’s amazing how much stuff has changed over, you know, the last 10-15 years. And, you know, who knows where it’s gonna go from here. But you know, I’m just glad that I’m here for the ride. And you know, I’m having a good time doing it.

Rick Becker: Yeah, absolutely. I am too. I think that’s a really good point about, you know, being glad that you’re here for the ride, because, you know, there’s a lot of people that could have done this. But, you know, we’re the ones that are sitting in the chairs, you know, we’re the ones that are, you know, behind the microphone. And it’s just it’s amazing how things work out sometimes.

Brian McArtin: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s been fun. And, you know, I’m looking forward to, you know, seeing where this thing goes. And, you know, I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Rick Becker: Yeah, me too. I’m really excited about it. I think it’s gonna be a good time.

Brian McArtin: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Rick Becker: All right, Brian. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me tonight. I know it’s kind of late. And you probably have to get up early in the morning, but I really appreciate you taking the time.

Brian McArtin: Yeah, no problem, Rick. I’m glad we could, you know, finally do this. And you know, it’s been a lot of fun.

Rick Becker: All right, well, I’ll let you go. And hopefully we can do this again sometime.

Brian McArtin: Yeah, definitely. Sounds good.

Rick Becker: All right, you have a good night.

Brian McArtin: All right, you too.

Rick Becker: Bye.

Brian McArtin: Bye.

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