Ryan Wagner is living proof that your dream job is out there, and it can be yours with hard work and perseverance. The 26-year-old Baltimore native and lifelong Orioles fan was recently hired as Camden Yard's new public address announcer, and cannot be more thrilled about kicking off the new season this Friday. "Baseball has been a love of mine for as long as I can remember." He said. "My family are all Orioles fans, and my fandom was instilled in me at a very young age. I grew up a short distance from Memorial Stadium and spent every summer of my life either playing, watching, or following the game." This isn't the first dream job he's landed, either, having been one of two lucky guys to actually get paid by the MLB to watch every game of the 2011 season, interact with the players, and blog, Tweet, and post videos about them, in the Fan Cave in New York City. Between preparing for his first big day on the job and readjusting to life back in Baltimore, Wagner let b in on his favorite sports announcers and his confusion about PBR's hipster cred.
Worst pet peeve? When I get a text from someone asking me a question, which I know is going to take way too long to answer in text form, so I call them. And even though I know they have their phone, because, you know, they just freakin' texted me, they don't answer. Drives me nuts.
What's on your iPod? I love classic rock like Billy Joel and Elton John. And I love bands that don't sound like everyone else, so folks like Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars, and The Boxer Rebellion. And I love blues like Robert Johnson and The Blues Brothers.
What song are you hating and/or loving right now? A song that I have to keep on when I hear it on the radio is "Without You" by David Guetta/Usher. I've always been a big fan of Usher, and David Guetta is a bad, bad man. I want to drive my car off the road every time I hear that "Pumped Up Kicks" song. Awful.
Your worst habit? I worry a lot, I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to my work and thus I'm very hard on myself, and I'm impatient as hell
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? The hipster line of thinking that says drinking PBR is somehow cool or edgy. While PBR is definitely a cheap option, it certainly doesn't make you cool. Drink a double IPA without making a face, and then you can call yourself hip.
Favorite Orioles player? If we're talking current players, I'll go with Adam Jones. Number 10 in your programs, number one in your hearts. All-time Oriole? Brooks Robinson, no question.
Dream position to play? Catcher for the Orioles. I was always a catcher growing up, before my bad knees caught up with me, and I loved every second of it.
Sport announcer idol? Guys like Bob Costas, Jon Miller, Chuck Thompson, and Bryant Gumbel. From a PA standpoint, obviously Rex Barney is a God to me. And Bob Sheppard, who was the PA guy for the Yankees for nearly 60 years, is a hero of mine as well.
Favorite/least favorite band? Favorite: U2. It's definitely the Irish in me. Least Favorite: Nickelback. They recorded one song a dozen years ago and they just keep changing the lyrics.
Last movie you liked/disliked? I'm a bit of a comic book nerd, and just recently finally caught X-Men: First Class. Great attention to detail and a wonderful storylineI didn't dislike Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but for whatever reason, it was hard for me to get through. The entire movie is just one, gigantic raw emotion.
Last video that made you snort with laughter? Because St. Patrick's Day was just a couple of weeks ago, my friends and I made a point to watch "Leprechaun in Alabama" on YouTube a few times. If you haven't seen it, do it ASAP, and you're welcome.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? My favorite at the moment is actually in Bel Air, a place called Sean Bolan's. Great food, wonderful beers and a low-key atmosphere. After being away so long, I'm still trying to find my bearings in the city again.
Favorite quote/saying? "As I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears." It's the first line of a poem called The Clown's Prayer that my hero, John Belushi, carried in his wallet.
Favorite thing about Baltimore? The blue-collar nature of the town. I love that you can go into any bar in the city after an Orioles or Ravens game and know if the team won by the atmosphere in the bar. People in this town work hard, play hard, and are passionate about most everything in their lives.