Ryan Wagner is living proof that your dream job is out there. The 26-year-old Baltimore native and lifelong Orioles fan was recently hired as Camden Yard's public address announcer, and cannot be more thrilled about kicking off the new season 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."
This isn't the first dream job he's landed, either, having been one of two lucky guys to actually get paid by 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. Wagner talked to b about 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.
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 & Sons, the Civil Wars and the Boxer Rebellion
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 and Usher. 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 Pabst Blue Ribbon is somehow cool or edgy.
Favorite Orioles player?
If we're talking current players, I'll go with Adam Jones. No. 10 in your programs, No. 1 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.
SportS announcer idol?
Guys like Bob Costas, Jon Miller, Chuck Thompson and Bryant Gumbel.
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.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore?
My favorite at the moment is actually in Bel Air ... Sean Bolan's. Great food, wonderful beers and a low-key atmosphere. I'm still trying to find my bearings in the city again.
"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.
AS TOLD TO VIVIENNE MACHI