Off the Cuff: Dan McLaughlin
There aren’t many St. Louisans who don’t know Dan McLaughlin, and if they don’t recognize him at first sight, they certainly will at first listen. He’s been the “Voice of the Cardinals” for more than 20 years, connecting fans with the team whether they’re playing downtown or across the country. The veteran broadcaster shares what the pandemic has taught him, his personal style and more.
There wasn’t baseball for a while this year. When was the last time you had that much free time?
Oh man, not since I was 10 years old.
Who helped you get through it?
It was a tough time for everyone. I relied on my wife to just get me through the day. I’m a guy who needs to be busy, and I like to work. She was the one person I could count on being available to talk.
What lessons have you taken away from the pandemic?
I’ve appreciated being home and rediscovering what family time is all about. I travel for a living. Spending the summer with my kids is something I haven’t had time to do for more than two decades. Even having dinner with my family is something I don’t get to do often.
Speaking of dinner, did you cook, or were you relying on someone else?
I can’t cook. My family definitely relied on someone else. They wouldn’t want any part of my cooking, and I don’t blame them.
Best advice you’ve ever received, and what would you tell an aspiring broadcaster?
Once when I was doing a radio game, Jack Buck tore up my notes, pointed at the field and said, “You are the eyes, ears and presence for those who can’t be here. Call what you see, kid.” Then he walked out of the booth and left me alone behind the mic. It was a great piece of advice. You need to remember not to get wrapped up in the notes. Just call what you see.
You travel a lot. Do you have a favorite city?
What’s a must for you when traveling?
Finding a great restaurant.
Best place to eat on the road.
Joe’s in Chicago.
If you weren’t broadcasting with the Cardinals, what would you be doing?
I would be a teacher. I don’t know if I would be good at it, but I would love it. I also would probably coach baseball.
We can see you dress well, at least from the waist up. Who’s your fashion consultant?
You’re talking to him. I try to watch how people dress and take mental notes. I don’t know if my style is any good, but I try my best.
Okay, it’s game seven of the world series. Where do you shop for an outfit?
On the road, there are specific places I like to go to. I have my favorites in New York, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
Are you the owner of a smoking jacket, fedora, ascot, custom-fitted golf gloves, cowboy boots or deck shoes?
Custom-fitted golf gloves, but when it comes to the other ones, not at all.
Best vacation spot.
A golf course near you.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Beach or mountains?
Fish or hunt?
Rolex or Breitling?