Aaron Goldsmith shares the story of his decision to stay with Mariners
There have been a number of twists and turns for Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith this offseason that he said he never expected.
He didn’t expect to be a candidate this winter to be the new voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, his hometown team.
He didn’t expect there to be an outpouring of love from the Mariners fan base when news of his candidacy was reported.
In fact, he didn’t expect that him talking to the Cardinals and their television network, Bally Sports Midwest, would become news in the first place.
But in the end, the experience brought Goldsmith to a conclusion that he thinks a younger version of himself would be shocked to hear, which was removing his name from consideration for the open position in St. Louis.
“I’m flattered beyond words that the Cardinals would have interest in talking to me,” Goldsmith told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Tuesday, “and if I were to tell my college self or my high school self that I would be in the mix for that job, you could knock me over with a feather. But ultimately this is where I want to be and calling Mariners baseball is what I want to do. I’m so thankful that I have that opportunity. … I’m very grateful to be here – I’m so grateful to be here – and to call games for the team that I love in the city that I love.”
When it came down to it, the 39-year-old Goldsmith came to a realization that while he grew up in St. Louis, it’s Seattle, where he has called Mariners games for the past 10 years, that is now what he and his family call home.
“I’m sure everyone listening can relate to something like this in their life where you kind of need some form of test to put your feelings up against it to really know how you feel about something,” Goldsmith said. “There’s certainly a lot of things that we all take for granted in life until you realize that they might be gone. And when I flew out to St. Louis and talked with the Cardinals and talked with the television station out there, Bally Sports Midwest, it didn’t feel like I thought it would feel, or maybe more accurately like it needed to feel for me to leave (Seattle).”
Goldsmith, who splits his time during the season calling M’s games on the Mariners Radio Network (including Seattle Sports 710 AM, the network’s flagship station) and on television for ROOT Sports Northwest, said he arrived at a point where he knew leaving for St. Louis wouldn’t be true to himself.
“Truthfully, when it came down to it, if I pursued that job further it would be for all the wrong reasons. It would be for fame and for money, and those are horrible, horrible reasons to take a job, especially when we have everything we need here. We have a home here, we love it here, our children love it here. And most importantly, I get extreme professional satisfaction from doing what I do for the Mariners, and I’ve become so attached to the community and to the team, and this is home. It’s that simple. This is my home, and I’m thrilled by that.”
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 30, 2022
Goldsmith went on to share his appreciation for the role the Mariners have played in his career, picking him to be Rick Rizzs’ partner on the radio in 2013, a time when he was calling games for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
“I’m so grateful that when I was totally plucked from obscurity by the Mariners 10 years ago as a Triple-A broadcaster in Rhode Island, that this developed like it has and blossomed as it has,” he said. “And clearly the love is mutual. My love for this team and this fan base, and it seems by and large vice versa, is such a fulfilling thing and means so much to me and my family. And it was a hard thing to do. You know, I had conviction, my heart knew that this was the right choice, but to tell your boyhood team – that just happens to be kind of a pinnacle job in the industry – that you are no longer interested and you are removing your name from consideration, that was not easy. But I knew that I was doing it for the right reasons and that I wouldn’t truly be happy (leaving Seattle).
“This is where I’m happy and ultimately, as we all know, I have to live my life for what fulfills me and and what my heart tells me is right, and it was very clear that that is here, and I’m very, very grateful that I have those feelings and can acknowledge them and was able to act on them because I have great peace with that.”
The process behind Goldsmith staying with the Mariners
The biggest surprise to Goldsmith over the past few days may the amount of kind things said about him by Mariners fans in response to a report Saturday by the Belleville News Democrat, a St. Louis-area publication, that he was one of two finalists for the Cardinals and Bally Sports Midwest to replace previous play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin. Per the News-Democrat, McLaughlin left the position in December in a mutual decision following an arrest on suspicion of DUI, his third such arrest.
The reason that outpouring from fans in Seattle caught Goldsmith off-guard?
“I never thought that any of this would ever be known to anyone,” he said. “When this all began, (I thought) it was a situation where I was either going to start working for the Cardinals and no one would know anything about it until that announcement was made, or I would stay with the Mariners and no one would know that I was talking with the Cardinals. And I guess that was a pretty shortsighted way for me to look at it but that’s truly what I thought, how the scenario would play out when all this began.”
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 29, 2021
Goldsmith explained that his contract with the Mariners was up after the 2022 season and that he had agreed to a new one prior to the Cardinals job becoming available, but he had not yet signed it. He believes even if he was signed to a contract at the time, the Mariners would have allowed him to talk to the Bally Sports Midwest, who have reportedly since chosen former M’s broadcaster Chip Caray to fill the vacancy.
“I was in a contract phase. Everything was set for the Mariners and everything was ready to go,” Goldsmith said. “And to the Mariners’ credit, to (senior vice president of marketing and communications) Kevin Martinez and to the rest of the executives over there, I have a feeling that even if I was under contract, this job being what it is in the industry and what it would mean to me as a guy who grew up in St. Louis and has a pair of ‘Old’ Busch Stadium seats in his house and all that kind of nostalgia… they would have allowed me to pursue it given the magnitude of the position and the rarity of a job like this opening, and particularly this one.
“Everything was above board, all parties knew (that the Cardinals) reached out to me really immediately once it came open. I was a natural candidate. And it’s kind of one of those life lessons, man. On paper, I’m a perfect candidate for it. But with the way that I feel, I was able to learn after going out there and and kind of putting myself through the motions with the whole thing and really thinking clearly on it, it wasn’t for me.”
You can listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with Goldsmith, which includes his thoughts on the upcoming 2023 Mariners season, in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.