A proper introduction

Since I am now officially a Brewer, the list of ?things that Daron Sutton did? begins right here in Blog-ville.  I?ll be sending these out weekly so read at your own risk.  To get started, the Brewers have asked that I write about my least favorite subject??ME!?

The most important thing I want you to know about ME is that I try to live my life with an understanding that it?s NOT about ME.  I?m not batting a thousand but I try to live each day with this as my mantra.  Even in blog?s?except this time.  This blog is about ME??cause they?re making me.

I?m 35 years old, married (14 years in February) with a 7-year old daughter.  I was born and raised in the ?live music capital? of the world, Austin, Texas.  Actually, I grew up in a small town outside Austin called Georgetown.  Like most Texas kids, I played football from age 7 through High School, but my passion was always baseball.  Baseball was my ticket to an education.  Luckily, I had a few choices and settled on San Antonio and St. Mary?s University, where I was the catcher for the nationally ranked NAIA powerhouse Rattlers and where I earned a degree in English-Communications.  Aside from the degree, the St. Mary?s move was big for my career because that?s where I connected with the San Antonio Missions (we shared the same stadium) and to the San Antonio Spurs (they practiced in our gym)

During my last two years of college, I interned working as a cameraman for the Public Access channel.  Before you know it, I was doing hand-held camera in the NBA for the Spurs while attending classes and playing college baseball. The life!  And, it was that camera gig that sustained me through the ?dream chasing? portion of the show.

That began with a decision.  After graduation in ?93 and the reality of not being MLB draft worthy, I had three offers.  One: enter the real world with a PR firm.  Two: attend scouting school with the Cincinnati Reds.  Three: accept a radio play-by-play job calling SA Missions Texas League baseball.  I had co-hosted a weekend sports talk show in college and liked the broadcasting angle so for $25 a game, I joined Roy Acuff and Missions Radio and off I went.

The Missions gig was the common thread from 1994-2002.  In the baseball off-season, I worked at a golf course and continued to work in TV production (camera, audio, graphics, etc) to make ends meet.  My wife, Michele, taught Kindergarten (she?s a star, always the most requested teacher) and she supported us financially while I did just enough in the winter to store up enough nuts to keep the dream alive in the summer.   

Now, the 5 key moments that get you?to me and the Brewers (bad grammar):

1994: One of my side jobs was as a ?runner? for ABC?s Monday Night Football, which meant I got to know Jack Buck a little (he called MNF on the radio).  Mr. Buck suggested I send a tape to the legendary CBS Radio baseball producer Norman Baer?which I did.  Mr. Baer responded with big praise of my call and quickly arranged an interview with the San Diego Padres.  It was a radio job but I had only been on the air for ONE season…didn?t get the gig but for a 23 year old hack, it was a huge confidence builder and got me focused on the goal of working my way to the Big Leagues.

1998: After 3 years of ?NO? from every MLB team with an opening, I finally got a ?yes? from ESPN to work the Double A All Star Game.  I had NEVER been on TV before and let me tell you, making your debut on national television is not at all good for your gizzard.  Never-the-less, I made it through and did enough to get 3 more games that year and a handful of games in ?99 and ?00, mostly Little League and Minor League stuff.

1999: The run on ESPN allowed me to make the move from TV tech., to TV announcer fulltime when FSN Southwest took me out of production and put me on the air as the Spurs Sideline Reporter.  My first game was the day after my daughter was born.  I kept that job and added many other FSN TV play-by-play gigs right up until I signed with the Brewers earlier this month?eight years total.

2002: Golf Channel.  Out of the blue, Golf Channel called on a recommendation by one of my ESPN producer?s, Chris Lincoln.  I was pitched as a young baseball announcer who has done some TV, and who ALSO worked in the golf business (I folded shirts and made tee times for a few years).  It was a slam dunk?I went through an interview/audition process and in the Winter of ?02, I cashed in my baseball chips and signed a multi-year deal to become a national cable network golf announcer.  That opportunity meant I was able to do all kind of great things?like, pay my bills, get off minor league buses, travel the country, get off minor league buses, play golf, and get off minor league buses!  I absolutely loved that gig and the people I worked with/for.  Golf is a great sport to cover and the hook-up?s are top notch, top notch!

2006: I had just completed the first year of a 4 year extension with Golf Channel when two MLB teams expressed interest.  I had turned down a MLB job offer in ?04 but this was different.  The Brewers were very aggressive and I was aggressive right back.  It happened so fast, and was so right, that I didn?t even consider the other offer.  As I said in the press conference, I came to Milwaukee saying ?no way? was I going to leave Golf Channel?but I left Milwaukee saying THIS is where I?m supposed to be.  I went through the entire process with the Brewers organization completely open and honest.  I had a great job already but after 7+ hour interview, including an audition with Bill Schroeder, I knew this was the absolute right fit for me.  I told them who I was, where I?d been, and what I was about?and they still wanted me.  The negotiations lasted about 5 minutes and after a painful call to the Golf Channel, I signed with the Brewers.  Then immediately walked out of my house, got a January sunburn and some mexican food and cried like a baby. 

So, here I am and that?s my story.  Thanks for the all of the incredible hospitality and well-wishes.  I’ve already sold my house and I want you to know that I’m pulling 8 generations of Texas roots out of the ground to take this dream job because I love this game, I love this organization and I love your town?and my girls and I can?t wait to make it our town.   

Enough about ME,

-BA

PS: Some clips if you want to check ME out:
Golf Channel: http://www.ifmedia.net/ba-extendedgolf.wmv
ESPN: http://www.ifmedia.net/anderson-baseball.wmv
Misc stuff: http://www.ifmedia.net/anderson-montage.wmv
Missions Radio: http://www.ifmedia.net/anderson-baseballradio1.wma

And, as a music lover, I leave you with a ?gen-u-wine? Austin original.  The grand poo-bah of blues six stringers who died (shortly after this performance) in East Troy, Wisconsin 16 years ago?enjoy:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=619630352

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