Joe Buck dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss his new book, “Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV,” which delves into the life and career of one of the most well-known broadcasters in sports.
Buck hits every topic you could imagine, from his work in the booth, to his relationship with his father to a hair-transplant surgery that almost cost him his career. In the end, Buck is happy with what he and co-writer Michael Rosenberg produced.
“I think how it came out is what I wanted,” Buck said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Here I am, 47 years in, this is me: warts and all. So the hair-plug stuff, the hair-transplant surgery that led to the loss of my voice . . . a lot of (my book) is tongue in cheek. Some of it is really emotional with regard to my dad, but a lot of it’s tongue in cheek, so I defy anybody to be addicted to that surgery. It is one of the most painful, barbaric, most awful procedures you can have done. Trust me on that. But I came out of it unable to talk with a paralyzed vocal cord because of an error that happened while I was under. That’s really what drove me to write the book. I went through this, let’s just own up to it and talk about what it was like to be shaken to my foundation, thinking my career was over and coming out the other end and being more appreciate about it. Hopefully it applies to other people’s lives, no matter what they do for a living. But I wanted to be as honest as I could be about every part of my life, including divorce and how I came to be, which is the real meaning behind the title. My dad was married with six kids when he met my mom, and here comes old Joe. I saw two people who loved each other, but there were a lot of hurt people in that process, too. So it’s more than just ball one, strike two and learn about the World Series in ’04.”
Buck admitted in the book that he became addicted to hair plugs.
“You don’t realize how it affects everybody I meet,” Buck said. “I go right to their hairline – right to it. Theres no way that you can tell me with the bad toupees that exist in this world and the bad comb-overs and our president-elect, what he’s doing to have coverage over his head, that this isn’t something that affects a lot of people and that there’s a market and kind of and understanding for those who don’t deal with this issue how obsessive you can get over it. Admitting that you had plastic surgery to improve your appearance – I’m on the list, but I know it’s a hell of a long list and I don’t have any problem talking about it. I really don’t care.”
The book, of course, is also about sports, and Buck has had the privilege of narrating some of the greatest sports moments of the last two decades, including the Cubs’ epic World Series Game 7 win over the Indians earlier this month.
“I walked away happy,” Buck said of his broadcasting performance. “I believe that sitting in that chair is one of the hottest seats in sports broadcasting. It’s that way for one real reason. I’ve done it long enough now – that was my 19th – and I’ve done a lot of different fan bases that have been in World Series, and for every winner, there have been 19 losers. And people think when you’re yelling for the other side, as opposed to their hometown announcers all year, that you’re rooting against their team. So it can be a lonely spot in sports broadcasting. I’m not expecting any sympathy. I’m thankful that I have that job, and there’s nothing I take back. We’re on in Game 7 for four-and-a-half hours and a whole franchise history and future is hanging on pitch-to-pitch by the time you get to the tenth inning. John was great. I think John and I did the job we hoped to do. And beyond that, that’s all I can go on. There’s no scoreboard for us, but there’s nothing I regret saying, so that’s a good thing.”