Jesse Friedman ’20 in the Zu Radio broadcasting booth. <em>Photo by Paul Chung, University Relations</em>
Jesse Friedman ’20 in the Zu Radio broadcasting booth. Photo by Paul Chung, University Relations

APU Sophomore Hits Home Run with MLB, Diamondbacks Podcasts

by Claire Holstead

In many ways, Jesse Friedman ’20 is your typical sophomore math major at Azusa Pacific—he spends his days going to class, doing homework and studying, and adjusting to life as a college student at APU. That’s enough for most students to juggle, but Friedman also hosts two nationally recognized Major League Baseball podcasts, boasting hundreds of listeners.

The Rattle, launched in spring 2017, covers the latest news for Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, while The Web Gem, created in 2012, highlights interviews, analysis, and national stories on MLB players and teams. The two podcasts have a strong following and feature top analysts from sports news outlets like, ESPN, FOX Sports, Yahoo! Sports, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

Friedman’s first broadcasting opportunity came at the age of 12 through FOX Sports Arizona’s KidKaster Sweepstakes. Friedman won the sweepstakes and the opportunity to interview a player, announce hitters, and call an at-bat of a live televised major league baseball game at Arizona’s Chase Field in 2011.

In addition to hosting two shows, Friedman brings his broadcasting experience to the campus radio station, Zu Radio, and continues to build a following on Twitter, pursuing his love for baseball and broadcasting whenever he gets the chance. “I am now a regular guest on several radio shows back in Phoenix and, beginning in spring training of 2018, I will be a recognized member of the press with access to interviews, press conferences, and the press box at every Diamondbacks game,” he said. “My young broadcasting career has been profoundly blessed, and I will continue to enthusiastically walk through every door that God opens.”

Friedman’s passion for baseball was ignited by his father, an avid Philadelphia Phillies fan. “There’s something special about baseball,” said Friedman. “The crack of the bat, the awe-inspiring home run that usually happens only once per game, the crafty curveballs, the sweeping sliders, the 100 MPH heaters, the roughly one-fifth of a second in which the hitter has to decide whether or not they will swing. In my heart, it will always be our nation’s true pastime.”

As Friedman works to establish himself as a go-to source for all things Diamondbacks and MLB, he hopes others will be inspired to act upon their passions and find encouragement in his success. “The key in the beginning is to be motivated by passion for your topic,” he said. “As I have learned over and over throughout my broadcasting career, give it a shot and you never know how far God will take it. You’ve got nothing to lose.”

Claire Holstead ’17 is an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a communication studies major and leadership minor.