Buddy Baker

Several years ago, a mutual friend arranged for Buddy and me to have lunch in downtown Indy. I was covering the Pacers at the time and he was preparing to become a sports agent, so his friend thought I could offer some advice because I dealt with agents frequently. I don’t know if I helped him or not, but over the years I’ve watched his business grow step-by-step to the point he’s now well-established in the field.

Agents are a different breed, as you can tell from this conversation. They’re on the clock 24 hours a day, and they have to crave that lifestyle. Attention deficit disorder is probably an asset. They don’t dare go anywhere without their cell phone – cell phones, probably – and the concept of a 40-hour work week is laughable.

Baker represents the likes of One on One alums Matt Painter, Matt Howard, Joe Reitz and Jack Doyle. He knows as much about the industry as anyone, and offers fascinating insight into the profession. You’ll enjoy his memories of being a student manager for Purdue’s basketball team, too.

He’s also in good health, fortunately. I once saw a tweet from sportscaster Vince Welch offering sympathy and good wishes for Buddy Baker. I texted Vince and asked what was wrong. He said Baker had lung cancer. I immediately tweeted Buddy and, having overcome cancer without the standard chemo and radiation treatments myself, offered some advice and encouragement. Buddy said he was feeling fine, and didn’t have cancer.

I then realized Vince was referring to Buddy Baker the stock car driver.

Oh. Never mind.

First aired 2014

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