Andrew Stockmann grew up with parents who loved sports and history. They created the environment for him to combine those influences into a podcast that focuses on athletic halls of fame and museums.
“A lot of our vacations growing up were around baseball,” he said. “I get a lot of my fandom from my dad (Joe). My mom (Julie) studied history in school. I want to say both of them are a little jealous of some of the stuff I’m doing, because we all have the same interests.”
Stockmann, a 2020 Wichita State University graduate and sport management major, is in his second year hosting “Hallowed Ground: The Sports Museum Podcast.”
In late September, Stockmann spoke at the International Sports Heritage Association’s conference in Wisconsin at Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. He presented his experiences with his podcast and explained how museums can benefit from the platform.
“I walked through the process of doing an episode, what that entails from the brain-storming process to the final product,” he said.
Stockmann, from Liberty, Missouri, has interviewed directors and curators from places such as the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, and Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs.
“The inspiration was wanting to fill my time in a more meaningful way,” he said. “In January of 2021, I was working remotely. I was really just working 9 to 5 from my apartment. I was watching ’Everybody Loves Raymond‘ reruns in the evenings, and I was like ‘That’s not a bad way to live, but it’s not the best, most fulfilling way.’”
As a WSU student, he attended the International Sports Heritage Association’s conference in 2019 at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita. Drawing on that experience and people he met at the conference, he typed out podcast plans on a Word document in his computer.
“Going to that was pretty eye-opening,” he said. “I saw that I can work in a sports museum for my career.”
Stockmann grew up cheering for the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs and playing baseball. Wichita State’s sport management program and the tuition discount offered through the Shocker City Partnership attracted him to the university.
While at Wichita State, he worked for a baseball scouting service and in the ticket office for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A farm team for the Royals.
“I liked the focus on applied learning,” he said. “Another factor was the faculty. I really enjoy, and still keep up with, Dr. (Mark) Vermillion and (assistant professor) Mike Ross.”
Stockmann is pursuing his master’s degree in museum studies at the University of Kansas. While sports are his love, he is open to working in museum education and curation in other area.
“I don’t want to limit myself to just sports, because I’m also interested in American history or presidential libraries,” he said.
Stockmann has 26 episodes available, ranging from a small baseball museum in Illinois to one devoted to bobblehead dolls. As a lifelong Royals fan, interviewing Curt Nelson, director of the Royals Hall of Fame, is a highlight.
He recommends the short trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
“It’s a really cool space to honor the Negro Leaguers,” he said. “It walks through Black baseball in its entirety, really."
His dream interview is landing time with someone from one of the four most prominent halls – Pro Football in Canton, Ohio, National Baseball in Cooperstown, N.Y., Naismith Memorial Basketball in Springfield, Mass., and Hockey in Toronto.
For an idea born from his recliner during a pandemic, Stockmann’s podcast is well on its way to fulfilling his ambition to combine sports and history into a worthwhile project.