A few years back, a dude reached out to me wanting some advice about the media industry…
This guy was authentic, full of energy, fun loving and very relatable… All attributes that I knew would play very well in TV or radio.
Oh yea, he also was a World Series Champion that played 5 years in the big leagues and had a career .805 OPS.
We talked about the big difference between radio and TV and all the intricacies and nuances of both. He was a natural with a great pedigree and there was no doubt in my mind he was going to have several options in the industry…
Ultimately, my advice was to dive into it ALL and then decide what opportunities were available and where his passion lied. Also, the only way any of us get better at anything is by getting repetitions. If we want to be great baseball players, PLAY BASEBALL every chance we get… If we want to be great in the radio or TV industry, GO ON AIR every chance we get.
Within a shoRt period of time, former St. Louis Cardinal Chris Duncan experimented in both TV and radio before settling into a full-time gig in St. Louis at WXOS (101.1 FM). Chris was part of the drive-time evening show, and later became the co-host of “The Turn.”
Several times, I went on Chris’s show as a guest and the conversations we had seemed as if we were sitting at the bar enjoying a couple “man sodas” (Chris’ favorite term for beer made famous around the St.Louis area).
In 2012, Chris was thriving in the industry with his rare blend of a candid yet relatable and laid back demeanor…
At the time, his Mom was battling brain cancer and 14 months after his Mom’s original diagnosis, Chris was diagnosed with the exact same brain cancer as well.
Chris had to have part of his skull removed and underwent severe radiation and chemo treatments.
In November of 2012, Duncan told St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Strauss:
“I’ve competed my whole life. I worked for what I got in the game. To me, this is another competition. I’m not letting this beat me. I’m (going) to do whatever gives me the best chance.”
F*ck I loved his perspective…
Chris battled his ass off and won.
In June of 2013, Chris’ mother Jeanine wasn’t as fortunate as she passed away at the age of 64.
For the next 5 years, Chris returned to work and continued to slaughter the radio game. His work ethic was revealed in the frequent text messages and phone calls I would receive when he was looking for different nuggets or had questions pertaining to all the happenings around Major League Baseball.
In late 2018, Chris revealed that the tumor had come back and he once again took time off to focus on getting healthy.
While celebrating my kids 8th B-Day the other night, the TV was on in the background and I noticed they were playing old highlights of Chris Duncan… Then a graphic came across the bottom of the screen:
“Former St. Louis Cardinal Chris Duncan dead at 38.”
This hit me like a ton of bricks… I was in shock.
I immediately texted my cousin John Gall who came up through the Cardinals system with Chris and originally introduced me to him…
This was Gall’s response:
“One of my favorite teammates ever, one of my best friends for a period of my life, my heart hurts…”
Mine too dude. Mine too.
Chris is survived by his wife Amy, his Dad Dave, a long time MLB player & coach, and his brother Shelly, a former big leaguer and current manager in the D Backs system.
Wherever you are tonight, crack open a “man soda” and pour some out for a true GO HARD that continued to help teach us it’s not the amount of years that we live that matters, it’s what we decide to do with each and every f*cking one of them…
Chris Duncan LIVED and the world is a better place because of it.
Thankful to have gotten to know you my dude. 🙏