Woodiel goes from Hot Wheels to pro baseball play-by-play

As the Ferrari 365 and the Deuce Roadster raced around the orange plastic Hot Wheels track, young Cartier Woodiel breathlessly described the action as though broadcasting the Indy 500. He’s still calling play-by-play, though now baseball is now his specialty. An STAA member, Woodiel is the new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Kansas City Monarchs.

Woodiel is no stranger to the American Association. He spent the 2018 through 2020 calling games for the Sioux Falls Canaries before joining the league office as an on-air host and digital media producer. When the Monarchs job opened, they reached out to him. “I had mentioned to them that at some point I was looking to get back to a regular play-by-play position.”

Baseball is far from Woodiel’s only broadcasting experience. He’s finishing his third season as the voice of University of South Dakota women’s basketball and sideline reporter on football broadcasts. He’s also anchored the morning news on KELO-AM in Sioux Falls.

The Monarchs is Woodiel’s first full-time broadcasting position since graduating from the University of Missouri in 2018. A strong support system has kept him motivated in his four-year search for full-time work. “[It’s] been an enormous blessing,” he smiles. “My parents have supported my ambitions since I was a little kid doing play-by-play of my Hot Wheels cars. My amazing wife Erin has shown me what it means to be kind and supportive; she is always there for me when I need a boost, or just someone to vent to. My therapist has been incredibly helpful over the last few years, giving me the tools to handle a stressful job.”

Creating value for his employers has also helped Woodiel reach this point. “I’ve consciously worked to bring more value to a team than just a play-by-play broadcast. I’ve built up a suite of content — highlights, interviews, behind-the-scenes work — all aimed at maximizing what I bring to the table.”

While Woodiel has been bringing value to employers, his STAA membership has been bringing value to him. He joined STAA in 2018. “Being a STAA member has allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of the job market and learn from some of the best in the industry,” he explains. “It’s also been an encouragement to see people like me moving up through the ranks as I try to advance my journey in sportscasting.”

That journey included a discouraging setback in the winter of 2020. A change in ownership with the Canaries left Woodiel without a job. “I took a weekend to be sad about it, then focused my energy on finding a way forward. About a week after I found out I was out of a job, I made a pitch to the American Association, laying out the framework of the position I’ve held for the past two seasons. It’s extremely gratifying to return to the booth after carving out a new place for myself.”

Now the guy who called Hot Wheels races as a kid has his first full-time play-by-play job.

“I truly believe this is what I was born to do, and I’m good at it. I’ve told myself from the beginning that if I put the work in and trust the process, things will work out.”

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