Andrew Stockmann said he needed something more productive to do than watch reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. So now he’s working towards a master’s degree in Museum Studies at Kansas University.
Stockmann, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management from the state of Wichita, is the host of the podcast entitled Hallowed Ground. The purpose of the podcast is to educate others about the history of sports museums in the United States.
In 2019 dr. Mark Vermillion, Wichita State Professor of Sports Management, invited Stockmann to attend the International Sports Heritage Association Conference at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. At the conference, Stockmann met and met with curators from various sports museums.
The heritage conference was the catalyst for his idea to start a podcast.
“It’s kind of a dual purpose,” Stockmann said. “I think hopefully it will help the museums too.”
Stockmann has recorded 26 episodes since March 2021. His first interview was with Ricardo Rodriguez of the Baseball Heritage Museum. Stockmann said his first podcast felt like a moment of coming full circle, as he grew up an avid baseball fan and has a passion for baseball history.
As a kid growing up in Kansas City, Stockmann and his father had season tickets to the Royals’ games. Speaking to the director of the Royals Hall of Fame, Stockmann said Curt Nelson is by far his favorite episode on his podcast.
Stockmann said their discussion revolved around how Nelson put together the Hall of Fame and how he followed royal history.
“It was just cool to hear his stories,” Stockmann said. “As with his interview, I had all of these topics written out on my pad to ask him about, and I only got to about half because he was telling these stories, which were 8-10 minutes per response.”
Stockmann’s podcast has taken him to Lambeau Field, home of Green Bay Packers Stadium. At Lambeau Field, Stockmann said he felt his podcast’s name was clicked.
“It’s kind of sacred ground in the football world, but the Packers Hall of Fame preserves all of that history that goes back more than 100 years,” Stockmann said. “I think it was really a catchy name that encapsulates sports museums, except just ‘the sports museums podcast’.”
Stockmann said one of his goals is to speak to someone who has actually been inducted into a sport’s hall of fame.
“One of the coolest parts of their job (museum curators) is calling the inductees to tell them they’ve been inducted into the Hall of Fame because they know they’ve been elected and there’s a process for every museum, but they like to give the message that would be a really cool part of someone’s job,” Stockmann said.
Stockmann doesn’t want to limit his podcast to just baseball museums. He has also recorded episodes on the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Rodeo Hall of Fame. After graduating from the KU, he tends to become a museum curator.
“Kind of storytelling, because I like to talk and tell stories, but then I think about stories that have never been told before,” Stockmann said. “I haven’t been told anything that appeals to me because sport affects so many different parts of society and we can learn so much from it. That’s what I like about it and I’ve loved it since I was a toddler.”