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‘The Sports Lodge’ a Comfortable Radio Hangout for Fans

‘The Sports Lodge’ a Comfortable Radio Hangout for Fans

Sports talk show host Roger Lodge interacts with a student at an Angels Adopt-A-School event at West Orange Elementary School in Orange, Calif., on April 26, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Dan Wood

Dan Wood

7/17/2023

Updated: 7/22/2023

Along with the voluminous other preparation necessary to make “The Sports Lodge” a go-to radio destination for fans in Orange County and beyond, there is the whole thing about high school mascots.
“I find myself during downtime searching and memorizing high schools,” Roger Lodge told The Epoch Times.
Now in his 15th year as host of the flagship weekday afternoon sports talk show on AM-830 radio, Mr. Lodge is as amazed as anyone at how what began as “just a bit” has taken on a life of its own.
“I was just trying to come up with something that would kind of personalize it,” he said. “It just kind of stuck, without even trying, really. People just do it now. When someone calls the show and without prompting says, ‘Hey, Artesia High School, class of ’92,’ and I yell out ‘the Pioneers,’ it just tells us that’s a regular listener. He knows protocol.”
Sports talk show host Roger Lodge at the Los Angeles Angels' home opening day at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on April 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Sports talk show host Roger Lodge at the Los Angeles Angels' home opening day at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on April 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Mr. Lodge, who was a standout basketball player as well as a baseball pitcher at Cerritos High School and has three children who have played high school sports, estimates that he could nail 70 percent of the high school nicknames in Southern California.
“I get stumped every day,” he said. “My longest streak is 23 in a row—not quite DiMaggio 56.”
Indeed, Mr. Lodge has some way to go before equaling New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio’s major-league record 56-game hitting streak, set in 1941. What is particularly impressive, though, is Mr. Lodge’s longevity in an industry that often spits out sports talk show hosts as if they were sunflower seeds.
Mr. Lodge, 62, arrived at AM-830 in 2008, having previously hosted a morning show at what was then known as “1540 The Ticket in Santa Monica.” While he had dreamed since childhood of becoming “the Johnny Carson of sports,” Mr. Lodge’s professional life following two years at Whittier College did not begin in any such direction.
Sports talk show host Roger Lodge interacts with a student at an Angels Adopt-A-School event on April 11, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Sports talk show host Roger Lodge interacts with a student at an Angels Adopt-A-School event on April 11, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Longtime friends with actor John Stamos, Mr. Lodge began work as a part-time model and played bit parts in movies and on television, “trying to get into show business any way I could. Johnny and I moved up to LA together and we were roommates for 13 years. He was doing ‘General Hospital’ and then he landed ‘Full House,’ and I was serving pizza at an Italian restaurant in Bel Air. For 13 years, I worked there.”
Eventually, Mr. Lodge wound up hosting a syndicated television show called “Blind Date,” where he drew notice from one of the show’s fans, renowned then-FOX sports-talk host Jim Rome. That led to a guest television spot with Mr. Rome.
“It was almost like a clown show. ‘Oh, let’s get the Blind Date guy to come in and talk about sports. This might be funny,’” Mr. Lodge said. “So they brought me in and, lo and behold, wait a minute, the guy is breaking down the Laker offense. He’s making sense. So they kept bringing me back.”
Guest-host opportunities followed, effectively giving birth to a new career.
“I’ve been doing radio ever since and absolutely love it,” Mr. Lodge said. “I’m doing what I should be doing, what I belong doing.”
Fans of The Sports Lodge wholeheartedly agree.
“I was drawn to it for its focus on the Angels and Ducks,” Bryan Wislocki told The Epoch Times via email. “Even though the Ducks coverage wasn’t a lot, it was better than nothing. The Orange County sports scene seemed to lack attention from the radio stations in Los Angeles County. The Sports Lodge provided a great service to Orange County sports fans.”
A former Southern California resident who has since relocated to Conklin, Michigan, Mr. Wislocki ultimately stopped listening to The Sports Lodge when he got the sense that Angels management was “muffling” Mr. Lodge regarding the performance of the team.
Sports talk show host Roger Lodge (L) at an Angels Adopt-A-School event at Orange Grove Elementary in Anaheim, Calif., on May 23, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Sports talk show host Roger Lodge (L) at an Angels Adopt-A-School event at Orange Grove Elementary in Anaheim, Calif., on May 23, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Karen Murphy, a Placentia resident who attended the Angels’ July 14 game against Houston, finds The Sports Lodge to be educational.
“I like the show,” she said. “I think he has some interesting things to say about the Angels, information that sometimes I don’t read in the newspaper.”
Talk about music to Mr. Lodge’s ears.
“I’ll never be the most talented guy in any room I ever walk into, but no one is ever going to outwork me—not a chance,” he said. “One of my favorite things in the world is when a guest comes on and I ask them a question and they respond with ‘Oh my God, how did you know that?’ When I know that I was up at 2 o’clock in the morning trying to find that nugget, there’s nothing more gratifying to me than that.”
Another thing Mr. Lodge takes great pride in is what AM-830 bills as his “unbridled energy and passion.” Those qualities, he said, go back to a lesson taught by his late stepfather.
“Don’t ever try to be somebody that you’re not,” Mr. Lodge said. “Just be yourself. I’ve always taken that to heart. I truly care about who I’m interviewing. I care about the people that take time out of their busy day to call my little radio show.”
All these years later, to work at a studio and have an office inside Angel Stadium, to still get goosebumps when pulling into the parking lot while conjuring childhood memories of attending Bat Day and watching the likes of Clyde Wright and Nolan Ryan pitch, to remember listening on a transistor radio as the late Dick Enberg called Angels games, “it’s so surreal,” Mr. Lodge said.
Sports talk show host Roger Lodge interacts with students at an Angels Adopt-A-School event at Orange Grove Elementary in Anaheim, Calif., on May 23, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

Sports talk show host Roger Lodge interacts with students at an Angels Adopt-A-School event at Orange Grove Elementary in Anaheim, Calif., on May 23, 2023. (Courtesy of Angels Radio AM 830)

And now, during his show and as host of weekday Angels pre-game shows, it is Mr. Lodge connecting with fans such as Mark Zinda of Canyon Lake, who was also in attendance at the July 14 Angels game.
“Roger Lodge, he’s a fabric of the community and the Angels,” Mr. Zinda said. “When I’m driving into the games, I definitely turn on and listen to him. He tries to spin a positive light on things. And I appreciate that.”
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Dan Wood

Dan Wood

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Dan Wood is a community sports reporter based in Orange County, California. He has covered sports professionally for some 43 years, spending nearly three decades in the newspaper industry and 14 years in radio. He is an avid music fan, with a strong lean toward country and classic rock.

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