PEORIA, Ariz. -- Aaron Goldsmith didn't even try to pretend it was just another game. Not for the new Mariners' radio man. Not after all the anticipation of his first Major League broadcast.
It might have been a meaningless Cactus League outing for most, but for the 29-year-old Goldsmith, this was the start of something he's been dreaming about for years.
"I was absolutely nervous," Goldsmith said after calling Friday's charity game against the Padres alongside new partner Rick Rizzs. "I was OK the night before, but I woke up in the morning with my stomach churning a little and I kept telling myself, 'It's a Spring Training game. Spring Training. We're going to have 80 players in this game, so just relax.'
"But when it came to me doing the lineups and it's just me, I'm bringing it back from break and I'm thinking, 'Don't screw these names up and don't go long because you'll miss the first pitch.' That's when the nerves really hit. Once that was done and I could say, 'And here with the play-by-play is Rick Rizzs,' that's when it was alright. It's like the football player taking his first hit."
Goldsmith called the third, sixth and seventh innings, which is the same routine he'll follow all year as the No. 2 announcer. He's spent the past week spending every possible moment with Rizzs taking in workouts, studying and talking about the Mariners and baseball and beginning the bond that will be needed for the long haul.
"Rick and I get along so well outside the booth," Goldsmith said. "It's fun to make each other smile and laugh, and it was great that Day 1 we were able to have some of that in the very first broadcast. It makes me so optimistic about what this season and relationship can be like. I haven't had that much fun in the booth in a long, long time."
Rizzs, starting his 28th season with the Mariners, hearkens back to his own first game in the Majors when Dave Niehaus reminded him to just have fun and be himself.
"I can still hear David standing behind me and telling me that 30 years ago," Rizzs said. "I just want to do the same thing for this young man. I thought he did an outstanding job. I know he had some nerves and was anxious. It was his first big league broadcast and Game 1 of Spring Training. But you could tell that he prepared like crazy for it.
"He's got the great voice. He has a passion for the game of baseball. He has a passion for broadcasting that shows. I thought he was outstanding."
Now, it's just a matter of developing the relationship that carries over to listeners over the course of 200 broadcasts a year.
"In baseball, you're with someone every day for seven months," Rizzs said. "So, you need to have that respect for one another, be part of each other's lives and that's what Dave and I had for a quarter of a century together, and that's what made our jobs so much easier. When that happens, it's a beautiful thing in this business and that's what I want to have happen for Aaron and I."