Searching for Hobey Baker via ESPN

On Thursday, ESPN announced the latest 30 for 30 Podcasts series, a three-parter called Searching for Hobey Baker. The series will focus on Baker, America’s first ice hockey superstar and the namesake of college hockey’s prestigious Hobey Baker Award.

The series, which premieres June 12, is narrated by David Duchovny. Baker, like Duchnovy, was a Princeton alumnus. A trailer is available at ESPN.

Here’s more from ESPN’s release.

Every hockey fan knows the name Hobey Baker – collegiate hockey’s most prestigious trophy is named after him – but very few know the real story of this all-time great athlete. Using an archive of personal letters and source materials provided by the Mudd Library at Princeton University, as well as original research, the series charts Hobey’s glory days as the best collegiate hockey and football player in the nation, his post-grad ennui in Gilded Age New York City, and his exploits as a WWI fighter pilot, which ended tragically in a mysterious crash in 1918. Beyond Hobey’s adventures on the ice and in the air, this podcast also re-contextualizes the hockey legend through the lens of his lesser known struggles as a queer man in the early 20th century.

“As ESPN continues to delve into captivating narratives through our 30 for 30 stories, we are thrilled to illuminate the extraordinary legacy of Hobey Baker in an upcoming podcast,” says Preeti Varathan, ESPN Producer and Head of 30 for 30 Podcasts.“ Collaborating with David Duchovny, a fellow Princeton alum, adds a unique depth to this exploration of Baker’s life. It’s crucial to showcase underrepresented stories like Baker’s, especially his journey as a queer sports icon. Through Searching for Hobey Baker, we aim to inspire listeners by celebrating resilience, a diversity of life experiences, and the enduring spirit of sportsmanship that transcends generations.”

The three parts of the series are called The Natural, The Lost Generation, and Going West, respectively, and cover Baker’s early years and stardom at Princeton, his post-collegiate life in New York, and his experiences during World War I leading up to his death.

This seems like the perfect type of story for 30 for 30 Podcasts. The story seems interesting, but it wouldn’t be better in a visual format due to how old it is (Baker died over 100 years ago). There’s a clear narrative arc that makes a podcast a better format.

In April of 2023The Bag Game, a four-part 30 for 30 Podcasts series, was released. A one-episode edition of the show, Through the Flames: Reggie’s Church, was released this past February.

30 for 30 Podcasts: Searching for Hobey Baker debuts June 12 and will be available on the ESPN app and other podcast providers.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.