Dan McLaughlin must have felt like the entire world was crashing down on him the night of December 4, 2022. The St. Louis Cardinals’ play-by-play announcer was staring right into the face of a police officer. That sinking feeling in his stomach must have let him know, somewhere inside, that everything was about to come crashing down.
It’s a thought that crosses the mind of nearly every alcoholic in situations like this: Oh, no… not again. I screwed up again.
For McLaughlin, ‘again’ meant his third arrest for Driving While Intoxicated. It would also ultimately spell the end of his career with Bally Sports and the Cardinals.
On Dec. 4, calls about an impaired driver came into the Creve Coeur, Missouri, Police Department. When following up on the call, an officer spotted a white sedan failing to stay in a single lane. After field sobriety tests and the officer’s personal observations, McLaughlin was arrested for a DWI.
McLaughlin would be forced to step down from his position with the club after 24 seasons. On Feb 4, he would appear in court and plead guilty.
This being McLaughlin’s third time being convicted of DWI, he was listed as a persistent offender. He was previously charged and pleaded guilty to two other DWIs, one in 2010 and one in 2011.
McLaughlin will be replaced in the Redbirds’ booth by former Atlanta Braves announcer Chip Caray.
The former St. Louis Cardinals announcer has now seemingly come to terms with where he is currently in life.
On Monday, McLaughlin released a thoughtful, longform statement on his social media platforms, discussing where he was mentally and the next stages of his life. It was very profound, and exceptionally honest for someone in the public limelight. But given his past, it was something that the talented mic man likely felt like he needed to do.
McLaughlin’s statement, in part, discussed him coming to terms with the fact that he would have to make some major life changes. The 48-year-old announcer tried to be as straightforward as possible regarding his situation.
“My life, as I knew it, was essentially over at 6:15 p.m. and less than three miles away from my home on that Sunday evening,” he said in the statement.
McLaughlin wrote that he went through outpatient therapy and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous.
“I’m on the right path. It won’t happen overnight, but I know I am doing the work I need to do to heal.”
Dan McLaughlin had always been a natural fit for the Cardinals’ announcing job. A native of the Gateway City, McLaughlin attended college at local Lindenwood University and is about as ‘St. Louis’ as pork steaks and toasted ravioli. His roots in the community run deep, and he’s considered one of the community’s favorite sons.
He worked at 50,000-watt powerhouse KMOX for a time, a rite of passage for many great broadcasters. And he also contributed to the St. Louis Blues hockey broadcasts, as well as work for the University of Missouri.
Outside of his work duties, he also hosted the annual Dan McLaughlin Golf Tournament to benefit special education. So, needless to say, the loss of McLaughlin not only hit the team, it struck the community as well.
Most of the fans, who are affectionately deemed ‘Cardinal Nation’, seem to be on the beleaguered broadcaster’s side in his battle with alcoholism. Meanwhile, McLaughlin himself seeks to crawl from the darkness, and back into the light.