Passion Project: Former Baylor ballplayers bring you ‘Inside the Loop’ with podcast

Graphic courtesy and design by Tyler Groh

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

The podcast business is booming and former Baylor baseball players Tucker Cascadden and Jared Burch are taking advantage to bring you “awesome stories about awesome people.”

The Houston natives teamed up to create the “Inside the Loop” podcast, which they named after a hometown localism referring to the 610 Loop. The podcast was launched right before COVID-19 put a stop to life as we knew it, as a way to connect with people and tell stories that they found relatable, within the sports world as well as outside of it.

“We’re probably going to levitate toward sports just because that’s what we know, but a huge thing about this podcast is not to only stay in sports,” Cascadden said. “We want stories about everybody because we want all types of people to be attracted to the podcast.”

Cascadden, who is probably best known for hitting a walk-off grand slam against Texas A&M in the 2017 Shriners College Classic, graduated from Baylor in December 2018 with a degree in film and digital media, and is now the assistant to the director of photography with the Houston Astros. Burch, a former walk-on for the Bears who transferred to a junior college in California before returning to Texas as an outfielder for Houston Baptist, also studied film at Baylor, largely inspired by Cascadden.

While sports have been an underlying theme three episodes into what both Cascadden and Burch called a “passion project,” the show still attempts to be well-rounded in terms of the guests they have interviewed so far.

“Say we do get someone who’s not in sports, like Chris Wernette [from episode two], for instance,” Cascadden said. “He’s in the coffee industry. I imagine people that know Chris and that are in the coffee industry would be more appealed to it. So, we didn’t want to appeal to just one person. We wanted to appeal to all people.”

Cascadden and Burch prefer to have in-person interviews to make the conversation more comfortable and more compelling for listeners. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has made production a little more difficult, the two said the guest lineup for upcoming episodes will feature some big names.

Burch said as cool as it would be to “get the blue checkmark” and grow the podcast into something bigger, the main goal of “Inside the Loop” is to tell people’s stories and to give them a platform.

“Everything that I do is not for the clout, so this podcast is not for the clout,” Burch said. “If we get the blue check mark, whatever. If we get millions of followers, whatever. That is cool, but I don’t feel like that’s really the goal.”

Both Burch and Cascadden said the project has allowed them to learn new things, not just about what other people do, but also about how to interact with people. It has also become a way for the two friends to spend more time with each other.

“Basically, Tucker strongholded me because he never would hang out with me, so he convinced me to do this podcast so we’re forced to hang out,” Burch said. “That’s one thing, why I’m here, is I really just wanted to hang out with Tucker.”

At its core, “Inside the Loop” is about finding people whose stories deserve to be told, according to Cascadden.

“That’s kind of like the basis for me,” Cascadden said. “There’s so many people out there that people don’t really know who they are, and I think almost everyone has a story worth sharing. And I really want to get people that are on their way to do really, really cool things.”