Summer 2024

NEW PODCAST: The Amazing Story of John O'Leary

In 1987, John O’Leary was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. He was also a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body.

He was given a 1% chance to live.

And live he did.

With the help of a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster, and his love for baseball, John was able to survive and even more than that thrive in life.

John is now a motivational speaker and author, sharing his incredible story. His new book, “ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life” was an instant #1 National Bestseller selling 30,000 copies in the first 3 weeks.

On this episode of the podcast, John shares his story, recalling vivid details of what it was like sitting in a hospital bed moments from death, how he learned to write after losing his fingers, how a baseball hall of fame announcer helped him heal and impacted his life, and taking his mess, his darkest time, and turning into a powerful message of faith, hope and love.

This is EPISODE 40 of the Sports Spectrum Podcast


3:55 – What life was like growing up in St. Louis before his injury.

5:15 – Playing with fire and getting burned.

9:05 – How much does he truly remember of the accident?

11:30 – Laying in bed as a 9-year-old boy near death.

14:15 – Remembering that moment where his Dad found out.

16:05 – How baseball entered the story of John’s life.

20:50 – Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck changes his life.

27:30 – Hearing his name on the radio.

32:05 – Recognizing at 28 years old that he can share his story and make an impact

36:45 – Why he wrote the book “ON FIRE”

39:15 – How is his health?

41:05 – What is God teaching you right now?

Click below to watch MLB’s amazing feature on John O’Leary and the legendary Jack Buck. 


“The memories that I share are always all mine.”

“I am the result of science doing wonders and people doing exceptional care. I’m a miracle.”

“My Dad shifted into faith and love, and I followed.”

“I’m laying in this hospital bed dying and the voice of Jack Buck whispers into my ear ‘ Kid wake up, you are going to survive.'”

“Jack Buck is the reason I went back to grade school. He helped me learn how to write again.”

“I’ve come to the point in my life, all words in scripture are true. The words sing off the page.”

“Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.”

“I wanted a love letter for my family to outlive me, and that is what my book is.”

“Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with me and I will show you success that you could not even fathom.”

“God’s going to do things that I cannot even fathom.”

John and his family. (Photo Courtesy: John O’Leary)