Bob Roers, a proud baseball player in Otter Tail County in the late 1970s and early 1980s, relishes his role as public address announcer for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks baseball team, a job he's had since 2014.
"Baseball has always been a huge part of my family," Roers said. "Growing up with my three brothers, playing baseball is how we spent our summers. My dad, Dennis Roers, coached us and my mom, Irma, was always in the stands or in a lawn chair watching us."
The family moved from La Crosse, Wis., to Fergus Falls in 1979, Bob Roers' sophomore year in high school. The family previously lived in Alexandria.
Bob was a three-year baseball letter winner for the high school Otters.
He played two years of baseball at St. Cloud State, umpired and in 1982 helped restart the Fergus Falls VFW baseball program. That first year Fergus Falls qualified for the state tournament.
"I coached the VFW kids for three years," he said, "and still run into those players on occasion and share great memories from those days on the baseball diamond."
Over the years, while working in sales in Seattle, Minneapolis and St. Cloud, he had an opportunity to keep himself close to sports media as a freelancer in production and play-by-play.
He moved to Fargo-Moorhead in 2001.
"My wife, Patty, was a RedHawks season ticket holder their first season back in the mid-1990s," Roers said. "We attended many baseball games at Newman Outdoor Field over the years, loving the atmosphere."
Roers began his professional career as a television sportscaster at WAOW-TV in Wausau, Wis. He gained experience as a public address announcer for the Fargo Force junior hockey team starting in 2010.
"I had friends at Scheels Arena, where the Fargo Force play, who worked as part of the in-house production crew," he said. "They had those same duties with the RedHawks and I was contacted to fill in a few times during RedHawks games."
He took over as RedHawks public address announcer halfway through the 2014 season when the full-time PA person took a new job out of state.
"I've had the position ever since," Roers said. "I believe the RedHawks appreciate my radio voice and also my knowledge of the game."
Roers says that public address announcing for the F-M RedHawks is much more than just introducing batters as they walk to home plate.
"We have many entertainment and advertising opportunities at Newman Outdoor Field," he said. "Much of this is tied to our large videoboard out in left field. There's a lot going on during a game, behind the scenes to make this a fun experience for the fans."
Roers, in addition to his RedHawks duties, is a territory manager for Dakota Supply Group's waterworks division in Fargo. He and his family live in Moorhead.
"This is not a bad way to spend the summer," Roers said. "Thankfully I have a very understanding wife. This is a summer-long commitment with many evenings and weekends at the ballpark."
Roers appreciates when his daughter can join him in the press box to watch the Red Hawks home games. Family members and friends also reach out to him during home games.
"It's been great to reconnect with old friends and classmates," he said. "It's funny when people say they recognize my voice."
Best of all is staying connected to the game of baseball.
"It's an awesome part-time gig," he said. "I get to hang out at the ballpark, work with fun people in the press box, help entertain the crowd and watch minor league baseball."