Fans apply to be voice of Red Sox
Audition for public address announcer.
FORT MYERS — A crowd of nearly 200 people lined up outside a makeshift studio at Hodges University in Fort Myers on Tuesday morning, all hoping to score their dream gig.
They all came to channel their inner Sherm Feller.
The applicants, which included people of all ages and backgrounds, were all vying for the privilege to become the first public address announcer at the new spring training home of the Boston Red Sox, JetBlue Park at Fenway South, a position the venerable Feller held at the original ballpark in Boston for 26 years.
For Mark Boyer the chance to be the team’s announcer would be a dream come true.
“I grew up in Massachusetts as a die hard Red Sox fan and this would be an absolute dream job. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Boyer said. “To be around the team I love, the sport I love. Who could ask for a better job working for them?”
Bill Janulin, a retired systems analyst, wanted to devote more time to his favorite sport now that he has more time on his hands.
“Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be more involved with the game in some way, shape or form,” Janulin said. “I think I’ve got a pretty decent voice to a public address announcers-type job.”
Joanne Mahoney, recently unemployed, came to try something new.
“I’ve lived a very shallow life and I think there is so much out here,” Mahoney said as she waited for her number to be called. “I’m so excited I can’t wait.”
Eddie Kurth, a former radio DJ, was there to audition because he is a fan who enjoys spring training games.
“I love baseball. I love the Red Sox. I love being at the game,” said Kurth. “It’s just everything about gameday, the stadium, the hot dogs and everything else.”
During the interview process, which was conducted by NBC-2 sportscaster Brian Colleran, each applicant was given three minutes to recite a series of announcements and potential pitfalls from the team’s roster.
“We’re overwhelmed with the response we had. There were a lot more people interested than we expected. We’ve had people waiting three or four hours for their three minutes with us” Colleran said. “We were very surprised with the turnout and I’m glad we are able to help pick the next announcer for JetBlue Park.”
The field of applicants will then be narrowed to the final 10 before a final decision is made by the Red Sox organization prior to the Red Sox kicking off their exhibition season with a doubleheader against Northeastern University and Boston College on March 3. The winner will be responsible for the stadium announcing duties for all 18 of the Red Sox home games during the upcoming Grapefruit League season.