PORT ANGELES — Between the clank of pool cues, patrons of the Station 51 Taphouse got a treat listening to live game broadcasting from prospective Port Angeles Lefties’ game announcers during the initial round of tryouts for the incoming wooden bat West Coast League team planned for next summer.
The Lefties will be holding tryouts all month at locations in Port Angeles and Sequim for game announcers.
Team co-owner Matt Acker said the Lefties are looking for someone to spice up the game atmosphere, particularly during a slow game, while at the same time remaining family-friendly.
“If there is a down time in the game, we cut them loose,” said Acker.
“We hope they’ll understand how to do it on their own eventually.”
“If the game gets intense, they need to know when to shut up,” Acker said.
Acker said the job will entail much more than just reading off lineups. The announcers also will be involved in welcoming fans to the park, reading advertisements and promotions, and much more.
On Tuesday night, two candidates, James Puckett and Justin Tognoni gave it a go, announcing the Toronto Blue Jays-Baltimore Orioles game on the television.
“No smoking is allowed at the game … and it’ll kill you,” Tognoni announced, adding his personal touches to a dry game announcement.
“And keep your hands off the balls in play … remember that guy in Chicago,” Puckett added.
Acker offers lesson
After one inning, Acker stepped in to give some tips on how baseball announcing is done. Sure enough, after Acker’s coaching, Puckett and Tognoni loosened up, adding more personality to their game calls.
“I’m a teacher, coaching and teaching is what I do,” Acker said.
“I struggle to sit back and let someone run if they don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.
Puckett said he was drawn to the job because he simply loves baseball.
“Who doesn’t like baseball? This is my excuse to go watch baseball and have some fun,” he said.
While two showed up for the tryouts Tuesday (and a third person in Station 51 Taphouse expressed some interest), there will be plenty more opportunities for prospective game announcers.
Lefties’ General Manager Ryan Hickey said the tryouts will go on until the end of October. There will be tryouts at Bar N9ne on Oct. 18, at Oasis Bar and Grill in Sequim on Oct. 25 and at the Next Door Gastropub on Oct. 26.
The Lefties will have 32 home games at Civic Field next summer for the applicants to call.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]