Orioles look for Barney's successor, begin search for new PA announcer

December 19, 1997|By Roch Kubatko

The Orioles have begun the search for a new public-address announcer to succeed Rex Barney, who died at his home Aug. 11 after serving as the voice of Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards for 23 years.

The Orioles are asking that anyone interested in applying should send an audition tape and resume to P.A. Auditions, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 West Camden St., Baltimore, Md. 21201. All tapes must be postmarked by Jan. 9, 1998. Candidates with (( professional voice experience are preferred.

A selection committee will narrow the group to roughly 15 candidates, who will be interviewed in person. Five to 10 finalists will take part in a live public-address audition at Camden Yards.

Spokesman John Maroon said the selection committee will consist of various members of the organization, including himself; Michael Lehr, executive director of broadcasting and marketing; Joe Foss, vice chairman of business and finance; and Spiro Alafassos, director of ballpark entertainment. Owner Peter Angelos would also have input, Maroon said.

Alafassos said the Orioles hope to hire someone by no later than March 1. The announcer will be paid on a per-game basis, unlike Barney, who was a full-time employee of the Orioles. "We'll have to do some research and see what the going rate is around baseball," Alafassos said.

Maroon added that WJZ sportscaster Chris Ely and WBAL Radio's John Patti, who shared the microphone after Barney's death, "already are considered finalists in our eyes, if they're interested.

"We've already gotten many, many inquiries. Interest is high because of the standard that Rex set. You can't replace Rex Barney, but you hope to find somebody the fans will enjoy and one day have the same kinship as Rex did."

Anyone applying for the position must make a full 81-game commitment, plus potential postseason work.

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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