BANGOR — If you’ve ever been to Mansfield Stadium, you know Bob Beatham — or at least you’d recognize his voice.
Beatham is “the voice” of Mansfield Stadium.
Tuesday night, when U.S. West champion Manhattan Beach, Calif., played Asia-Pacific winner Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Senior League World Series, Beatham celebrated a milestone.
The game marked his 1,500th handling the public address duties at Mansfield.
“I enjoy doing it. I enjoy baseball. It gets me out,” Beatham said simply of his 16 years at the microphone.
Among the 1,500 baseball games, he has announced 195 during 10 years of the Senior League World Series in Bangor through Tuesday night.
The SLWS brings with it some challenges beyond that of doing Bangor High School games. First, there are some long days sitting atop the grandstand behind home plate.
“The first day’s the hardest because you start at noon and you don’t really get a lot of breaks,” Beatham said of a day that ended at 11 p.m.. “They actually had to bring me up my meals because I didn’t get to leave the press box at all.”
Beatham, 38, also must try to correctly pronounce the names of players and coaches from foreign countries in addition to the U.S. teams. He didn’t hesitate when asked which names were the toughest.
“The Republic of Georgia, of the former Soviet Union” he said. “It’s a tossup between them and Lithuania.”
Prior to SLWS games, Beatham talks with a representative from each team to get pronunciations — which he writes down phonetically.
“I don’t like to look at them beforehand,” he said. “You get in your head that you think it’ll be pronounced a certain way and it’ll be totally different.”
While Beatham admits the games tend to run together, he has a couple of favorites.
“In the World Series, the Josh Young game, the 1-0 (Bangor) loss to Canada that year (2002) was a good one,” he recalled, “then Matt Kinney’s state championship game, the 1-0 (Bangor High) game against Portland the first year that I started.”
Beatham, who is a service coordinator for Aging Excellence, which provides nonmedical home care service for senior citizens, said he has never lost his voice, although it has “cracked” a few times.
He got his announcing start doing men’s and women’s basketball games at the University of Maine-Farmington, where he earned a degree in 1994. Beatham has since done the PA for John Bapst and Brewer High football. Last winter, he became the announcer for University of Maine men’s basketball at Alfond Arena in Orono.
“It’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” he admitted.
While there is an occasional groan from the stands if he does get a name wrong, most of the ribbing is good-natured.