Otter Tail connection to Red Hawks baseball
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.
He has held this job since 2014.
“Baseball has always been a huge part of my family,” Roers says. “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, Wisconsin, to Fergus Falls in 1979, the high school sophomore year for Roers. They previously lived in Alexandria.
He was a three-year baseball letter winner for the high school Otters, later graduating from St. Cloud State University. 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.
Roers, in addition to his RedHawks duties, is a territory manager for Dakota Supply Group’s waterworks division in Fargo. He and his family reside in Moorhead.
“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, Wisconsin. 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 Red Hawks 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.”
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.”
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.”
The team owner and chairman, Bruce Thom, also has ties to Otter Tail County. His son, Brad Thom, is team president and CEO for the RedHawks.
The father of Roers, Dennis Roers, worked for Bruce Thom at Mid-States Development in the mid-1990s. Mid-States was involved with economic development for com munities in western Minnesota and eastern and central North Dakota.
Dennis Roers previously was in the banking business.
“This is not a bad way to spend the summer,” Roers says. “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 says. “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 says. “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.”