Here in the Chesapeake region, we know a thing or two about the biggest names and accomplishments in Baltimore baseball: Cal’s streak, Frank Robinson’s pivotal impact on the team in the 60’s and 70’s, and John Means’s stellar recent no-hitter. Now, there’s a new name for the books: Adrienne Roberson, the first female public address announcer in franchise history.
Before being named the voice of Oriole Park in April, Roberson was the in-house announcer for the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate, for 17 years. Her prior work included stints with the Knoxville Smokies minor league team, Sirius XM, and radio stations in Pennsylvania and California.
Roberson was no stranger to Birdland when she got called up to the big leagues; she worked O’s games at Camden Yards here and there and was able to follow the careers of players as they advanced from playing ball in Bowie to the big show in Baltimore.
Still, though, Roberson says it feels a little surreal to be in the announcer seat at Oriole Park.
“It still hasn’t completely hit me,” she tells Chesapeake Family Life. “There are moments where I go ‘Oh my gosh…it’s me!’ It’s what I always wanted to do.”
In a press release following the news, Orioles Senior Vice President of Administration & Experience Greg Bader said the club is thrilled to welcome Roberson into the fold.
“We are excited to have Adrienne assume the full-time role as the voice of Oriole Park. After working several Orioles games over the past ten seasons and serving as the voice of the Baysox for nearly two decades, she is familiar with our players throughout the entire Orioles system, and we are proud to now regularly feature her voice, one that many of our fans already know and love, on a nightly basis.”
In addition to the starting lineups, Roberson announces the singer(s) of the National Anthem, the player and hero of the game, and other bits of loudspeaker fun.
During this unusual year, she’s also responsible for announcements reminding fans to keep their masks on.
Due to COVID restrictions and safety precautions, Roberson isn’t yet addressing a full house but says it’s still exciting to be part of the experience for the fans who are in attendance.
“It’s already feeling great, because last year I did nine games to no one (in the crowd). It’s great to be seeing people and the fans cheering.”
And once kids start running the bases after games on Sundays, says Roberson, things will start to feel even better.
As the new voice on the mic at Camden Yards, Roberson has become the fourth active female announcer in the major leagues, in company with Amelia Schimmel (Oakland Athletics), Renel Brooks-Moon (San Francisco Giants), and Marysol Castro (New York Mets).
When asked why it’s so important that people—and young girls in particular—see more women in the PA announcer chair, Roberson says “because it’s possible. To know you can have a dream, you can go for your goals, you can do anything you can put your heart and mind to.”
As she considers the most memorable highlights in her new role thus far, Roberson says that a particularly special moment with a friend, sportswriter and ESPN reporter Marly Rivera, stands out.
Rivera, who was at Oriole Park to cover the Yankees when they played the Birds, made her way across the stadium for a quick hug. Roberson says that’s when it began to really sink in that she had finally made it to the place where she always wanted to be: part of MLB baseball, shoulder to shoulder with a female peer who had made it too, doing what she loves.
By Laura Boycourt
Photo credit: Baltimore Orioles