Eric Rogers’ two jobs are like night and day—literally. By day, he’s a PG&E electrical mapper; by night, 2-1/2 months out of the year, he’s the public-address announcer for the Chico Outlaws. He and his wife, Shelly, have both worked in radio and decided last year that it was time they got back on the mic. They attended open tryouts that were held at the baseball stadium hoping to land positions as the Outlaws’ announcer—and they did.
So you and your wife do the announcing together?
Yeah, and that’s the kicker: She should be here [getting interviewed] with me; it’s almost unfair that she’s not. She’s just amazing. She covers for me during the week, and I usually do the announcing during the weekends. But she’s up there with me every night running the board, like the music and sound effects.
How did you two get involved with the Outlaws in the first place?
We’ve been a host family for the players for about five years now. On their Web site, they had a little link saying, “If you’d like to be a host family, click here for information,” and she thought it’d be a great idea to bring a 22-year-old baseball player hunk to come stay at our house. I think my deal was like, “All right, if we’re going to do this, then we better pick up a Swedish exchange student too or something!” But yeah, this year we have [pitcher] Jesse Oster, a really good kid.
Can you give a brief description of your schedule?
It gets hectic. Nine games in a row, going out to the stadium and then trying to be up for work at PG&E around 7 in the morning and then come back home and head back to the stadium until about 11 or midnight; you’re so wound up it’s hard trying to get to sleep. But it’s been fun; I figure I can do anything for 2-1/2 months—plenty of time to rest after that.
What makes you a good announcer?
I’m a pretty loud guy and get loud on the mic—I guess that’s kind of my shtick. I think I’m the first announcer they’ve had who actually gets down and sings, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I try to get the crowd into it. I figure what’s the point of home-field advantage if you don’t get the crowd into it? So I give it my all and try to get people going. I think sometimes I might scare the small children a little bit, but that’s fun for me too, so …
Which job do you like the best?
Wow, well it depends on the reason. Financially, I like PG&E more. There’s hardly any way to make a living in announcing or in radio. But the Outlaws are a blast.