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Minor League Announcer is Reading’s Iron Man
Reading Phillies announcer Dave “Frency” Bouman
Dave “Frency” Bouman
By Chuck King

Reading, Penn. – Dave “Frency” Bouman makes a living with his voice. For the last 28 seasons, baseball fans wanting to hear that voice knew just where to find it.

Since 1978, Bouman has been the one constant in the Reading Phillies press box. On Tuesday night, Bouman and Reading celebrated his 2,000 consecutive game.

“I didn’t know if I’d be here for a month when I first started,” Bouman said. “It’s one of those things that you get an opportunity to do, so you go for it. I guess I must be doing something right because nobody’s ever told me to get out.”

Bouman has seen Reading’s stadium transform from venue that more closely resembled a high school football stadium into a complete entertainment complex. Built in 1950, FirstEnergy Stadium now houses three picnic areas, a carnival area, a bar and hot tubs that overlook the right field wall.

One of the most noticeable changes for Bouman has been the rise in the importance of minor league promotions. When he first started, Bouman arrived at the ballpark at 5:45 for a 7 p.m. start. Now he’s at the stadium two-and-a-half hours before game time preparing to read the night’s special promotions.

There’s a lot to prepare for in Reading. The Phillies are constantly creating new minor league promotions. Bouman has to keep track of the Phillies’ five different mascots – six if you include the staff member who dons an ostrich costume and fires free hot dogs into the crowd.

He’s announced a triple play and a runner who scored from second base on a sacrifice fly. But Bouman’s favorite minor league announcement came in 1995, when he informed the crowd that the Eastern League president was on hand to present the championship trophy to Reading.

“He’s the epitome of professionalism,” Reading general manager Chuck Domino said. “We take him for granted because he’s been here 28 years. It’s just like grass on a baseball field. You take it for granted until its not there; then you say, hey, that looks terrible.”

Bouman, a member of the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame, became part of a minor league promotion Tuesday. He received a standing ovation from Reading fans when the “1999” hanging under his press box was torn down, revealing the magic number of “2000.”

Aside from baseball, Bouman is also a minor league announcer for the East Coast Hockey League’s Reading Royals, and is the public address announcer for several high school sporting events.

Bouman has no plans to retire, saying his voice affords him a daily free pass into a minor league stadium.

“I keep telling people that the only part of me that’s worth anything is my voice,” Bouman said. “My back’s gone, my knees are shot. As long as I don’t lose my voice I have something to bring to the table.”

Check out my blog for more on the Reading Phillies and Minor League Baseball.

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