Growing up, Ryan Bigley idolized former "Colorado Rrrrrrockies" stadium announcer Alan Roach.
Now, the Grand Junction Rockies' new home-game announcer is following in Roach's footsteps, by using nimble creative judgment to rev up the crowd.
"Going to Rockies games as a kid, I always thought listening to the announcer was exciting." Bigley said. "The things he would say and the music he would play. The way he emphasized and inflected certain things."
Becoming the GJ Rockies' stadium announcer didn't come easily, however. Bigley, a Delta resident, said it took five years of preparation announcing at high school and college games, and lots of perseverance.
His other passion - teaching - helped him hone his skills as well. Bigley plays the trumpet, teaches music to Delta Middle and High School students, understands the intricacies of baseball, and has a practiced speaking voice. He also sought out numerous opportunities, on his own, before landing his current position.
GJ Rockies General Manager Tim Ray said a number of people inquired about the PA job. But after seeing Bigley announce at a few local college games, Ray said he knew he found his man.
"I've spent 25 years in radio and TV, and I know a good voice when I hear it," Ray said. "The presentation-quality of (Bigley's) voice, his professionalism - it was something we were looking for. He knows the game and how to interact without taking over. He's just perfect for us. ... We've got the best guy for the job."
By winning the gig, 28-year-old Bigley said he's also one step closer to realizing a childhood dream - to follow in Roach's footsteps, maybe even announce games at Coors Field some day.
"That would be the ultimate experience," he said.
One thing's for certain, Bigley's excitement for the game takes his announcing the next level. He said he loves everything about the job, from picking out music and meeting the players to "getting everyone pumped up" at events.
"It's not about me, it's about the game," Bigley said.
And for him, the best part of his job is "is listening to the crowd get excited."
Luckily for Bigley, his wife, Sara, shares his passion for Rockies baseball, too - he even proposed to her behind the home plate at the Colorado Rockies ballpark, Coors Field.
"It's so cool to hear his voice over the speakers," Sara said. "He has such a great voice for it."
Sara said she'll attend as many GJ Rockies games as she can.
"I want to support him while he goes after his dream," she added.
With last week's smaller exhibition game under his belt, Bigley said he's ready and excited for Saturday's showdown with Idaho Falls at Sam Suplizio Field. As the Rockies' first official home game, Bigley will likely be performing to a sold-out stadium.
The GJ Rockies began their 76-game schedule on the road June 18 in Ogden, Utah. They had a three-game series against the Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) and two games in Idaho Falls June 21-22 against the Chukars (Kansas City Royals affiliate).
The Saturday, June 23, inaugural season home opener is against Idaho Falls, who they also play Sunday, June 24. The GJ Rockies go on to host the Orem Olwz June 25-27.
Saturday's booth ticket sales start at noon and gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.
"We want to get people in, so we won't have long lines," Ray said.
For more information about the GJ Rockies or for ticket info, visit www.milb.com.