Abrams takes over for legend

Abrams takes over for legend

MINNEAPOLIS -- There may have been no more distinct sound at Twins games over the years than that of Bob Casey's voice announcing a player as he stepped up to the plate.

With Casey's voice silenced by his passing last March, the job of the team's full-time public address announcer was left open. Bob Kurtz, the radio play-by-play voice for the Minnesota Wild, took over the position for the 2005 season until the Twins could conduct a search to fill the role.

After auditioning more than 250 candidates this offseason from all around the country, the Twins didn't have to look very far for their new PA announcer, as they hired one of their in-game production staff members, Adam Abrams. The 36-year-old Abrams has been with the team since 2001, and he has worked as an in-game host as well as a producer.

"It's an honor to follow Bob, really both Bobs as they are unsurpassed professionals," Abrams said. "I was lucky to be Casey's producer over the last four years and got to spend a lot of time around the park with him. I was the guy that got to say 'Time to go Bob ...'"

Abrams has plenty of experience behind the microphone, as he also holds the public address announcer position for the Minnesota Wild. His experience goes back even further, beginning his career in radio at WWTC-AM in Minneapolis, where he was also one of Casey's colleagues. Following his stint at WWTC-AM, Abrams spent 12 years at KQQL-FM (KOOL 108) in the Twin Cities. Despite all of his previous work, taking on the task of replacing a legend like Casey is never easy, so Abrams said that he won't even try.

"I'm just the new guy in the chair, not his replacement," Abrams said. "There's no replacing him because he was a one of a kind."

A Minnesota native, Abrams knows better than most the kind of legacy that Casey has in the area. He grew up listening to the raspy calls of Casey from the press box, and Abrams even held contests with friends to see who could sound the most like the famed announcer. Though the gig is now his, Abrams doesn't expect to leave the same type of impact.

"I don't think there will be a lot of Adam Abrams sound-alike contests," Abrams said with a chuckle.

His style may be straight forward and to the point, but it's not without its own fans already. Abrams' voice might not generate the attention immediately that Casey had earned over his decades of announcing, but it was good enough to win over the Twins staff.

"Quite simply, Adam is a pro and, after listening to hundreds of tapes and dozens of auditions, it was apparent that Adam had the best voice and credentials for the job," said Twins President Dave St. Peter. "As a veteran member of the Twins' organization, Adam's professionalism, work ethic and talents are very familiar to us."

Being an announcer is something that has always been a dream of Abrams. He got his start in achieving that goal at an early age. When he was fifteen, Abrams landed his first job at the Connection Company, which was a telephone version of the yellow pages.

"A person would call the operators and say that they needed a plumber," Abrams said. "I would then read the ads to them. It was my first attempt at getting to really copy outloud to people."

Besides a short stint in Louisiana for school and a job in Sioux Falls, Abrams has spent his entire life in the Twin Cities area. Growing up as a fan of all the area teams including the Twins, the Vikings and even enjoying hockey with the North Stars, Abrams loves the opportunity to be a part of the games for his local teams.

"It's awesome to get to go to the ballpark everyday and be around a team that I love," Abrams said. "I'm an announcer yes, but most of all, like the rest of the people at the park, I'm a fan."

Making much of a first impression on those other fans though isn't an immediate goal of Abrams. When he begins his new job at the Twins' home opener on April 11, against Oakland, Abrams hopes that what fans don't hear is what will make his first game a successful one.

"Usually, the only time someone notices you is when you make a mistake," Abrams said with a laugh. "If you don't get noticed, then you're doing a good job. So my goal is not to be noticed as much as possible."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.