Navy Vet Chris Roman Settles in Behind Mic as Minor League Baseball Announcer

Chris Roman, lifelong baseball fan who traveled the world for work, excited to settle in behind mic for IronPigs games (April Gamiz)

Chris Roman traveled the world by ship while serving in the United States Navy for four years.

He moved up and down the East Coast working as a police officer at various levels.

Now writing and doing voices on 30-second website spots for the digital marketing company Hibu, Roman found his latest adventure while sitting in front of his laptop in his Breinigsville home.

"I saw a colleague of mine post on Facebook to another friend, 'Hey, look what's happening,'" Roman recalled. "I clicked on it and thought that it might be fun."

The post was about an opening for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs public address announcer.

On Friday, Roman found out his lifelong passion for baseball took another turn. He'll be the voice of the 'Pigs at Coca-Cola Park for 2018.

"Fans can tell if you're having a good day behind the mic," Roman said Tuesday. "They are going to know I'm enjoying this.

"I love baseball. I'm an IronPigs fan. I hope I can be doing this for a long time."

Roman, 46, was born in Brooklyn and grew up a Mets fan, thanks in large part to Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter being traded there in 1985.

He served in the Navy out of high school, with a tour during the first Gulf War as an operations specialist. Referred to as a scope dope, he tracked ships, airplanes and submarines, keeping track of their course and speed.

It was during Roman's military time that he was first exposed to law enforcement. He served as a surface watch supervisor when the USS Gridley was docked.

After serving his time in the military, Roman lived in Tallahassee, Fla., and attended Florida State University. During that time, he became a police officer in the nearby town of Thomasville, Ga.

Roman continued to work in law enforcement in North Carolina and New York, but his passion for baseball never died.

Roman remembers watching Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson hitting three home runs on three swings in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series against three Dodgers pitchers.

His fondest memories as an adult are of watching games with his daughter, Stephanie, sitting on his lap with her sippy cup.

As soon as Roman moved to Breinigsville with his fianc�e, Anne Meyerson, he discovered professional baseball was only a short drive away.

Roman impressed IronPigs staff during his two test runs in front of the microphone at Coca-Cola Park. His talent and enthusiasm were evident.

"In the end, Chris' passion for baseball and voice-over experience made him a perfect fit," said Matt Provence, director of media relations and broadcasting throughout the IronPigs' existence.

"Our fans have been spoiled for 10 seasons with Tim Chorones and Jimmy Walck. We are excited about Chris' ability to continue to enhance the IronPigs experience."

Until now, Roman's biggest professional thrill has been his freelance voiceover work out of his home studio.

He's done a commercial promoting an upcoming game of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, as well as others for NASA's journey to Mars, Bayer and the narration for many audio books, including two using a British accent.

And, he's a character in an upcoming full-length animated movie that has a release date later this year.

"I've done a lot of things that are pretty fun," he said.

Roman enjoyed cheering the Mets and idol Carter to the 1986 World Series championship.

He hung in there when the Mets, according to his late grandfather, were "a bunch of stiffs" in parts of the 21st century.

He watched in person some of the IronPigs' best teams in recent years and a few lean seasons, too.

No matter how 2018 plays out under first-year manager Gary Jones, Roman will be among the most energetic people at east Allentown's ballpark.

"When I got a call back to do another read," he said, "hearing my voice over the PA system was just amazing. I felt as giddy as a schoolboy.

"To do something like this in Triple-A, Double-A or in the major leagues, you have to love the game and not do it just because it's another speaking gig.

"I get to watch baseball every night."

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