In the past, the Orioles’ TV broadcast booth has been occupied by greats like Chuck Thompson, Jon Miller and Gary Thorne. Now, Kevin Brown has a chance to add his name to the list, as he enters 2022 as the Orioles’ lead play-by-play announcer for MASN.
Brown, 32, has quickly elevated himself in the profession. Brown was the TV and radio play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs from 2011-2017. During that time, Brown also was a play-by-play announcer for ESPN on various sports, including college football and college basketball.
Then in 2019, Brown joined the Orioles Radio Network. From there, Brown called games for MASN and has now become the lead voice in the TV booth for the 2022 season.
“The job came up in 2019 and I was really happy to just be doing Major League Baseball and to be doing it at a place that was close to my home at the time,” Brown said on Glenn Clark Radio March 10, “and to be doing it for a team that had such an amazing legacy of people in the broadcast booth.”
“You take these jobs and obviously you hope they are going to turn into things,” Brown added. “But I didn’t know and I didn’t presume to know what was going to happen.”
Brown explained that he is a person who always stays in the moment and doesn’t like to look too far into the future. So when Brown first got the radio job with the Orioles, he was just taking it day by day. But when the opportunity to become the MASN play-by-play announcer came up, he knew it was a job he couldn’t pass up.
While Brown has been working with the Orioles since 2019, it wasn’t until last summer when he really felt like Baltimore was becoming his new home. Last summer, Brown and his wife decided to rent an apartment in Locust Point.
“To have her down there, to have my dog down there last year and then to get to know the city, that was really the summer where it clicked,” Brown said. “And maybe I wouldn’t be as comfortable if I had just stayed at hotels last year, but I’m really glad that we did that.”
Brown felt that it was important to move into Baltimore to get accustomed to living there, but also because he wanted to feel like part of the community. Recently, Brown and his wife moved full-time to the Baltimore area.
“I don’t want to feel like a fly-by-night guy who comes in and does some games, you know what I mean?” Brown said. “That’s why it was important to get a place and to feel like, ‘All right, now we’re going to establish ourselves here.’ Now, we’re actually going to be a part of this and I hope I can get out and do some things in the community and not just be going back and forth to games.”
In addition to becoming MASN’s lead play-by-play announcer, Brown is also still working for ESPN. Brown explained that MASN and ESPN have been incredibly flexible about his role with both companies. He also said that between both roles, he will be calling more than 200 events every year.
Though this is Brown’s first season as the head play-by-play announcer, he realizes there have been a lot of great broadcasters who have come before him. However, he also realizes that it isn’t really fair to attempt to replicate the styles of those great announcers.
“I don’t go into the booth and go, ‘All right, this is Joe Angel’s booth,’ or, ‘All right, this is Gary Thorne’s booth,'” Brown said. “I get it, there have been a lot of incredible people here, but I don’t really think about it.”
“I don’t walk into the booth and go, ‘Ooh, the ghosts of broadcasters past are in here,”’ Brown joked. “I just walk in and say, ‘All right, I’m here to call a game and I’m confident that I know how to call a game.’ And I think if you try to emulate a person, you will fail.”
It may be difficult to be the Orioles’ play-by-play voice because of the greats who passed through in years past, but Brown believes he will be an effective voice as well. While Brown realizes he won’t necessarily be like Thorne, Thompson or Miller, he’s confident he will bring a style that people will like working alongside color analysts Jim Palmer and Ben McDonald.
“By the way, I’m still figuring my style out,” Brown said. “I have been doing this for a long time but in the grand scheme of the universe still not that long, I’m still learning things every day. So as long as people have a little bit of patience, I’m really confident people are going to really enjoy the broadcast.”
For more from Brown, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles