Better Know A Broadcaster: Adam Pohl
With baseball paused for the foreseeable future, Baseball America has decided to introduce you to some of the men and women who work as broadcasters for each club.
What Is Your Name?
Which Team Do You Work For?
Bowie Baysox (Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles)
Which Other Baseball Teams Have You Broadcasted For?
Burlington Indians (2003-04), Salem Avalanche (2005-06), Frederick Keys (2007-13), Bowie Baysox (2014-Present). You know you are getting old when half the teams you ever worked for have different names.
The Indians are now the Royals and the Avalanche are the Red Sox. I was with the Avalanche when they were an Astros affiliate and had both Ben Zobrist and Hunter Pence on my first full-season team in 2005. Hunter Pence called a 25-year old me sir when he met me. I can always say that he was the first person to ever call me “sir.”
My manager in 2009-10 was the great Pirates legend Richie Hebner. He was a shoe-shiner as a kid. That was his first job. He called me in one day when I was dressed up and told me my shoes looked like s---! So I can also say that Richie Hebner is the only person to ever shine my shoes!
What Other Sports Have You Broadcasted?
Many but I am also the voice of Mount St. Mary’s Basketball of the Division I Northeast Conference. I absolutely love college basketball and The Mount is a very special place to call games at that level of Division I. No better atmosphere other than Maryland in the state to see and watch a game than Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md.
Who Is Your Favorite MLB Broadcaster Of All Time?
Jon Miller. There are so many greats but I grew up with Miller as the voice of the Orioles in the 80’s and 90’s and I think he is the best at the laid-back soothing nature of the majority of a ballgame, followed up by the enormous excitement of the big moment.
Where Is Your Favorite Road City?
So many great ones. In Eastern League, I love going to Portland, Me. and Reading, Pa. Portland is a great city that loves their team. Going there in the summer is such a special venue. Awesome old downtown.
I had a buddy take me out on the town the first time I went there, when I showed my insatiable breadth in geography. I said, “Man it smells like the ocean here” to which my friend replied, "Yeah, idiot, this city isn’t called Port-Land for nothing.”
Reading, Pa., is another iconic spot in minor league baseball. Great fans and the absolute best at celebrating their history. They have a great named (Adam) "Disco" Briscoe who does a dance that everyone in the park does with him. He also listens to everyone's broadcasts in the league. Just a great guy and part of the awesome culture there. It is the absolute best.
In Carolina League, I always loved Kinston, N.C. When you were at Grainger Stadium it was such a family feel, especially in the press box. They had a guy that ran the scoreboard at that time named Delmont Miller who has since passed away. He would at times start falling asleep during the game and they would wake him up by slamming on the counter. Both he and I nearly leapt out of that booth a couple of times due to that!
And Wilmington, Del. is a great spot. Kevin Linton is a great Pa guy and better person. I always loved Mr. Celery. He runs out on the field for 15-30 seconds when the Blue Rocks score. It was always fascinating to me that they pay someone to sit there and watch a game in that suit and if they get shut out, he just gets up, takes it off and hops into his car to go home without ever being seen!
What Is Your Career Highlight?
For me, it has been the ability to be the longest lead broadcaster in the organization I grew up rooting for in the Orioles system. I have called the last three Orioles' minor league titles (Frederick in 2007, 2011 and Bowie in 2015) and gotten to know everyone in Birdland.
The 2011 season in Frederick with the people I worked with at that time and having Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop lead us to a title with a really special team was my favorite season.
What Unseen Parts Of The Job Do You Feel People Should Know About?
Minor League Baseball is truly a small business. And with that you have to do EVERYTHING! A year ago in Bowie, I was leaving after a 14-hour day at the park and my GM grabs me and goes, “Adam, I need you to be a part of our flush crew.”
A team of teenagers had plugged almost every toilet in the park on purpose with paper towels. So eight employees at 11 p.m. had the walkie-talkies ready and when we got the go-ahead we flushed every toilet simultaneously. It worked! It flushed out the system and we saved God knows how much money in plumbing expenses.
The reality is: You never know what your day will be. You can start as a salesperson, start preparing for your broadcast at lunch, then have to pull tarp, then call the game and finish it with a stint on the flush crew before heading home! It’s all hands on deck.
What's Your Best Story From The Road?
Many would be deemed not kosher. And there are so many that are applicable, but here’s a fun one.
In 2010 or 2011 my broadcast partner Tim Murray (now with NBC Sports Radio) was with the Keys in Lynchburg on July 4 when, in front of a sellout crowd, a skunk ran out on the field. Their longtime GM was chasing that bad boy out toward right field with a bucket in his hand.
To his shock and dismay one of the Baysox's Latin relievers just walked out and picked the skunk up with his glove and dropped it right into the bucket. He didn’t know what a skunk even was and thought it was just a cat! That skunk sprayed the ever-loving you know what out of his glove.
It was a getaway day. They somehow got the glove home and put it in a bucket or small trash can that then went on the clubhouse roof for weeks. In Frederick, that area is actually accessible to fans. I couldn’t believe they didn’t just toss it!
We told that story on air and our radio station got flooded with emails about the best way to get the smell out of the glove. One fan told us to soak it in tomato juice, bury it for a few weeks underground, dig that glove up and it will be good as new. That pitcher was traded weeks later to the White Sox. I don’t think he took the glove!