‘Austin’ City Limits in Fort press box
BEVERLY — Austin Baumgartner’s got a new ‘do.
The Fort Frye High senior is sporting a very cool-looking, short Mohawk. It’s kinda reddish in appearance or in that family of colors.
It also kind of lights up the Cadet baseball press box, where Baumgartner has been stationed during Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 games this summer.
Baumgartner is the voice of “BevLow” — sort of. He doesn’t actually do play-by-play. But he does announce over the PA (public address) system the starting line-ups for both the home and visiting teams. He also lets you know who’s batting, and what changes have been made out on the diamond.
Baumgartner’s also the guy behind the music being played at the ballpark. He really enjoys country star Jake Owen and “I Like You A Lot” quite a bit. (It’s really a good song.)
“Ever heard “Beachin’ (sung by Owen)?” I asked him once.
“Oh, that’s a good one, too,” he said.
Baumgartner did the PA system for the Sonny Bidwell-coached Fort baseball team in the spring. Fact is, that was when I first met him (without the Mohawk ‘do).
Very personable, he made a good first impression. He had a good, clear-sounding voice for the PA, and I suggested to him once maybe he should get into broadcasting after graduation.
He just grinned.
Back in the spring, Baumgartner told me BevLow skipper Todd Engle recruited his vocal services for the American Legion baseball squad — and he was only too happy to oblige.
While Baumgartner has never hit, caught, or pitched a ball for Post 389/750, he’s been important to the “behind-the-scenes” success of the program. He just radiates positivity.
He’s fun to be around.
And, he’s a good talker.
Occasionally this summer, Fort Frye basketball standout Morgan Borich and volleyball hitter Jade Baker have visited and chatted with Baumgartner in the press box.
“Hey, Morgan-town,” Baumgartner would address Borich.
Baumgartner will sometimes even call out to the BevLow players on the field.
“Nice play 8-ball,” he said to Post 389/750 second baseman Nate Brothers on Sunday.
“What did you call him?” I asked.
“8-ball,” Baumgartner replied. “That was his Fort Frye baseball (jersey) number.” (Brothers dons number 12 on the Beverly/Lowell squad.)
BevLow just recently concluded regular-season American Legion baseball play at the Fort Frye diamond this past Sunday with a sweep of Zanesville Post 29. Post 389/750 will now be in action against Marietta Post 64 in a district tournament game at 6 p.m. Friday at Don Coss Field in Cambridge.
Baumgartner will be busy with Fort Frye football then anyways in a two-week camp. This fall, he’s projected to be a starting lineman for the Eric Huck-coached Cadets.
After football, Baumgartner’s expected to wrestle for the Fort next winter. He competes in the 285-pound heavyweight division.
“I had a winning record last season,” he said.
You’ve just got to like his cheerful attitude a lot.
Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org