No one did that better than Rome Braves play-by-play announcer JB Smith.
Smith, who brought radio play-by-play to thousands of Rome Braves fans over the last several years, died early Sunday morning. He was 64 years old.
Smith announced Rome Braves games, not only on local radio, but the feed was also heard via internet streaming and most recently on home games online.
This gave fans all over the country the opportunity to enjoy Smith’s call of the game in his unique and entertaining way.
“The Rome Braves family has lost one of our own,” says General Manager Mike Dunn. “On behalf of the entire organization and fans across the country, JB will be missed.”
Smith joined the Rome Braves in 2009, serving as the Braves play-by-play announcer until his untimely death.
Smith grew up in New Hampshire and majored in broadcast journalism at Boston College.
After working in radio in the Boston and New Hampshire areas, Smith joined the military, which moved him down to the southern part of the country.
Smith loved it so much down in the South that he decided to stay after his time in the military was over. After working for some radio stations in North Carolina, Smith then began working in the music industry.
After that, Smith moved to the Atlanta area to get back in the radio business until a new opportunity came.
Smith then joined the police force where he served as a police officer until his retirement in 2004.
After settling down in between Rome and Cartersville, Smith discovered the Rome Braves, and as soon as he heard about the opportunity to be their play-by-play announcer, Smith went for it. When Smith joined the Rome Braves in 2009, it was the first game he had called on the radio since 1987.
“JB was just a class act,” said WLAQ owner Randy Davis. “His demeanor was great, his play-by-play was what a lot of people would call old school, but I just thought it was good. He was really good.
“He was fun to listen to and be around,” added Davis. “I just can’t say enough good things about him, and when I found out that he had passed it just shocked me to no end. He will be missed.”
Davis said he liked Smith from the day he met him, when he was hired to be the Braves new play-by-play announcer.
“He just came into the radio station one day and said he’d like to be the radio announcer for the Rome Braves,” said Davis. “I asked him if he had any experience, and he said he did but it had been awhile since he’d done it. Then I asked him if he had a demo tape, and he said no but that he could make us one.
“He went into the production room and made a demo tape, and when it came out and I listened to it, I said we needed to hire him,” added Davis, “and we never looked back. One of the best hires I can ever remember.
“He was good for the community, good for the team, and he is really going to be missed,” added Davis.
Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.