LITTLE FALLS — Rick Grammond calls it like he sees it. And Grammond has seen everything.
For the past 25 years Grammond has made it his life’s duty to tell the story of Pierz sporting events as the “Voice of the Pioneers.”
Grammond started his announcing career with the Pierz football season of 1988, but he said his calling to give the play-by-play started long before that.
Grammond, a life-time resident of the tiny town of Grey Eagle, said he has always loved sports and grew up listening to Jack Peck, “The Voice of the Flyers”, in near by Little Falls.
“I basically talked through games when I was growing up,” he said. “It was always fascinating to me to be able to tell the story of the game.”
Grammond said he has seen athletics in the area come a long way since the days he found himself as player on the field.
“The teams weren’t so good when I was growing up,” he laughed. “That’s all changed.”
Grammond announces for just about every sport Pierz has to offer — football, basketball, volleyball, softball, wrestling and baseball — and also Victory League amateur baseball. Of all the sports he announces, Grammond said his favorite sport to cover is baseball.
“There’s just something about the pace of the game,” he said . “You can slow it down a bit.”
Grammond said one of his most memorable moments in announcing came at a Victory League baseball game between Pierz and Lastrop. The 1-0 game lasted 28 innings.
“It was the most amazing things I’ve ever been apart of,” Grammond said of the nearly six hour game. Grammond said game went down in baseball history as one of just three games to last 28 innings.
Since that first football game in 1988, Grammond’s broadcasts could be followed live on area radio stations. Grammond said he remembers in the early days of broadcasting when covering a game involved driving a big van and running an antenna up a 25 foot pole in order to secure a signal.
“All that has changed,” Grammond said. “Now it’s all packed in a 12-inch case.”
With technology changing the face of broadcasting around the world, Grammond made the decision this year to take his show off the air and on onto the web.
“The time was right to do it,” Grammond said.
In November, Grammond broadcasted his first live streaming game from his newly established website www.youaretheresports.com . “Now you can go anywhere — broadcast from anywhere,” he said.
Grammond has spent his career in broadcasting and printing, and said the new web streaming has come with a bit of a learning curve. “I like to think I’m pretty well rounded though,” he said. “I’m getting it.”
Grammond said a moment of clarity came when he discovered the impact a web streamed game had the potential to make a world a way. Grammond was announcing for a Victory League baseball game when a parent of one of the players told him her other son was listening to his brother’s game while on active military duty in Iraq.
“Here’s this guy a world away, in a war zone listening,” Grammond recalled. “That really his home.”
Even with the changes to the way people hear the game, Grammond said one thing remains the same — the listeners.
“I’ve known a lot of these families for 25 years,” he said. “The way the community supports their kids is really special.”
With a quarter of a century in announcing under his belt, it’s pretty safe to say Grammond is a big part of that tradition, and that’s something he has no intentions of changing anytime soon. “I’ve never even given that a thought,” he said. “As long as I can talk, and keep my wits about me, I’ll keep doing it.”
SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5879.