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TWINS: New radio play-by-play announcer Provus ready to go

Cory Provus grew up a fan of the Chicago Cubs. He was an even bigger fan of legendary Cubs' play-by-play announcer Harry Caray. "I remember my brother, John, and I going to our first game," Provus said. "I was 5. It was cool to walk into Wrigley ...

Cory Provus

Cory Provus grew up a fan of the Chicago Cubs. He was an even bigger fan of legendary Cubs' play-by-play announcer Harry Caray.

"I remember my brother, John, and I going to our first game," Provus said. "I was 5. It was cool to walk into Wrigley Field and seeing the ivy blossoming on the wall, the green grass. And it was cool to find players like Larry Bowa, Shawon Dunston, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg.

"But I wanted to look up and find Harry Caray. That's the guy I knew. Harry Carey was my first love."

Since that day, Provus has wanted to be the lead play-by-play announcer of a Major League baseball team.

He now has that chance, as Provus will become the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins this season. Provus was in Grand Forks on Wednesday night with the annual Twins Winter Caravan, which also included manager Ron Gardenhire and pitchers Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins.

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Provus, who will take over for John Gordon, spent the last three years with Bob Uecker in the Milwaukee Brewers' radio booth. The prior two seasons, he was with the Chicago Cubs, handling pregame and postgame radio duties in addition to calling an occasional inning.

He'll enter the Twins' radio booth in April without a signature call. But that doesn't bother him.

"I've done a lot of reading about the Twins," he said. "There was one particular chapter in a book on Herb Carneal, the hall-of-famer. He didn't have a signature call, either. And that's kind of how I am. I don't have that signature call just yet. I don't want to force anything on anybody. John (Gordon) had a signature call ('Touch 'em all') because it came natural to him.

"If you have a call and it's natural, it works. If you don't and you're forcing it on people, it comes off kind of cheesy or corny. That's the last thing I want to do."

Provus said his time in Milwaukee working with Uecker was great.

"Working with Bob, he's the best," Provus said. "He's the best remedy for a bad day. And you're going to have them in baseball. You may be tired and you're doing 20 games in 20 days. But when you get to the ballpark and pull up a chair and see Bob two feet to your right, you're problems go away.

"Bob made me a better broadcaster and a better person. Without working with Bob for the last three years, there is no way I have this job."

Provus, a graduate of Syracuse University, won the play-by-play job from among more than 110 applicants, including Ryan Lefebvre, the voice of the Kansas City Royals.

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Calling pro games is in the family, too, as his cousin is Brad Sham, is the longtime play-by-play announcer of the Dallas Cowboys.

"When I was old enough to realize what he did for a living, I thought that was pretty cool," Provus said.

He enjoyed his time with the Cubs and the Brewers. But the pinnacle of an announcer is taking over the lead play-by-play role.

And he now has that chance with the Twins, whose games are carried in five states.

"I had a great job in Milwaukee," he said. "The driving force behind the move was to be in that lead chair. We all dream about doing the ninth inning."

Nelson reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1268; (800) 477-6572, ext. 268; or send e-mail to wnelson@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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