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Hall of Famer Roemer known for dressing dogs and broadcasts
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Tucson Toros baseball

Hall of Famer Roemer known for dressing dogs and broadcasts

Announcer Bill Roemer has called games in Tucson for 35 years

  • Announcer Bill Roemer has been a part of the Tucson sports landscape for over 30 years. He has called Wildcats games along with Major League Baseball Spring Training games.
    Kim Hartman/TucsonSentinel.comAnnouncer Bill Roemer has been a part of the Tucson sports landscape for over 30 years. He has called Wildcats games along with Major League Baseball Spring Training games.
  • Bill Roemer was inducted into the Pima County Hall of Fame in 2008. He calls two games a year for the Tucson Toros.
    Kim Hartman/TucsonSentinel.comBill Roemer was inducted into the Pima County Hall of Fame in 2008. He calls two games a year for the Tucson Toros.

Broadcasters call it a Roemer dog.

After more than 35 years of sports broadcasting in Tucson, Hall of Fame announcer Bill Roemer has become known for how he eats his hot dogs, always fully-loaded with condiments.

“It takes me five full minutes to doctor my dog,” he said. “Ketchup, relish, mustard, mayonnaise, the works – It became a thing in the booth over the years.”

Roemer’s announcing career is as decorated as his hot dogs.

Inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in October, 2008, the Notre Dame graduate has called games for MLB spring training, University of Arizona athletics, the Sidewinders and Toros for more than three decades.

He first came to Tucson to cover sports for Channel 13 in 1975.

“It’s funny because I grew up in Chicago and always considered that my home,” Roemer said. “But now I’ve been in Tucson longer, and this city has really become my home.”

His most memorable broadcasting experience in Tucson was his play-by-play on Game 1 of the 1986 UA national championship baseball series, when the Wildcats had to erase a seven-run deficit to get the win.

Second on Roemer’s list of memorable broadcasts occurred in the same year, when the Wildcats won their first Pac-10 Conference basketball championship. 

“It was amazing,” Roemer said. “I got to work for both Channel 11 and ESPN on that (basketball) game. It was huge.”

Also in the booth at Hi Corbett Field with Roemer is fellow Hall of Fame broadcaster Dale Lopez, who provides the music and game announcing for the Toros. The two have worked alongside each other at the field since 1983, but they first met in 1975 while reporting for competing news stations.

“(Roemer)’s one of a kind,” Lopez said. “He can get out of any jam you put him in. He’s quick-thinking. The rest of us would panic (in a broadcast problem) but he’s smooth in getting out of it. No one can ‘Roemerize’ like Bill Roemer.”

After his long and established career, Roemer said he values the people factor most of all, from sending subliminal messages in the booth as a broadcaster to story-telling with sources as a reporter to interacting with the crowd as an announcer.

“It sounds corny, but the favorite part of my career has been all the neat people I’ve met – the people I’ve worked with, the coaches, the players,” Roemer said. “There’s so many stories I’ve heard over the years around the clubhouse or while I was getting lineup sheets that night. I mean, you become a part of people’s lives.”

Call comes during dinner

Roemer got the phone call on May 18, 2008 that he had been elected into the Hall of Fame.

“I remember I was cooking dinner with my son, and I just went ballistic,” Roemer said. “It’s not something you ever forget. I was ecstatic.”

Last Sunday marked Roemer’s final Toros game as an announcer for the 2010 season.

He voices games for the team on the second Sunday of May and June of each year. In exchange for his work, Toros owner Jay Zucker gives Roemer 20 reserved seat tickets, free souvenirs and a luxury box ticket instead of money.

“To the Tucson Toros, Bill (Roemer) is a legend,” Zucker said.

Although his vocals on the public address system are done this summer, the Hall of Famer will be a fan in the stands alongside his 14-year-old son Danny.

“We’re both big baseball fans and love sharing games together,” Roemer said. “We’ll be at the park on Father’s Day. It’s dollar dog day (at Hi Corbett Field), and my son said he’d buy me a hot dog.”

There’s no doubt that his hot dog will be festooned with condiments, as always.

“There’s nothing like (having) a Roemer dog after the game,” Lopez said.

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Up next

The Tucson Toros return home after a three game stint in Tijuana. After the first game was postponed, the Toros will play a double header on Thursday against the Cimarrones.

Toros weekend schedule against the Chico Outlaws

  • Game 1: Friday, June 18: Chico Outlaws @ Toros, 7 p.m.
  • Game 2: Saturday, June 19: Outlaws @ Toros, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: Sunday, June 20: Outlaws @ Toros, 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Tucson Toros box office at Hi Corbett Field. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling (520) 325-1010. Tickets can also be purchased on ticketmaster. For more information, visit the Tucson Toros website.

It is not known whether the Chico Outlaws' 18-year-old knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida will make an appearance over the weekend.

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