10/24/2002 7:59 pm ET
PA announcer a reluctant pioneer
Brooks-Moon is first woman behind a WS mike
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Renel Brooks-Moon says she's not a pioneer, but the National Baseball Hall of Fame begs to differ.
Brooks-Moon on Tuesday became the first female public-address announcer to work a World Series game, and Cooperstown came calling Wednesday, looking for her lineup card from that historic night at the mike.
By Thursday's Game 5, Brooks-Moon was a media darling, answering questions from all corners. But a pioneer? She says she doesn't give that kind of thing much thought.
"Only when you and your colleagues come in here and tell me that," she says, laughing. "I understand that, and it's an honor, a great privilege, a great responsibility. I just want to do good work.
"With that, if it breaks down a door or two or creates opportunities, then all the better."
Perhaps the pioneer tag doesn't feel quite right because Brooks-Moon isn't even the first female PA announcer for the Giants. Sherry Davis, the first female PA voice in big-league history, introduced players and pitching changes during the team's last seven years at Candlestick Park.
"She was my pioneer," Brooks-Moon says. "She was my Jackie Robinson."
When the team moved to Pacific Bell Park before the 2000 season, it decided to change voices. Brooks-Moon, an Oakland native and longtime radio personality in the Bay Area, got the job.
"I love baseball, I went to Candlestick Park as a kid, this is my mom's favorite team," she says. "[I thought], 'How fun, how cool would this be?' I love Dusty [Baker]. 'How cool would this be?' ... They called me and asked me if I'd be interested in auditioning. I did, and it worked out."
Worked out real well. She has been a witness to scads of Barry Bonds records, two division titles and now the Giants' first National League pennant since 1989.
"When [Bonds] hit his 500th, I was on the field for a ceremony honoring him and I'm introducing Jim Leyland and Mark McGwire and Bobby Bonilla and his dad," she recalls. "I couldn't believe it. It's been beyond anything I could have expected."
But she refuses to be awed by the magnitude of working the World Series. Sort of.
"I keep telling myself it's just another game, but it really isn't," she admits. "There's been a little more attention on me than normal, so that's gotten me a little amped. I try to treat it just like a normal game, but I know it isn't. I don't have a FOX TV stage manager for every game cueing me, I don't have Joe Buck introducing me. ... It is not just another game!"
And despite what she'll have you believe, Brooks-Moon is not just another PA voice. Not anymore.
"My folks raised me to approach everything I do like that anyway -- to trailblaze in every aspect of your life," she says. "I never thought I'd have the opportunity to trailblaze in Major League Baseball. But it's very cool. Very cool."
Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alyson Footer contributed to this story, which was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.