Milwaukee Talks: Kent Sommerfeld
If you've ever listened to a Brewers game on the radio, you probably know the name of Kent Sommerfeld. Though you've never heard his voice, you know his work. He's the engineer and producer of the broadcasts on the Brewers Radio Network, and keeping everything running smoothly with the ever-improvising Bob Uecker and Jim Powell is a tall order. But he's been doing it for 15 years, as well as providing play-by-play for the Marquette Women's basketball team.
For everyone who thinks they know everything about the Brewers, here's an interview with the man behind the men who call Brewers games. We caught up with Kent during a Spring Training game this March at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, Ariz.
OMC: As Brewers fans, we hear your name a lot, but we don't know exactly what your role is behind the scenes. What does the producer and engineer of a Brewers broadcast do?
KS: The engineer basically takes care of the technical side of the broadcast by setting up equipment and mikes. The producer aspect of my job is working with Jim and Bob in the broadcast booth for the pregame show, deciding what we want to cover that day, and what we deem as important. Sometimes that dictates itself. We work with other games and stories around baseball. Before the game, I will go on the Internet and get all the stories and check box scores of all the games. It's an information gathering job, and I try to get the information that's important to Brewers listeners.
OMC: You've been doing this since 1986?
KS: I came over here at the tail end of the George Bamberger era and the start of Tom Trebelhorn. I was here in 1987 for "Team Streak." It was a great time to be a Brewers fan, and for me, here I was, just a couple of years out of college. I came from Texas where I was working for a TV station with a chance to come back home. I'm originally from Brookfield, and it was fantastic for me to be able to work for my baseball team.
OMC: Were you a Brewers fan growing up?
KS: Yeah, I was. I went to games, I played baseball. I remember going to a game as a kid. I was at the game where Billy Martin had Don Money's grand slam taken away.
OMC: And after 16 years, you're still a fan?
KS: Oh yeah. In the beginning, the losses affected me more than they had to. It's still not easy to take losses, because I'm with the team, I travel with them on the team bus and on the plane. It's always better to be around a club that's winning.
OMC: What's it like to work with Bob Uecker?
KS: It's a blast. That's what makes it easy to do this job -- because we have fun in the booth. If you're up here in the booth and you do 180 games a season -- 162 in the regular season and 18 in Spring Training -- if you're not having fun, trust me, it gets really long. Baseball is a game that isn't dictated by a clock, so sometimes the games go longer. Uecke can inject humor into a game like no other announcer I've ever heard.Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)
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