Voice of Senior League World Series brings technological twist

Roy Lamberton (Sussex Post/Glenn Rolfe)

ROXANA — Roy Lamberton has a long way to go to catch legendary Bob Sheppard, the longtime baritone public-address voice of the New York Yankees.

In the world of the Senior League Softball World Series in Roxana, Mr. Lamberton is the voice — with a technical twist.

Mr. Lamberton has been behind the microphone in the caged, ground level media coordinator booth at Lower Sussex Little League’s Bruce Layton Field since Little League International arrived in Southern Delaware with the Senior Softball World Series in 2004.

“I belong to the public-address announcers’ association, and their motto is: ‘The voice above the crowd,’” said Mr. Lamberton. “The whole point is they shouldn’t know who I am, except that it’s that fat guy with the mustache over in the corner who talks on the microphone — and he doesn’t screw up the names too bad. That is kind of what we are shooting for with it.”

“It’s the voice that nobody really knows you who he is. I do the Little League World Series. I do Seaford High School. The parents all know who I am. But hopefully the crowd just says, ‘Well, that guy did a pretty good job,’” he said.

The 71-year-old Seaford resident is back at Roxana this week for the 2019 Little League Senior League Softball World Series, which runs through Sunday.

Ten teams are battling it out in pool play, then quarterfinals, semifinals and finals for world bragging rights.

“I went over 200 consecutive Little League World Series games last year,” said Mr. Lamberton, who also serves as commissioner for American Legion baseball in Delaware.

Mr. Lamberton brings more than his voice and some foreign language expertise gained during his broadcasting, computer world and military service.

“The idea is, what we are trying to accomplish is to make it as close to a major league ballpark environment as you can,” he said. “I use one of the two software packages to play music. It’s very similar to what they use at the major league ballparks.”

He’s been involved with Little League post-season competition, regionals and the World Series for about 25 years. That’s a bit shy of Bob Sheppard’s 56 years with the Bronx Bombers.

“I can do Bob Sheppard … ‘Now batting, batting’ … that Yankee Stadium echo,” says Mr. Lamberton.

His involvement with regionals and beyond Little League sprouted when son Andrew was a Little Leaguer.

“The way I got started, as an adjunct to computer business, I was interested in computer software for the youth sports, Andrew was playing in Little League. When they came around to pick all-stars, everybody’s kid batted .750. I said that’s not possible. I had a laptop, so I sat down, and I started scoring games.

“Laptops have CD players, so I started playing music in between innings. I was announcing one of the regional tournaments, the District III tournament I believe, and one of guys in the district said, ‘Hey, we’ve got the Eastern Regionals, we’ve got the nationals. Can you come up and help us do that?’”

The world stage called after he took over when the man running the Eastern Regionals retired. He connected with Martin Donovan, director for Senior Softball World Series in Roxana.

“When they got the World Series, I called Martin, ‘What do you need to make this work?’ He said, ‘I was just about to call you,’” Mr. Lamberton said. “So, I wound up as media liaison guy. I do the games at Bruce Layton Field. It’s almost like a sub-media office during the World Series. I have my laptop and all my software. I’ve got a printer, and internet connection.”

Mr. Lamberton and his wife Kathryn met in 1973 while attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. They married in 1974.
They have three sons: Edward, David and Andrew.

“All three boys were born in different states,” said Mr. Lamberton, whose work took him to Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Delaware. Ms. Lamberton is a retired teacher in the Seaford School District.

“It’s been an interesting broadcast career. When my wife got a job teaching Seaford I said we’re not moving anymore,” he said.
After moving to Delmarva around the mid-1970s, he went to work at radio station in Georgetown.

“At that point I was about 40 years old, and nobody in the broadcast business in Delaware at the time was over 30. It was all young people, and the people that were over 30 were the general managers,” said Mr. Lamberton. “So, I went into the computer business. That is what I have done since then, computer applications and support. I joke that I have three part-time jobs, and one sometimes pays me.”

“It has been an interesting ride for 15 years. It’s actually closer to 25 for Little League. I started doing Legion baseball in 2000. In a moment of weakness, I told the guy who was the state commander, ‘I’ll take it over.’ I can computerize most of it. That’s what I did. And now my problem is how do I give it up?”

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