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For quite some time now, anyone who has attended games at Neligh’s Riverside Park have been blessed by Tyler Doerr’s announcing at nearly every game. His smooth and direct announcing style can be heard from blocks away on the right night.
“I started helping out with announcing when I was about 10 or 12 years old,” Tyler said.
While Doerr’s voice may sound like most great public address announcers, his story is anything but typical. After being born premature, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a permanent disorder of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation.
“I would classify it as moderate,” said Tyler’s father Jeff Doerr of Neligh. “He’s able to walk with one crutch, he’s ambulatory and he gets around real well.”
Physical limitations did little to stop Tyler from developing a love of America’s pastime. He played all throughout his formative years, including some time with the Neligh Legion teams. While it wasn’t as easy for him to play as some of his teammates, his coaches made sure he didn’t miss out on the childhood experience of playing baseball.
“We have an extremely supportive community here in Neligh,” said Jeff. “His Legion coach, Doug Dennis, at the time when he was a Legion-aged player — and he wasn’t really able to play — but with agreement from the other coach, he had a few at-bats where he actually batted from his knees. He was able to go into the outfield. It was really nice what the coach did and the Legion program in general.”
However, his dream was always to be a sports announcer, rather than an athlete.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be a sports announcer,” Tyler said. “My parents thought it would be a good idea for me to do baseball games when I was little, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
After high school, Doerr perfected his craft as a broadcast major at Northeast in Norfolk. After that, he just learned to put himself in the bleachers to make his announcing better.
“I try and envision myself as somebody sitting in the bleachers and how they might want to hear somebody announcing the game,” Tyler said. “I try to make sure I’m nice and clear so people can hear me.
Tyler admits that being at the field nearly every night for games can be a bit taxing, but the appreciation from the fans makes it all worth it.
“I like baseball, I love sports, and it’s a way to help out the community. Everybody likes it,” he said.
And fans are quick to say home much the like having Tyler at the games.
“He has a repertoire. I’m a little biased obviously, but I think he sounds pretty good,” Jeff said with a smile. “We do get a lot of compliments when he does peewee, pony and Legion ball. A lot of people will stop and tell him that he does a good job. I think he’s a pretty confident announcer at this point.”
Always humble, Tyler’s smile has hidden the pride he feels from those compliments.
“I really do like it when people tell my parents they like me announcing,” Tyler said.
During the last week’s Junior Legion Area Tournament, Doerr has been busy with four games a day. He doesn’t mind, except for during the four-hour long games such as the Creighton and Crofton dual.
“I really do enjoy watching the kids play baseball. It kind of makes you visualize being a baseball player in your own mind. It kind of takes you back to when you were little,” Tyler said.
With the baseball season winding down, the fields at Riverside Park will give way to fair events as well as various other gatherings before the winter covers the park in snow. Rest assured, though, that come Opening Day 2018, Tyler will be back in the crow’s nest of the Legion field. In fact, if he has his say, he be back up there for a number of summers to come.
“I’ll keep doing it until they tell me not to do it anymore,” Tyler said with a grin. “I’m here until further notice.”