Kevin Rouch first joined the Frontier League as the radio broadcaster for the Zanesville Greys in 1993 and served until 1996. Rouch grew up in Zanesville and his father was a local TV/radio guy for close to 30 years, so Kevin was able to get experience calling both high school football and basketball games.
One of his favorite early memories in the Frontier League was when the Zanesville team bus broke down on the side of the road on their way to an away game.
“I decided to use my new cell phone—a newer thing back then—to call and order pizzas and soda for all the guys on the bus. It was an attempt to ‘win over the team’ as a broadcaster. They delivered it right to us on the side of the road.”
After his four seasons with the Greys, the team disbanded, and he became the voice of the Chillicothe Paints from 1997 to 2000. Thanks to former Greys manager Eric Welsh, who was now an assistant for the Paints, Rouch learned of the opening in Chillicothe and soon after became the voice of the Paints.
Kevin was selected as the Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year in 1998 and worked two more seasons for the Paints, until he decided to end his broadcasting career due to the travel and time requirements. He also balanced a career as an attorney for much of his time in the Frontier League.
Since he still had a passion for baseball, Kevin joined the Frontier League as Deputy Commissioner and League Counsel in 2001 to stay in and around the game. He served in these roles through the 2009 season.
In his time with the league, he designed the first Frontier League website, which also included one of the first live scoreboards among independent leagues at the time.
“I remember I would call the press box of each team every three innings or so, so that I could manually update the scores online.”
Rouch was also responsible for the Frontier League qualifying for P-1 work visas for international players.
After his time in the Frontier League, he went back to practicing law full-time, concentrating on small business and estate planning. Unfortunately for him, he made the move in the midst of the 2009 recession.
As a result, he also pursued other ventures. He ended up running the historic Drexel Theatre in Columbus, Ohio for six years. His mother was a drama teacher and his father, a TV/Radio guy. With both parents involved in the entertainment industry, Rouch also developed an interest, which was carried on to two of his sons that are currently involved in film-making.
Since then, Rouch has worked for a small law firm in Columbus. He has four grandchildren, three of which were bat boys in the Frontier League.
“Baseball was always a passion of mine. An injury early on meant I could no longer play, but there are always other outlets you can still pursue. You should never walk away from a passion. The Frontier League was a very major part of my life and my family’s life and I’m still a big fan of the league and what they do.”
“Working in the league also taught me the value of relationships. I may not remember all the things I did in the league, but the things that last are the relationships I built with Bill Lee, Steve Tahsler, or any of the many people we worked with through the years.”
Rouch had this to say in reaction to his Hall of Fame induction:
“The call was unexpected, but just an absolute thrill. It was a great surprise and means a lot to me and my family.”
You can watch Kevin Rouch and some of the other inductees give their Hall of Fame speeches at the ceremony in Washington here: https://frontierleague.vhx.tv/videos/flhofceremony