Growing up in a Northern California family of baseball nuts, Renel Brooks-Moon spent many a weekend cheering at Oakland A's or San Francisco Giants games. But she didn't realize how far fandom would take her until 2000, when she was working as a morning radio show host and local sports correspondent. That's when the Giants tapped Brooks-Moon—and her booming, throaty voice—to be the ballpark's public address announcer. She's the only woman in Major League Baseball holding the coveted position (and the third ever in the sport's history to do it full-time).
Since then, Brooks-Moon, 55, has been living her baseball fantasy. "There are PA announcers who have spent decades in the booth and never experienced a single World Series," says Moon, who already has three under her belt. "It was only my third season when I got that chance. I was an absolute wreck—the whole world was watching!" (The 2002 championship is thought to be the first in major U.S. pro sports announced by a woman.)
For a die-hard supporter of the home team, announcing the games—81 in the regular season—comes with a certain challenge. "It's tempting to call players by their nicknames or give a shout-out to favorites as they come to bat," Brooks-Moon says. "But my job is to be enthusiastic and professional, not the complete fanatic I really am."