For the first time in nearly 60 years, former Washington Senators announcer Charlie Brotman will not be heard during the presidential inauguration parade. President-elect Donald Trump has decided to replace the 89-year-old for the event.
Brotman, who has announced every inauguration parade since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s in 1957, was devastated when he heard the news, according to CNN.
“I looked at at my email, then I got the shock of my life,” Brotman told CNN’s Carol Costello. “I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach.”Brotman, who has been the announcer at presidential inauguration for sixty years, said when he read the email from the Trump transition team he thought he “was going to commit suicide.”
Brotman served as the full-time announcer for the Washington Senators from 1956 to 1962. After 1962, Brotman was the club’s opening day announcer until the franchise relocated to Texas in 1971.
During his first game in 1956, Brotman introduced Eisenhower before he threw out the first pitch. It was that interaction that got Brotman the job announcing the inauguration, according to the Washington Post. Eisenhower reportedly liked Brotman, and asked him to serve as the emcee of the parade.
Trump’s team has selected 58-year-old announcer Steve Ray as Brotman’s replacement. Ray is based in Washington, D.C., and has done work for the Washington Nationals.
Brotman hasn’t been told why he was replaced for the event, but told WJLA he believes it’s because Ray supported Trump and his policies. He added that he hopes Ray does a “spectacular” job, and wished him luck.
Though Brotman will not announce the parade, he will be honored as the “announcer chairman emeritus,” Trump spokesperson Boris Epshteyn told CNN. He’s been offered a VIP seat.
Brotman is unsure whether he’ll attend the event.
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