Wednesday, September 5, 2007

God opens the door for the Spanish voice of Minnesota sports

Alfonso Fernandez is the Spanish radio voice of the Minnesota Twins. And the Minnesota Vikings. And the Minnesota Timberwolves.

According to a July 23, 2007, story in the Star Tribune, God guided him to his trio of jobs in 2005. "He opened the door," Fernandez said in the story.

First, a little background on Fernandez. He grew up in Mexico, but was a radio broadcaster in his '20s in California. According to the Star Tribune story:

"He called Lakers, Clippers and Rams games on Spanish-language radio. He moved to North Carolina to pursue his radio career, and then the Lord came calling. Fernandez listened to preachers -- on the radio, of course -- and learned about missionary work.

He said to himself, 'God has blessed my family and myself, so why not share that blessing?'

It came in a dream

He and his wife, Rosalia, sold their home and moved back to Guadalajara, sharing food, clothing and Bibles with the people of his hometown. After a year in Mexico, he said God called him to Minnesota to continue his missionary work.

Even now, Fernandez says he walks through parts of the Twin Cities where he knows he will find the homeless. He looks under bridges and freeway ramps, where he shares water as well as the good news. But he never dreamed of becoming a Minnesota sportscaster, until one night in a dream: 'Call the Vikings' was what he heard.

As it turned out, the person who was doing Spanish broadcasts of Vikings home games had just quit. Fernandez found some old tapes of his and there he was, like a proverbial bolt from the blue, back behind the microphone in September 2005.

Soon after, he was calling Twins and Timberwolves games. He and radio partner Tony Oliva -- a former Twins star and native of Cuba -- broadcast all the Twins' Sunday home games on KBGY 107.5 FM, a Spanish-language station also known as La Mera Buena. KBGY also carried 12 Timberwolves home games last season. All Vikings home games are broadcast in Spanish on KFXN 690 AM."

According to the story, the Twins hope to carry every home game in Spanish someday.
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