Frank Ori works to unload some athletic gear.
Most kids around Carbon County know him. Many who listen to sports broadcasts on the radio hear him. You seldom see him without a grin spreading across his face. But for Frank Ori, life behind the scenes is a much better place than being in the spotlight. Ori has spent much of his life involved in the comings and goings around Carbon County.
He sums it up with the statement, "Born here, bred here and love the community."
He has only had one brief excursion away from the community he loves. That took place from 1996 to 1998, when he attended Mesa College in Grand Junction, Colorado to complete his bachelor's degree. Ori majored in mass communications, public relations and broadcast journalism.
He returned to Price with the intent of just spending the summer before moving on. He had worked as a league director of the youth football program for Carbon County Recreation before he left for school. And now he returned for a summer job. Then assistant director, Eric Madsen, ask him to help with CEU baseball and college radio broadcasts. He agreed to stay for the year. That single year has turned into ten. Now it is Ori who is the Assistant Director of Carbon County Recreation Services under Executive Director Steve Christensen.
Ori has his hands full coordinating the youth sports programs in the area. It is through those programs that he has acquired a fan club of some of the community's youngest members. Ori is very hands-on in directing the programs.
He is often seen on the fields and courts, helping to get things rolling. In October 2006, Frank was honored by the Price City Council, who awarded him the Visionary Service Leader Award for his dedication to excellence and his ongoing efforts to help make Price City and Carbon County a better place to live.
As busy as he is with the recreation aspect of his life, he also makes time to be the voice of many Carbon County high school and college sports. During football and basketball seasons, he can be heard on KUSA announcing play-by-play action of the games. He also heads over to CEU and narrates the action on the hardwood for KARB.
In his spare time, he tries to fit in a space for the CEU baseball team as an assistant coach.
Ori always finds time for family. He describes his family as very close. His mom and dad are Janet and Frank Ori. They still live in Price and share a birthday with each other. Brother Nick and sister, Tami, still also live in Price. Ori loves to find time for his nieces Tanner and Harmony. Sister Shani is the lone sibling to venture out of the community. She lives in Salt Lake City and has one son named Kiean. Ori looks forward to get-togethers when he can spend time with nephew Kiean, too.
What few people knew about Ori until now is that if he could have any other job than the ones he has now; it would to do voiceover for a superhero comic cartoon character. Growing up, he loved pouring over the comic books of Superman, Spiderman and Batman. He continues to love comic books and sci-fi movies, books and TV shows. He is a Star Trek and Star Wars fan, a self-proclaimed "nerd."
In spite of everything, Ori is not one to hog the spotlight. He is actually very shy and says that new situations make him nervous. Speaking to a crowd evokes anxiety and fear.
But once he is safely behind the mike, on the radio, the inhibitions melt away and he is in his element. He can easily keep things positive when even the worst game situation is going on down on the field below him. His knowledge of the sport he is announcing keeps the listener informed even during breaks in the action.
Being with the media and with the recreation department has had some perks. Each year, he has been able to spend time with several Utah Jazz players as part of the Junior Jazz program. He also played in a basketball tournament in Scipio, Utah against ex- NBA star, Danny Ainge. Ori reminisces that Ainge single-handedly scored 55 points against them.
But the greatest privilege for Ori has been the chance to meet his childhood idol, Chick Herm.
Herm was the broadcast voice for the LA Lakers until 1991, when he left due to illness. He passed away shortly afterwards. Ori had grown up listening to Herm as a youth and tried to model some of Herm's style in his own broadcasts. Ori was able to meet him several times before he died.
Ori also thinks it's lucky that two of the young men he helped coach at CEU are now in the major leagues playing ball. Willie Eyre is with the Texas Rangers and Cam Mikilio landed with the Orioles.
"It's cool to see them on Sports Center," he remarked.
Of all the sports he works with, baseball remains his passion. During the month of October, he will find a way to see as much of the baseball playoffs and World Series games as he can possibly find time for. When he is not in the booth himself, he will be tuned into TV or radio to catch the latest action as it happens.
Ori has a straight-up philosophy of life. His favorite two shows are Friends and South Park. He has decided that almost anything that happens in life can relate to an episode of either of those two shows. He has all ten seasons of Friends on DVD.
Even as he had fun chatting about his ideals, he wanted people to know that he doesn't like being in the spotlight to make his mark. He doesn't do the work he does for money or fame. He does it to be involved and because he loves kids. He feels it is a person's actions that speak volumes about who he is.
He concluded with the statement that after he has spent his time and has died, he hopes that there will be kids and grown-ups who remember him and say, "He helped me. He changed my life."