The epiphany hit Cory Provus at age 6.

"I knew that I was not going to be Ryne Sandberg," he said of his athletic future.

The year was 1984, the summer Provus fell in love with baseball. He adored Sandberg and Ron Cey as a kid raised on Cubs afternoon telecasts in suburban Chicago. More specifically, he fell in love with the guy announcing the games on WGN, the great Harry Caray.

A few years later, Provus was old enough to better understand the job his cousin Brad held. Brad Sham is revered in Texas as the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," having served as the team's radio play-by-play analyst for four decades.

Provus visited Dallas for a game when he was 10 years old. He got to run around the Cowboys field after the game and meet Herschel Walker and Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

Provus left there thinking his cousin had a dream job.

"I was sold," he said.

That pull — from childhood — toward a profession still resides inside the 45-year-old Provus as he takes the baton from Dick Bremer as the Twins' TV voice Thursday in the season opener.

Provus calls his shift from the Twins radio booth, where he's worked since 2012, to TV play-by-play announcer "the biggest challenge of my career by far" because he's replacing a man who held the job for 40 years and possessed deep knowledge of the franchise's history as a native Minnesotan.

"It's 40 years of somebody who not only was invested and did the job in such an elegant, classy and professional way," Provus said. "But more than that, he grew up in it."

Provus grew up with a mission to become a sports broadcaster. As a teenager, he'd get the Sunday newspaper and cut out the rosters for the Chicago Bears and their opponent that day. Then he would find a room in his house with a TV, turn the sound off and announce the game.

As a high school senior, he landed a gig as a student reporter for Sports Channel Chicago on a TV show that chronicled prep athletes.

He chose Syracuse for college after learning that many broadcasting titans — Bob Costas, Marv Albert and Dick Stockton, to name a few – were alumni of the famed WAER radio station on campus. By his sophomore year, Provus carved out an on-air presence on the 50,000-watt National Public Radio affiliate.

"I certainly didn't go to Syracuse for the weather," he joked.

His career as a radio broadcaster has allowed him to work alongside Hall of Famers and all-time characters: Pat Hughes and Ron Santo (Cubs), Bob Uecker (Brewers) and Dan Gladden (Twins).

Provus is quite good at his Uecker impression, which he breaks out unprompted: From Miller Park in Milwaukee, a lovely July evening, it's the Brewers and Cardinals in the opening game of a three-game series.

"I say that to myself all the time," Provus said.

He mixes humor with detailed preparation. His objective in analyzing games is to explain the "Why?" behind stats and performances.

"If Joe Ryan is inducing a 29% whiff rate with his four-seam fastball, that's all good and well," Provus said. "But why? What is it about Joe Ryan's fastball that induces that much swing and miss?"

This career move will be Provus' first full-time TV job as an MLB broadcaster. His first experience calling a major league game on TV came in 2022 when Fox asked him to work a national broadcast between the Twins and White Sox. Luis Arraez broke up Dylan Cease's no-hitter on a single with two outs in the ninth. So much for easing into a new endeavor.

Provus contacted fellow TV play-by-play announcers this winter to pick their brains. One of the biggest adjustments is learning to lean more on his monitor in the booth as he describes the action. He rehearsed in spring training games toggling between the monitor and the field.

Identifying exact pitch location can be challenging from the press box. Radio announcers have more leeway to be off when explaining if a pitch was inside or high. That's not the case with TV.

"If I see that a pitch is low, I want to be right," he said.

A friend in the business also advised him on the importance of three S's: Stats, story lines and silence. That last one figures to be the most challenging because radio requires announcers to paint a picture. The best TV announcers know when to let a moment breathe.

"I'd love to say that it's going to be seamless and there's going to be no bumps along the way, but that would be a stretch," Provus said. "There's going to be an adjustment for everybody, but I think mostly it's going to be an adjustment for the viewer."

Bremer's voice served as summer's soundtrack for four decades across multiple generations of Twins fans. A new voice will come into our homes starting Thursday. Bremer will be honored before the home opener and the TV broadcast booth in the press box will be named for him.

Provus has been preparing for this opportunity from the moment he realized he wasn't going to play second base for the Cubs.