Minor League Announcer Gets Call To Announce San Diego Padres Games
Monday, April 21, 2014
Aired 4/21/14 on KPBS News.
After a two-month selection process, the Padres picked Alex Miniak of New Hampshire to be the voice of their baseball games at Petco Park.
When the San Diego Padres held an open casting call two months ago for a new public address announcer for their home games, more than 800 people turned out.
Well, that field was narrowed to 50, then 30 and then 10. Fans then got to vote for the top three candidates, with the team picking the winner.
That's how Alex Miniak, the PA announcer for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the double A affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays, got called up to majors.
“I've been preparing myself for this for a very long time, and even still when you hear the news, it's not something that you're completely expecting,” said Miniak, who the team announced Saturday won the competition.
The other finalists were Sam Chin of San Diego and Todd Leitz of Los Angeles.
Being the only native San Diegan in the top three, Chin took pride in representing his city. He said he wanted "to do justice" for his hometown team's fans.
Before Saturday's game, the three candidates for the PA job called their own full games. Miniak's victory was announced during the middle of the seventh inning of the game between the Padres and the San Francisco Giants.
Leitz said even though he didn't get the part-time job, he was grateful for the opportunity.
“I was disappointed,” he said. “I’ve committed a lot of time and effort into this process. ... But making it this far is kind of a resume point.”
Wayne Partello, the Padres' chief marketing officer, said the competition for the job was close, but there was something about Miniak’s voice that put him over the top.
“What it really came down to was picking the voice that we found fit Petco Park. All three of them were tremendous guys,” Partello said.
The announcing job is only part time, something that Miniak, 37, understands. In addition to being the PA announcer for the Fisher Cats, he is also a senior account executive and plans to keep that job.
Even though there is no set contract for Miniak – neither he nor the Padres would say how much he will make – the team hopes he will be around for a long time.
“It’s not a contract. They’re an hourly employee. We hope Alex is here for a very long time,” Partello said.
Miniak announced himself as the winner of the competition during Saturday’s game after a private conference with the Padres' front office. He finished out the game as the official voice of Petco Park and completed his first full game on Sunday.
Currently residing in New Hampshire, Miniak will commute and stay with friends this season before making the move to San Diego next year.
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