Todd Leitz was one of two UCSD San Diego graduates, along with marine biologist Sam Chin — who also has ties to the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Center on Mission Bay — who were runners-up to New Hampshire resident Alex Miniak in the job hunt for Petco Park’s next public-address announcer.
The trio was culled from a field of more than 800 who originally tried out to be the Padres’ next P.A. announcer. That voluminous field was narrowed down to 50, then 30, then 10 — with the help of a fan vote. It finally led to the last three standing.
Miniak bested Chin and Leitz after each had the opportunity to announce a full game at Petco Park.
A senior account executive with Gigunda Group, Miniak said he plans to move to San Diego, leaving his current role as the public-address announcer for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Alex has the iconic voice that we were looking for, and we’re excited to welcome him to the Padres family,” said Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello. He said Miniak, who was picked from “a tremendous pool of talent,” has “the right voice to take us into the next era of Petco Park.”
Leitz, the first-runner-up for the announcing job, said the three-month-long selection process was a real learning experience, adding he has no regrets and no hard feelings about not being picked.
A Studio City resident in Los Angeles, Leitz is a public-information officer for MYSAFE: LA. He is a former radio news anchor and reporter.
“I’ve always loved baseball, and I thought, ‘I could do that. How fun would that be?,’” said Leitz about the seasonal, part-time position.
Leitz came back to San Diego four or five times in three months for auditions.
“I’m proud they liked my voice and how I handled myself,” Leitz said, adding he felt the edge Miniak had in besting his final two opponents was his “eight seasons of experience as a minor-league announcer.”
Leitz said he’d do it all again, too.
“I hope I have another chance to audition for some other major league team. I thank the Padres for the opportunity and for a fun ride,” he said.