4/20/2014 8:13 P.M. ET
Padres name Miniak as their PA announcer
By Bill Center / Special to MLB.com
For those who followed the Padres' contest to pick a new announcer for Petco Park, Alex Miniak first appeared as "Announcer number 179."
Today, Miniak is No. 1.
The Padres announced Saturday night that Miniak was the winner of a three-month competition that started with more than 800 candidates at an open casting call in January.
The field was then narrowed to 50. Then to 30. Then to 10. And finally to three.
The 37-year-old Miniak won over fellow finalists Sam Chin and Todd Leitz. All three were on the public-address system for a full game during the Padres' 10-game homestand before Miniak was proclaimed the winner.
"It's quite an honor," said Miniak. "When I entered, I thought it was a long shot just because of the number of entrants. Then, from the sample I heard, I saw it was a pretty deep field."
Miniak was living in New Hampshire when a friend in Texas made him aware of the Padres' search for a new PA voice.
But he was not new to the science of public-address announcing.
"I started doing it while I was at the University of Florida," said Miniak, who is a Florida native and a graduate of Florida.
More recently, Miniak was the PA voice of the New Hampshire River Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. He also was the substitute PA announcer for the Boston Red Sox in 2012, and in 2011 was a finalist in the Chicago Cubs' competition to pick a new PA announcer.
"I really thought the Padres did a great job with competition," said Miniak. "It was fair. I think no one had any idea who was advancing."
"Alex has the iconic voice that we were looking for and we're excited to welcome him to the Padres family," said Wayne Partello, the Padres' chief marketing officer and senior vice president.
"This was not an easy decision. There was a tremendous pool of talent. The final three, especially, were all impressive. In the end, Alex has the right voice to take us into the next era at Petco Park."
Chin, a San Diego resident and graduate of UC San Diego, is a marine biologist.
Leitz, who is also a UCSD grad, is a former radio news anchor and reporter who currently serves as a public information officer for MYSAFE:LA. He is a resident of Studio City.
"We want to thank everyone who tried out for sharing their time and enthusiasm with us over the past few months," said Padres president and CEO Mike Dee. "Our intent for the process was to offer a true casting call with the possibility of discovering talent in the least expected places.
"In finding Alex, we accomplished that goal."
The final 10 also included a professional wrestler, a college instructor and a veterinarian technician. Miniak was the only member of the final 10 who was not a resident of San Diego or Southern California.
In addition to being a public-address announcer, Miniak is a senior account executive for the Gigunda Group marketing agency.
Miniak was announced the winner of the Padres PA contest during the seventh-inning stretch of Saturday night's 3-1 win over the Giants.
Bill Center is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.