Attention people who like to talk baseball: The San Diego Padres seek a new public-address announcer for Petco Park. Have you ever wanted to say "Now batting for the Padres... second baseman... number nine... Jedd JERKO!" and get paid for it? This could be your chance at a dream job in Major League Baseball.
The Padres are holding an open casting call Jan. 25 (a week from Saturday) at Petco Park. "All fans are invited to audition," the Padres said in a statement. "All fans." That means you, buddy! On that date, stop by the home plate gate on Park Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT and try out on a "first-come, first served basis." (That means get there early.)
The Baltimore Orioles put on a similar competition to be P.A. announcer for their first season of spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium in 2010, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, even though they made the mistake of picking a different person. Even if the Padres don't pick you, it's going to be a good time — guaranteed. And if you win? Imagine how much fun it will be being drowned out by fans booing Matt Kemp and the Dodgers.
The job comes with some expectations, however. Personality and good diction alone won't win over the judges. Be sure you know how to pronounce all of the players names. We already gave you Jedd Gyorko, one of the trickiest in the majors. Here are more pointers:
• Joaquin Benoit should not come out "Joe-queen Binnoyt." It's wah-KEEN ben-WAH."
• Corey LOOB-key
• Yahz-MAH-nee gran-DAHL
• EH-vurth kuh-BRARE-uh
• Chase HED-lee — not HED-ee
• Seth Smith — not Theth Thmith.
And so on. Get to work!
Semifinalists will be chosen from the audition and be subject to an interview process to thin the herd. Finalists will compete at San Diego's FanFest on Feb. 8, when fans will pick the top three finalists by casting votes online and through social media. In March, the Padres will select a new P.A. announcer.
Frank Anthony had been Petco's P.A. person for "10 wonderful seasons," the club says, but with the Padres celebrating Petco's first big anniversary, they wanted to give fans a chance to audition/pick the park's new voice.
Something to consider: The best person for the job should have a flexible personal schedule that would allow him or her to attend every home game, which includes day games during the work week. Unless that person is retired, that might mean somehow who freelances, or is a project worker. That doesn't exclude nine-to-fivers necessarily, but it might in some cases. And even though the Padres haven't said what the gig pays, don't expect it to be anything close to the major league minimum salary.
But it's all for the love of the game anyway, right?
Visit the Padres website for more details (once the page is live).
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