‘Your attention, please:' Fisher Cats announcer trying out with Padres
Perhaps no one was more excited to be at Petco Park on Sunday night than Manchester resident Alex James.
James, 37, was among those who took in Sunday night’s game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he wasn’t there as a fan. James was trying out to become the Padres’ public address announcer.
James, who currently handles the PA duties for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, worked the game’s final three innings. He’s one of 30 people (from an original applicant pool of about 850) still in contention for the job.
“It was a really cool experience to be a part of,” James said. “It was a rocking night all around. A lot of Dodgers fans helped fill the bowl, so there was a lot of push and pull between the audience.
“I worked the seventh to the end, and that included introducing the person who sang ‘God Bless America.’ That was shown on ESPN, so I was introduced by ESPN’s Dan Shulman as the Padres’ PA announcer, which was pretty cool.
“I walked out of there with my head held high. I felt like I gave it my best effort.”
James attended the University of Florida and moved to New Hampshire when he landed a radio job here. He currently works for the Gigunda Group, a marketing agency in Manchester.James has been the PA announcer for Fisher Cats home games since 2008.
“I love sports in general,” he said. “I also like the thrill of the show. There’s something about a live event.”
James was a finalist for the Chicago Cubs’ PA job in 2011 and tried out for the Boston Red Sox’ PA job in 2012. He worked a regular-season game between the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays from Fenway Park two years ago.
The Fishers Cats are Toronto’s Double-A affiliate.
“It was cool to link those two teams together,” he said. “That’s why I did that game.”
James said he’s not sure when he’ll hear from the Padres again but added that he expects some applicants to be called back to announce at least one more game.
“I really don’t know what the process is, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen next,” he said. “I’m just staying by the phone hoping good things will happen.”
James said he wouldn’t hesitate to accept the Padres job, even though the pay would require him to find another job, as well.
“When Major League Baseball comes calling, you pick up the phone,” he said. “I certainly would love for it to happen.”