Throwback Thursday: My First Taste of "The Show," Wrigley Field
This year, as players report for Spring Training, I'm reminded that ten years ago, I too began my path to the major leagues.
It was March of 2011, and as I was preparing for another summer announcing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, I was surprised by an unlikely phone call.
I penned this short piece following a tryout with the Chicago Cubs. For many of my friends and colleagues, it was their first knowledge of it, as I chose to keep the audition to myself in fear of jinxing it. (Baseball? Superstitious? No!)
I'm also including some audio that's never been heard outside Wrigley's façade until now.
Last week I received a call from the Chicago Cubs.
Yes, the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders. The Loveable Losers.
The Cubs were calling to ask me to audition to be the Public Address Announcer at Wrigley Field!
Before you let out a giant “WTF?," a little backstory. If you didn’t see a few weeks ago, this was a front page story on ESPN.com:
After reading it, pondering it, reading it again, and receiving some encouragement from close friend, I decided to give it a shot. I was looking for an excuse to buy a new microphone anyway.
On a Sunday afternoon, I had about an hour to piece together a demo between loads of laundry. I read over the script they provided, recorded it, cut it, and posted it. To be honest, after that moment, I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was some sponsored contest for good publicity and they had someone picked out already. At least I got some time in with my new mic.
Until… I got the call.
I was working in New York. I’d been up since who knows when. I was malnourished, overtired, and delirious. The call comes in and I’m thinking to myself, “you’re calling from where?!? Wait… WHAT?!?!? Can I come to Wrigley this week? Um. Yes? I guess??”
Turns out I was a finalist for the gig. One of only 25 nationwide.
So, without hesitation, it was off to Chicago.
Words cannot describe how amazing the experience was. The hour I spent inside the Friendly Confines was easily one of the best moments of my professional life. I was doing a mock game over the public address at Wrigley Field!
Welcome… lineups… promotions!
Full scoreboard! Live organist!! (I mean, c’mon… a live organ??? How awesome is that?!?)
This place is living history! Look at that ivy!
I had one take—and one take only—to get it right. I walked out of there knowing that at the very least, I could perform on this level—in a major market, at a landmark, for a team rich in history and tradition.
Unfortunately for me, the Cubs had something else in mind. Like many others in Spring Training, I found out I’ll be back in Double-A this year. But for the first time, I know the feeling that drives these players. It’s that one taste of “The Show” that hooks you… and oh yes, I’m hooked.
And the next time you call, Majors… I’ll be ready.
The Major Leagues did call again.
Taking all I had learned from the Wrigley experience, I honed my craft and rolled it into a fill-in gig at Fenway with the Boston Red Sox in 2012, before landing in San Diego as the Voice of Petco Park for the Padres in 2014.
Oh, and in 2019 I ended up as the Voice of Wrigley Field, after all.
For more examples of Alex's work in Major League Baseball--both inside Petco Park, and across the world live on FOX--take a look at this Live TV & VO Demo.