Alex Miniak revisits his broadcasting beginnings

It’s been nearly 30 years since Alex Miniak graduated from the Center for Advanced Technologies and Communications (CATCOM) at Lakewood High School, but he still credits the program for providing a foundation for his broadcast success.

Alex MiniakMiniak just began his 11th season as the “Voice of Petco Park,” the ballpark announcer for the San Diego Padres. He also “plays himself” as the announcer for all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the hit video game MLB The Show.   

“When we did Fast Forward, that was truly the first time I was on the air,” Miniak said referring to the program produced by CATCOM students. “CATCOM really set me on my path.”

After graduating from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, where he was an assistant program director for the on-campus radio station, Miniak took a position with a company now known as iHeartRadio. While there, he built morning shows and developed programs for radio stations all over the country.

“And then I got this little job in Minor League Baseball,” Miniak said of returning to the microphone for the Boston Red Sox organization in New Ham[pshire after working for a major marketing agency. “That’s my passion – to do live events and broadcasting.”

He now calls the number one ballpark in America his office. On game days, he arrives early to go over an initial run-of-show, practice pronunciations and plan ceremonies and promotions. Preparation is his most valuable asset, but he also has to be ready to pivot at any moment.

“Every show that we do at Petco Park is completely different from the night before,” Miniak said. “So, we do 81 shows a year in 81 nights a year.”

In complete opposite fashion, he says, his position as the MLB The Show announcer is intentionally monotonous. From recording to recording, all his sounds and pronunciations have to match so they can be assembled in different orders and formats.

Alex Miniak Miniak also does voiceovers, live events for major brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and hosts events with notable celebrities. He enjoys the variety his job offers, but also couldn’t ask for a better home base than Petco Park.

“We have the backdrop of downtown San Diego right behind center field, so to get to sit in that chair behind home plate and take it all in is truly magical,” Miniak said. “In 2022, when we went to the National League Championship series and beat the rival Dodgers to get there, it was one of the most amazing nights of my life.”

Despite how good he has it, Miniak is always open to what’s next. Change doesn’t scare him, he said. And he never wants to stop learning or adding new skills. Lakewood High School taught him that.

“There was always an open door to learn,” Miniak recalls of being a CATCOM student. “We would come in and jump on a computer and make something creative or experiment with sound or a simple edit.

“There was never a ‘No, you can’t do that,’” he said. “And that fosters creativity.”

Miniak said he often has the opportunity to speak in front of high school and college students. In addition to telling them he has one of the better jobs in the world, he also encourages them to always bring ideas and find the space where you think you fit best.

“I call it the whitespace between your personal passions and the opportunities that exist out there,” Miniak said. “If you can combine those two, you’re going to love what you do.”