"I feel like a minor leaguer who's getting a call from the big league club, 'Come on in, kid, here's your chance,' " Todd Leitz said. "I'm on pins and needles because I haven't gotten the job yet but I'm just over the moon to be possibly a part of a major league baseball team."
Leitz, 50, has lived in Los Angeles for 29 years. He's a public information officer for a nonprofit affiliated with the Los Angeles Fire Department that promotes fire and life safety. He is a former reporter for KNX radio and follows all the local sports teams.
But part of his heart lies in San Diego, a connection formed during his years as an undergraduate at UC San Diego, when he often found himself at Padres games.
Leitz was one of more than 800 people to audition for the job as the Padres' PA announcer. The Padres will announce their choice Saturday.
Leitz, who worked a Padres game against the Colorado Rockies during the final round of the tryout, is one of three finalists.
He has never worked full time for a major league team, but has announcing experience. Sort of.
As a boy, Leitz would pretend to be the announcer as he and his two younger brothers played ball in the driveway of their Duxbury, Mass., home.
"And he got all of that!" he'd say after watching the the ball fly out of his yard.
"That dream of doing that for a pro team has always been there for me," Leitz said.
The competition included experienced announcers, SeaWorld employees and even a pro wrestler. Adam Pearce — known by his ring name Scrap Daddy — made the top 10.
The Padres cut the list from 800 to 50 then 30 and, with the help of social media voting, down to 10 and now three.
Leitz wonders if he gets the job how it will affect his current workload. He's considered making a permanent move to San Diego.
He met his wife when he lived there before, and they wouldn't mind returning.
"We both have a fond place in our heart for San Diego and we both want to end up there someday," said Tina Leitz, Todd's wife. "So this might be our ticket."