When it was leaked, then officially announced, that the Padres would be leaving their long-time flagship radio station the Mighty 1090 for FM 94.9 there were lots of rumors. I regularly listen to many Padres related podcasts and there were three independent suspicions that Ted Leitner may be left behind and without a job in the move. A quiet rage brewed from within.
Leitner, known affectionately as “Uncle Teddy” to San Diegans during his 36 year broadcast career with the Padres is the team’s voice. Upon losing Jerry Coleman, he became the only connection to the team’s of our youths. He’s ours.
I’m a radio only guy now, so I pleaded on Twitter with Padres President Mike Dee and CMO Wayne Partello to not fire another fan favorite broadcaster since this has become their modus operandi. Neither answered my calls to keep Leitner. Then the new Padres Social Hour co-host/storyteller answered for his employer.
Rumors, man. Rubbish. The Padres have no plans to replace Uncle Teddy. ✌ ️ https://t.co/aJ2jWeQbfT— brady phelps (@LobShots) May 12, 2016
@gaslampball as officially as one can be told without it being official. #inception— brady phelps (@LobShots) May 12, 2016
Well, I guess that was as official as a response as I was going to get. Still I took the opportunity to mercilessly tease Brady about his allegiance with his Padres and Sycuan overlords.
Fortunately, over this past weekend Leitner spoke for himself and gave us reason to breathe easy, knowing that he’d be with us for at least another year. Whew!
@Hudsonaa Thanks Aaron. I am under contract with my Padres for next season— Ted Leitner (@TedLeitner) June 11, 2016
To go off on a slight tangent, I was listening to Channel 33’s podcast titled “The Press Box”, yesterday which featured Leitner prominently. He talked of the riches he made while doing 6 minutes of on-air work doing sports during the Golden Age of evening news.
“To show you how wonderful it was I started for $30,000 in 1978 and 10 years later I was making $1.5 million.” But those weren't the only benefits for Leitner, who is a noted Lothario.
“I can’t say ‘women’, can I? [laughs] But I have to be honest. I was young, it was wonderful and I had this little bit of celebrity.” He goes on “I got to be honest with you, I had women calling me on the phone after the eleven o’clock news that wanted to meet me in the parking lot. And that, I’m sorry, to answer your question that’s a great perk! That’s a great perk!”
The Golden Age of blogging was nothing like this.