Patrick Lagreid is living his best life. The 40-year-old Seattle native is a versatile, sought-after voice talent. He often lights up a fine cigar before settling into his home studio and lending his dulcet vocals to business clients from around the world. He’ll contribute an article or review to leading cigar blog Halfwheel.com or work behind the scenes at MLB.com. Then, depending on what time of year it is, he steps up to the microphone as the announcer for the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, Major League Baseball’s Arizona Fall League or a Colorado Rockies spring training game. Arizona Diamondbacks fans can look forward to hearing even more of Lagreid at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick when he begins announcing the team’s spring training games this year.
Did you always want to be an announcer?
Like any kid, I had delusions of being a professional athlete. I realized that wasn’t going to be the best option. Then the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school, my voice changed. People started to tell me I needed to do something with it, so I started announcing at my school’s basketball games and hosting the halftime show at my school’s football games, which were broadcast on the radio. As a teenager, I was getting a real-world taste of what I would end up doing. I enjoy the performance end of it. At the end of the day, it’s a fun job. I never have a bad day at work.
You’re the voice of several sports teams who play at different venues. Did you have to develop a style for each?
Every sport has its own unique qualities. With baseball, in particular, you are leading the action by introducing the batter or announcing the pitching change. It is a lot more mellow, especially in spring training. You’re trying to get a gauge of who is going to be on the team.
With basketball and football, you’re reacting to things. The team has their own presentation. The Rattlers rely a lot on pyrotechnics. It’s very loud, up-tempo, and in-your-face. The Mercury is similar, but has a different vibe. My job is both to be informative and be the voice of how each team views themselves. I’m not the show. I love [the variety] because I get to show off different parts of my repertoire based on what I am doing that day.
What sparked your interest in cigars?
I remember being in Seattle after I graduated college, and I went to a steakhouse with a cigar bar in the basement. I liked them, so I did a really deep dive fairly quickly. I went into shops and asked a lot of questions trying to figure out what I was walking into. When I moved down here, I started writing about the Phoenix and national cigar market. It opened up a lot of doors for me. Cigars are a great bridge to connect with people.
You follow the industry as closely as one follows a sports team. Are cigars still merely a hobby to you?
It stopped being a hobby a long time ago. Once you go behind the curtain and see how the sausage is made, you never go back. For some people, that ruins it for them. I never really had that experience in sports or cigars. There are days I smoke cigars that I don’t enjoy because that’s the review for the next day, but I try to never forget this is still fun.