The Chicago Cubs made some history Monday night, with newly-hired public address announcer Jeremiah Paprocki making his debut. Paprocki, 21, is the first Black PA announcer for the team. Here’s more on his hire from Russell Dorsey of The Chicago Sun-Times:
“Who’s ever heard of a 21-year-old PA announcer?” Paprocki told the Sun-Times. “That truly means the world that the Chicago Cubs, my hometown team, the team that I love, is taking a chance on me.
“To be able to sit in that chair behind the microphone at Wrigley Field of all places, it’s truly an honor. I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”
…“It’s a long time coming for me, even though I’m 21,” he said. “It’s the opportunity that I’ve been waiting for that we finally reached. We just gotta keep showing them why I deserve to be behind that microphone.”
Here’s a video of the Cubs introducing Paprocki, including footage of him getting the news he was offered the job:
And now, making his #Cubs debut …
Wrigley Field public address announcer, Jeremiah Paprocki! #CubTogether pic.twitter.com/qdsVMcCPNI
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 17, 2021
As Chris Cwik notes at Yahoo, Paprocki is currently a first-semester senior at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he’s also announcing games. And Paprocki told Dorsey that his announcing journey started with hearing famed Chicago Bulls announcer Tommy Edwards read the starting lineups at the United Center. He also told Dorsey that this new role means a lot for his mom, a long-time Cubs’ fan:
Papracki’s Cubs roots didn’t start with him, but were passed down by his mom, who he says gets the credit for his love of baseball. His mom, Barbara, was even a Cubs parking attendant in the 1990s. Obviously, the news of her son’s new gig was well received.
“Man, she cried when she heard the news,” Paprocki said. “When the Cubs offered me the PA job, they were talking to me and I could hear her crying in the other room. It definitely means a lot for her to have been in that Cubs environment and now her son is the voice of Wrigley Field.”
It’s certainly remarkable to see someone getting a MLB PA announcer gig at 21. And it’s also notable to see the Cubs hiring the first Black PA announcer in team history.
[The Chicago Sun-Times, Yahoo, screengrab via @Cubs on Twitter]