CHICAGO – The most talked about debut at Wrigley Field this week came from the 400 level behind home plate.
“It didn’t feel real,” said Jeremiah Paprocki, the Cubs new public address announcer. “A lot of nerves coming in, but once I read the first announcement those nerves went away. It was smooth sailing from then on.”
At 21 years old, Paprocki made history as the Cubs youngest public address announcer, breaking into the big leagues before most players do.
“This didn’t come across my horizon at all,” Paprocki said of the possibility he would land the Cubs job this early in his career. “I probably thought this would be the last position I ever get in my lifetime.”
He also broke barriers as the franchise’s first African American PA announcer.
“It means a lot. There’s not a lot of positive news in the African American community right now, so I hope this really means a lot to young boys and girls who are African American and want to pursue a professional career.”
The 6-foot-5-inch North Side native cut his broadcasting chops as the voice of UIC athletics, where he’s still a senior.
“I try to make [announcing] my own,” Paprocki said. “Some people say it sounds familiar to former PA announcers at Wrigley, but I try to bring my own style and flair to it.”
He lives at home with his mom Barbara, who used to work at Wrigley as a parking attendant and helped cultivate Jeremiah’s Cub fandom.
“When [the Cubs] broke the news to me my mom was in the other room, so she heard and started crying,” Paprocki said. “We are both speechless to this day and can’t believe it’s happening.”
He won’t be speechless as his voice echoes through the Friendly Confines for the rest of this season—and beyond.
“I’m the new voice of Wrigley Field and I couldn’t be more honored.”