by Tammy Gibson, Contributing Writer
Jeremiah Paprocki, a senior at the University of Illinois- Chicago, is the new voice at Wrigley Field. Paprocki is the first African American PA Announcer for the Chicago Cubs and the youngest in MLB history. Paprocki made his first debut on May 17 when the Cubs played against the Nationals. Born and raised in Chicago, Jeremiah Paprocki’s passion for PA announcing began attending Chicago Bulls games as a child. Paprocki’s mother, Barbara, who worked as a parking attendant at Chicago Cubs games in the 1990s, took Paprocki to every game.
While attending high school at the Chicago International Charter School-Northtown Academy, Jeremiah Paprocki started reading announcements that led to working his way up to PA duties for various high school games and continued while attending college at the University of Illinois-Chicago. While on spring break, Paprocki learned about the PA vacancy via a social media post. The Chicago Cubs were looking to replace Andrew Belleson, who stepped down as the Cubs public address announcer after ten seasons. Paprocki submitted an application and a video. Paprocki received an email for a virtual interview, audition, and the rest is history.
“Being a young guy, 21, you don’t really get opportunities to talk to a lot of professional sports teams. Having them consider me is just such an honor,” Paprocki said. Paprocki is excited to be a professional major league baseball announcer.
“It’s been a dream of mines since I was a kid. Sitting in the stands, actually mimicking the PA guy, and pretending that I was in that seat. Now I’m finally in that seat, and I get to announce some of the best Cubs players and providing the best game entertainment I can possibly can,” Paprocki said.
Paprocki hopes his new position will motivate African American kids in a career in broadcasting and not let anything discourage them from pursuing their dreams. For information on the Chicago Cubs schedules, tickets, stats, and team news, go to www.mlb.com/cubs.
Tammy Gibson is a black history traveler and author. Find her on social media @SankofaTravelher.