Andrew Belleson, who had been the Cubs’ public-address announcer since 2011, departed the team after the 2020 season.
Former PA announcer Paul Friedman was a “guest” doing the job for 15 games in April, and Mark McGill, who is the PA announcer for the South Bend Cubs at Four Winds Field, did the duties during the first homestand of May.
Now, per Russ Dorsey at the Sun-Times, the Cubs have made a permanent hire for the position. Jeremiah Paprocki will perform PA duties beginning Monday evening at Wrigley Field when the Cubs face the Nationals:
There’s going to be a new booming baritone voice heard around Wrigleyville and it belongs to 21-year-old Jeremiah Paprocki. The Cubs have hired Paprocki to be their new public address announcer, making him the first African American to hold the post and one of the youngest in MLB.
“Who’s ever heard of a 21-year-old PA announcer?” Paprocki said. “That truly means the world that the Cubs, my hometown team, the team I love, is taking a chance on me.
“To be able to sit behind that microphone at Wrigley Field of all places, it’s truly an honor. I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”
The article notes that Paprocki graduated from CICS Northtown Academy on the city’s North Side and is currently a senior at UIC, where he’s been the PA voice of the Flames, the school’s sports teams, and his mom was at one time a Cubs parking attendant.
“Being the first African American PA in Cubs history, it definitely means a lot,” he said. “I hope that it inspires other African-American boys and girls out there that are interested in broadcasting that opportunities are available to you if you keep going and to never let anything discourage you from pursuing opportunities.”
Congratulations to Jeremiah on his hire and I look forward to hearing him on the PA microphone tonight at Wrigley Field.
UPDATE: Here’s a short video released by the Cubs where you can here Jeremiah’s voice and excitement over his being hired. Sounds great!