There will be a new voice of the Chicago Cubs. Jeremiah Paprocki was hired as the Cubs' public address announcer, the team revealed on Monday. The hire is historic, as Paprocki will become the first African American to take the role in the team's history.
Oh, and he's only 21, so he is also one of the youngest announcers in Major League Baseball history. The University of Illinois at Chicago first-semester senior will make his debut with the team on Monday night.
The Cubs said in a statement that Paprocki's voice is perfect for Cubs games.
"We are excited to see how fans respond to Jeremiah as we feel his authentic, friendly voice perfectly suits the environment we aim to create at Wrigley Field," Lauren Fritts, Cubs vice president of marketing, said. "We know Cubs fans value tradition, and with Jeremiah, we are thrilled to find both a longtime fan and a young professional who will thrive in this important role."
Paprocki noted that this doesn't just mean a lot to him because of his age, but because of the city he is going to be working in as well.
He said, via the Chicago Sun-Times:
"Who's ever heard of a 21-year-old PA announcer? 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."
He also knows the impact he can have on others looking to follow in his footsteps.
"Being the first African American PA in Cubs history, it definitely means a lot," Paprocki 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 stop and to never let anything discourage you from pursuing opportunities."
His love for baseball, and specifically the Cubs, is all thanks to his mother. She had a job at Wrigley Field as a parking attendant in the 1990s and began taking Jeremiah to Cubs games when he was a baby.