Sciambi replaces Kasper as TV play-by-play voice for Cubs
Leaving a national job at ESPN to work for a local team might come across as a curious career choice, but Jon "Boog" Sciambi doesn't see it that way.
"I'm super excited about this," Sciambi said Monday after being hired to be the Cubs' TV play-by-play announcer on Marquee Sports Network. "I feel honored to get a chance to sit in this seat and call games for one of the signature franchises.
"When you're talking about the Cubs, the city of Chicago loves its baseball. I want to be where baseball matters, and baseball matters on the North Side of Chicago. I think this job is special, that's what it really comes down to."
The 50-year-old Sciambi replaces Len Kasper, who made the surprising jump to the White Sox's radio booth in early December. The two have been friends for more than two decades.
"It's always been Len's job," said Sciambi, who was nicknamed Boog as a young broadcaster in Miami due to his physical resemblance to former slugger Boog Powell. "I always just thought of it as Len's job. And then it wasn't. And I don't think I immediately processed that it could be my job."
Marquee Sports Network general manager Mike McCarthy said there were was "quite a bit of interest" in the job Kasper held with the Cubs for 16 years.
"We had small market, we had large market (candidates)," McCarthy said. "To be perfectly blunt and honest, we had one guy really in mind that we were hopeful of, and this is the guy we now have the proud opportunity to announce as our new play-by-play man."
Sciambi likes to joke around and keep things light, so he should be a great fit with analyst Jim Deshaies.
"I'm fired up that I'm going to get a chance to work with J.D.," said Sciambi, a graduate of Regis High School in New York City and Boston College. "I think we speak the same language, and I think we're talking about two guys that will have a lot of fun."
After working as the lead TV play-by-play announcer for the Braves (2007-09) and radio voice for the Marlins (1997-2004), Sciambi joined ESPN in 2010 and has called Wednesday night TV games and Sunday night radio games.
Sciambi will still do some work for ESPN, but he is looking forward to his full-time gig with the Cubs.
"This isn't, 'Hey, now you're going back to do an everyday job,'" Sciambi said. "No, I'm going back to do the Cubs. That's the whole thing with this one. I'll still do a radio game here or there on a Sunday night for ESPN and some playoffs and some college basketball, but I'm a Cubs broadcaster and I will navigate my schedule and the Cubs will be the priority and they will set what I'm going to do.
"I'm going to be happy to be there every day. I'm going to be happy to be at Wrigley in Chicago and it's going to be fun. I like to play."