After five years serving as the voice of Ripken Stadium and the Aberdeen IronBirds, Justin Szech--also known as Jay or Maverick--will not return for the 2013 season.
For eight seasons, Szech entertained IronBirds fans. First with his on-field antics as game entertainment coordinator and on-field emcee where he became known for his tarp runs and "pump-and-chuck." Then, as the public address announcer and voice of Ripken Stadium.
Szech delivered this open letter for IronBirds fans:
I am a firm believer that in order for new opportunities to begin, a past opportunity must come to an end. For me that day has come.
After five years you will hear a new voice coming from the press box at Ripken Stadium this summer.
I will be moving on and pursuing some exciting new opportunities. With a new wife and a new home, as well as the pursuit of a Master's degree and some new career goals, the time seems right to hand over the microphone to a new voice.
It has been an honor and a privilege to be the voice of the Aberdeen IronBirds, but more importantly it has been an honor to work for you, the fans. I did not know what to expect when I arrived in 2004, but what I found was something very special and it is an experience I will carry with me wherever I go.
I cannot thank you, the fans, and the organization enough for this incredible ride that now comes to a close. I have never been one for goodbyes so we'll call this "see you later."
I look forward to seeing you all at the ballpark; I'll just be sitting in a different chair.
All the best,
Justin E. Szech
The IronBirds sincerely thank Maverick for his service over the last eight seasons and wish him the best of luck with his new opportunities.
"Maverick's eight years have epitomized what is at the heart of Ripken Baseball and the IronBirds--delivering remarkable experiences for our fans," said Jason Vaughn, Video Production and Game Entertainment Manager for the IronBirds. "I want to thank Jay personally for his friendship, professionalism, and enthusiasm that has made Ripken Stadium the best venue in minor league baseball over that time."
Stay tuned to the IronBirds here and on Facebook for exciting news about how you could be the next voice of Ripken Stadium.