Miska, of Old Irving Park, for the past two years has been the broadcast engineer for The Cubs Radio Network, helping mix the voices of play-by-play man Pat Hughes, analyst Ron Coomer and pre/postgame host Mark Grote with the noises inside the Friendly Confines.
"He's extremely invested in how we sound and how the broadcast comes off," Coomer said. "And he brings a good, upbeat attitude to the ballpark every day."
Said Hughes: "He loves his job and he wants to do a good job, which is really the prevailing theme among all of us in the booth."
Miska, a Columbia College Chicago graduate, uses a giant soundboard the captures sounds from a dozen microphones scattered all over the ballpark. There are mics in the press box radio booth, which Miska shares with Hughes, Coomer and Grote, plus a few behind home plate and others near the dugouts. He also keeps track of weather conditions because when the wind is blowing in, there's more noise coming into each mic.
"All the sound comes in, and I make a mix of those things and send it back to the station," Miska said, referring to The Score (670-AM). "Being a part of this broadcast, I feel like I'm doing something positive for people."
Coomer said Miska is invaluable in the booth. Hughes described Miska as "a jack of all trades." Besides his engineer duties, he looks up stats and other informational nuggets online during the broadcast, edits tape for the pregame and postgame show and solves any technical problems on the fly.
"He's the engineer of the broadcast, but if you look at TV, he's almost like a producer," Coomer said.
Miska, 44, has a sound engineering degree from Columbia College. He never set out to be full-time in radio and instead dabbled for years working in the music business.
Eventually radio opportunities developed and Miska played a similar sound engineer role for ESPN (1000-AM) during the 2005 White Sox championship season. Hughes said Miska is "still more of a Sox fan, but gradually that transition is taking place."
Miska is hoping to be a part of another title team this year. Miska works usually home games, but will travel to road tilts in Milwaukee. If the Cubs make the World Series, he'll work all games away from Wrigley in the Fall Classic as well.
"The Cubs mean a lot to people, and I found out quickly how intimate a relationship they have with Pat and Ron," Miska said. "They feel like they're a part of their family. It blows my mind every day, how many people follow us as closely as they do. It's a matter of civic pride."
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