Posted by Ella White, MLBPAA Summer Intern
Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed I would fall in love with a city more than I have with Colorado Springs. I think my reasoning comes down to my love for the MLBPAA and what they represent. After being here for two months, (I can’t believe it!) it’s that time to start applying for jobs all over the country, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. My passion for sports, special events, communication and public relations has grown tremendously during my time with the MLBPAA. Between preparing for the Heart and Hustle Award presentations and coordinating Legends for Youth Clinics, I know that a career in sports is in my future.
With Heart and Hustle Award presentations kicking off next week, the office has been pretty crazy! Taylor, Ramsey and I have been in constant contact with each MLB team, making sure presentations are locked in, presenters are confirmed and logistics are in line. Nikki, our supervisor and Director of Communications, delegated me as project manager for this event and I couldn’t have been more honored. This experience has been unlike any other, and I can’t wait to see the success of each presentation over the next two months!
Other than working on several clinics, making many phone calls to former players, membership holders and MLB team contacts, I have been exploring Colorado as much as I possibly can! I have climbed the Incline, hiked through Rocky Mountain National Park, visited Pikes Peak, hiked Garden of the Gods, ran my first 5k Bubble Run, went to my first comedy club show, stayed at The Broadmoor, tried Little Man’s ice cream in Denver, and eaten at several Colorado Springs favorites. My next Colorado must-do activity/experience will take place this weekend, where a few of us from the office are going to get a VIP tour of the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO. I cannot wait!
I am so glad I am back on track with my blog writing. I love sharing my experiences with you all, and I hope I am painting a great picture of my life here in Colorado Springs for you this summer!
Until next time!
Written by Taylor Addy, MLBPAA Summer Intern
A question that I get asked very frequently is, “Where did you get your love of baseball from?” Well, I have to give credit to my dad for that one. In the Addy household, if there is a baseball game being aired on TV, don’t even consider asking if we can watch something else. Growing up, many of my spring, summer and fall nights were spent watching the Rockies, Royals and Twins play with my dad. If they aren’t on, then any other team will do except for the Yankees (Sorry, Ramsey). My dad taught me everything I needed to know about playing ball from the terminology to how to keep score. The learning never ends. So I thought I would share with you all the most recent piece of baseball knowledge given to me by Daddy Addy.
Before every Major League game, the umpires rub dozens of balls with a special kind of mud that gets rid of the shine, but doesn’t make the ball soft. The mud comes from a company called Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud from Burlington County. The location of the mud hole is in the Delaware River, but the specific whereabouts are a top secret. Only the family who runs the business that supplies the MLB with gallons of mud every year knows the location. The story of how the mud was discovered and why the MLB started using it is interesting. A former Major League player is the one who discovered the mud and started the business. I encourage everyone to check it out the story at www.baseballrubbingmud.com. My dad and I wanted to know what was so special about this “magic mud” so we decided to purchase some for ourselves.
The mud arrived in the mail yesterday – I don’t think my dad could have ripped open the package fast enough. What could possibly be so unique about this particular mud that comes from the depths of the Delaware River? Well, the mud is grayish in color, and the silt is so incredibly thin. I’m sure that rubbing any kind of mud on a baseball would get rid of the shine, but this isn’t just ordinary mud. The consistency feels like a paste – wet and sticky. Now that we have the mud in our possession, our next experiment is to buy some official MLB baseballs, rub them with the mud and see for ourselves what the results are. I’ll be sure to keep you posted about the findings of our experiment!
With the All Star Game rosters set and the events near, the first half of the Major League Baseball season is coming to an end. Although there are still another 81 games left to be played, some teams and players have demonstrated phenomenal first half performances that are bound to be complemented by an identical second half of America’s greatest past time. The sports handicapper in me can only do one thing as this much anticipated break from baseball commences, predict the winner of the World Series.
One of the things I have learned in my time with the MLBPAA is to put your favorite team in your back pocket and be as unbiased as possible when dealing with teams and former players. As a diehard Yankees fan, we all know how difficult it can be to choose a different team to win it all however, I am picking the Oakland Athletics to win the 2014 World Series. If you have had the chance to see what Billy Beane’s Athletics have been doing this year then I suggest you start watching them more.
To accompany their best record in baseball at the moment, the Athletics also claim ownership to the lowest ERA in baseball, as well as the highest run differential of +135 only to be followed by the Angels +71 run differential. Not only is their pitching staff dominant enough as it is, they have just recently acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel who have been overshadowed by the poor performance of their last team, the Chicago Cubs. The Athletics will also be sending 7 players from their roster to the All Star Game this year, the most of any team this season. These numbers show why the Athletics are the best team in baseball right now but, there are two factors that are the preeminent reasons as to why I believe they will be raising the Commissioners Trophy come this fall.
First off, the Athletics do everything fundamentally right. They bunt, they run, they pitch and they play defense. To put this in baseball terms, the A’s are playing “Money Ball.” Very similar to their outstanding season in 2002. Their fundamentally sound roster is comparable to the most recent NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs, who were not a star studded roster rather an unselfish team first oriented organization. Second, the biggest factor in my opinion to their potential World Series run this year will be the “10th Man.” A lot of baseball fans knock the O.co Coliseum being that it is a multi-sport field and is rarely filled by fans because of its football stadium dimensions and up until now home to the subpar Oakland Athletics. Wouldn’t you like to believe that when the Athletics begin the ALDS let alone the World Series, that stadium will be packed to its capacity of 63,132? (The largest stadium in the game of baseball.)
The great Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.” 63,000 passionate fans of a team that is long overdue for a run in the World Series would without a doubt have an impact on the mental aspect of the game for visiting teams no matter what one might say about the extraneous home field advantage concept in baseball. As hard of a pill being a Yankees fan and choosing another team to win the World Series is to swallow, I have to concur with my statistical findings of the A’s and I stand by my prediction, the Oakland A’s will win the 2014 World Series.
Written by Taylor Addy, MLBPAA Summer Intern
One of the great things about the MLBPAA office is all of the wonderful people that I get to work with every day. All of the people in this office are a resource for me to learn from, and they can help me gain as much as possible from this internship. For my blog this week, I decided to sit down with Eric Kronebusch, one of our Special Events Coordinators, and talk to him about his role with the MLBPAA.
Eric started as an intern with the MLBPAA in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Right before graduating from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, Eric was hired by the MLBPAA. He said, “Not many college students get job offers like this. To travel the world and meet professional athletes while getting paid to do so is a special job. I also love getting to make a difference in communities with the Legends for Youth clinics.” The Special Event Coordinators include Eric, Rene and Justin. They travel all over the world to put on the Legends for Youth clinics in various cities. I asked Eric what his favorite part of his job was and he replied, “The exciting places I get to visit and the assortment of people that I get to meet.” In December Eric traveled to Perth, Australia with Rene to conduct a clinic series. He mentioned that it was interesting to see how baseball influences a different culture, and he enjoyed seeing a different side of the world that not many people experience in their lifetime.
I asked Eric for a piece of advice from an MLBPAA staff member to an intern. He said, “Network as much as possible with people that you meet through this internship. This is a great opportunity to market yourself.” That was a very good piece of advice, because every day I come in contact with people who could potentially hire me after college. I also asked Eric what he thinks makes the MLBPAA stand out from other baseball organizations. He said, “We are very involved within the family of baseball, and not only in former player’s lives after the game but current player’s lives as well.” This is something that I have come to learn during my internship. Everyone involved in the world of baseball is a family, and the MLBPAA really is a huge part of that family.
Everyone in this office has something to offer, and I can learn so much as an intern by spending time shadowing each of them. Watching all the moving parts combine together to make a successful organization is pretty cool!
Posted by Ella White, MLBPAA Summer Intern
The weekend is here and there are a lot of exciting events happening in Colorado Springs! The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb kicks off this Sunday, June 29th, where racers from all over the world race up Pikes Peak as fast as they can. The race is approximately 12.42 miles with 156 turns, beginning at an elevation of 9,390 ft. and finishing at 14,115 ft. Sebastien Loeb, a 2013 competitor, holds the record, racing up the mountain in eight minutes and 13 seconds! The first Pikes Peak Hill Climb Champion was Rea Lentz from Washington who made his way up the mountain in 20 minutes and 55.6 minutes. For non-racers, it takes at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top of Pikes Peak. This year marks the 92nd running of the race and has been a global gathering since August 10, 1916. Before the road leading up to Pikes Peak was completely asphalted and widened in 2011, early racers had to endure torturous dirt and partially paved roads. Racers are challenged by rapidly changing weather and sharp curves, making the venture up the mountain extremely dangerous.
The event attracts so many race crews and viewers because there is no other race course like it in the world. Tonight after work, a group of us are going to make our way to the downtown area for the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest. The fan fest gives community members and visitors the opportunity to check out the top racers competing in the Hill Climb, as well as motocross jumpers, family friendly displays, giveaways and more. I can’t wait to experience this historical event!
Last week, I mentioned that Taylor, Ramsey and I were in charge of our Colorado Springs Legends for Youth Clinic on Saturday, June 21st. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for that experience. The excitement in the children’s eyes stepping onto Security Service Field and the joy radiating off their parents’ faces as they watched their kids learn from some of the best baseball players to ever play the game were moments I will never forget.
The most rewarding part of the day was when I helped Alex, MLAM intern, work a silent auction during the Heroes Classic Softball Game later that evening. Both Alex and I had one goal and one goal only. We wanted to sell as much merchandise as possible, but the one item we pushed was a beautifully framed photo of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. The photo was stunning, and it caught everyone’s eye as they walked past our table. After a few minutes of brainstorming the perfect pitch to sell the piece of memorabilia, we sold it to a woman and her son. Alex and I were speechless. We couldn’t believe we accomplished our goal and sold the photo (which was relatively pricey) in a matter of minutes. It proved to us that no matter what you set your mind to, you can always accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small.
Not only did I run a successful clinic with Taylor and Ramsey and helped sell a beautiful, one-of-a-kind photograph, but I realized that event planning, sports and working alongside other organizations is my true passion!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend and until next time!
With the World Cup in full swing, and streaming on the TV in the office, I can’t help but think of a quote from the late Nelson Mandela that made a powerful impression on me. Before awarding Pele the first Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
The World Cup is a prime illustration of this quote. As each country’s team plays, its nation stands still to watch, unified with one common goal, pride in victory. Whether white, black, Christian, Muslim, Catholic or Hindu, fans for an all too brief time, are simply fans. They embrace each other without regard for their differences. This is the beauty of sports and why it is my passion. Nothing else can unite people the way sports does and it is a beautiful thing to see, especially in the war-stricken times that our world has seen and continues to witness.
In his speech, Mandela went on to say that to be an effective agent of peace, people must seek to change their communities. This past weekend, the Major League Players Alumni Association in conjunction with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, did just that by raising $10,289 for three worthwhile organizations in its 3rd annual Heroes Classic Softball Game. Members of the three organizations, the Colorado Springs Police and Fire departments, and the Wounded Warrior Project made up the teams. Also on hand were some of baseballs finest: Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson and baseball greats Darrell Evans, Lee Smith, Bob Knepper, Mark Knudson, Brian Fisher, Bobby Johnson, Mike Thompson, Scott Randall, Gary Krug and Skip Jutze. Being a part of this fundraiser on Saturday was an amazing learning experience, it was such an honor to see Colorado Springs finest and bravest heroes compete in the game.
This event was yet another example of the power of sports, and how it can bring people together for one common purpose. Anyone can donate to these organizations on any day of the year, but uniting supporters around this celebrity softball game yielded the greatest possible outcome. People from all around the area came out to recognize and show their appreciation for our Colorado Springs heroes by very generously donating and bidding on items throughout the game all for one common purpose. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the organization coordinating this important event.
Posted by Taylor Addy, MLBPAA Summer Intern
This weekend was our Legends for Youth Clinic here in Colorado Springs, and it was such an exciting experience to take part in a huge event for the MLBPAA. As interns, we got to be involved in every aspect of planning the clinic from calling players to ask them to coach, to running the actual event itself. For me one of the most rewarding parts of the whole weekend was the conversation that I had with our president, Brooks Robinson.
I had the task of driving Robinson from the field to his hotel on Saturday night, and during our car ride he spoke to me all about the MLBPAA. It gave me a whole new perspective of the organization. Robinson founded the MLBPAA along with 12 other players including Jim Hannan, Fred Valentine, Frank Kreutzer and Chuck Hinton to name a few, who were residents of the Washington DC area. Their goal behind founding the MLBPAA was to be able to keep in touch with teammates with whom they had shared some of the best times of their lives. The founding members were also trying to think of other things that the Alumni Association could do for former players and for their communities. Eventually they came up with the idea of having golf tournaments to benefit other non-profit organizations and to hold free clinics for children all over the country coached by former players to promote the sport of baseball. Robinson’s words were, “we wanted to give back to the sport that gave so much to us. It taught us discipline and how to be successful. It’s important to remember how baseball shaped us.”
I knew before I started interning for the MLBPAA that the purpose of the organization was to promote the sport of baseball, but hearing the root story from one of the founding members made me think about it in a whole new light. The Alumni Association is doing so much more than just helping former players connect after retirement. It is giving the players an opportunity to give back to the sport that molded them into the people that they are today, by coaching children at clinics who will hopefully do the same someday. Robinson is arguably one of the best third basemen to play the game. Being a member of the Hall of Fame, a 16-time Gold Glove recipient and a two-time World Series Champion obviously wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the game that became his passion when he was a young boy. Seeing a player like Robinson so humbled by baseball truly showed me why the MLBPAA exists, and why everyone in this office works so hard to make it the best it can be.
Posted by Ella White, MLBPAA Summer Intern
Happy Friday, Everyone! Today, I got to bring out my sports knowledge during lunch with Rene, Special Events Coordinator, and Alex, MLAM intern. I thank my dad and fiancé for my love and grasp for sports, especially Chicago baseball, football, and basketball!
Our conversation started off talking about our dream jobs, which then led to our favorite teams and players. Each one of us see ourselves in some aspect in the sports industry. I found out that Rene and I have a lot in common when it comes to players and teams we like, and others that we could do without. Rene is a diehard Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan fan “till he dies,” he quoted. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls starting point guard, is my favorite NBA player, along with Joakim Noah, Kobe Bryant, and of course, Michael Jordan. Alex, wasn’t too intrigued about our NBA conversation as he enjoys the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels…a lot!
Don’t get me wrong. I love talking about clothes, shoes, weddings and sappy movies with the girls, but it’s nice to have those guy conversation moments here and there. It keeps me updated in the sports world, and I tell myself it makes me look cool when I most likely don’t at all! Each day I learn more and more about the individuals in the office, which makes this experience so much better!
Until next time!
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the MLBPAA office is our collection of signed memorabilia from former greats to current players in the major leagues. From the MVP/Hall of Fame tennis ball on my desk, signed by Eric (our Special Events Coordinator) to the signed Pete Rose jersey in the communication office, signed memorabilia can be seen in every direction you look. To put this into perspective, last week as we were all sitting outside for lunch, we thought it would be a good idea to bring a football out to have a catch after we ate. A couple of throws into the toss, I stopped to look at the ball and noticed a signature on the football of Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie! Some people encase their prized memorabilia from well decorated college athletes such as Doug Flutie, but we here at the MLBPAA have a casual catch during our lunch breaks with it!
Every time I walk into the memorabilia room, I find myself in awe of all of the signed equipment surrounding me. Stacks of boxes containing signed balls as well as signed baseball bats engulf the room, waiting to be shipped out by our memorabilia coordinators each and every day to an anxious customer. From a memorabilia collector’s viewpoint, they understand that in this day and age, fraudulent and forged memorabilia is more common to find on the internet than an ad for a tacky dating website. The memorabilia here is without a doubt a spitting image of the employees that keep this place running, 100% authentic.
A few days ago we decided to have our first annual “Intern Draft” for the selection of signed memorabilia to decorate our desks with. I acquired the 4th overall pick and with my first selection I chose a signed Francisco Liriano no hitter inscribed baseball. What a steal! A couple of rounds later, the tops of our desks went from empty to occupied with signed baseballs from former and current greats. Surely an office decorated with ornate paintings and company posters with their slogans is great, but I’m not too sure how many interns can walk into work each day and have a desk embellished with autographed memorabilia by the same players they looked up to as a kid. Just another reminder to pinch myself and realize how lucky I am to be interning for such an amazing organization.
Stacks of signed baseballs
Eric and Alex thinking of a master plan
Posted by Taylor Addy, Summer Intern
Wow, what a busy week it has been. We have lots of projects to work on, and this weekend is our Colorado Springs Legends for Youth Clinic at Sky Sox Stadium. This week Ella, Ramsey and I have been making sure that everything is set for the event by getting jerseys for players, writing bios, assigning players to stations, and making sure that we have enough pens and Sharpies for everyone to sign autographs. Today we called all of the players that will be coaching at the clinic, confirmed their jersey sizes and made sure that they are ready to play this weekend. All the players were excited, and everyone around the office is excited too! Ella, Ramsey and I also are in charge of picking up the players from the airport and taking them to their hotels. I am really excited to get to talk to the players and spend some time getting to know them this weekend. Although the clinic is going to be awesome, I have to say that I am most looking forward to watching the firefighters and police officers play in the Heroes Classic Softball Game! It will be great to watch former baseball stars play with the brave men and women who keep Colorado Springs safe. I am sure there will be some friendly competition between the teams, so that will make the game interesting!
Another big project that we are working on is finding a sponsor for the MLBPAA. This project not only includes Ella, Ramsey and I, but it also includes the interns with Major League Alumni Marketing, Alex and Alan. We have been working together compiling research and information to create a presentation that we can present to a potential sponsor. We have our company picked out, but now we are working on setting up a meeting with them to present what we have to offer. This project is huge, and it has been a learning experience already. I am so excited to see how it progresses, and it would be cool to say that the summer intern class of 2014 had a hand in the MLBPAA’s sponsorship!
Life in the office is great! We had another volleyball game on Monday, and this week we did worse than last. We lost in two games instead of three. Needless to say we were not happy about the outcome of the game, but we still had so much fun playing! Volleyball was followed by a weekly viewing of The Bachelorette! I love how everyone in the office is invested in the show. We even have a bet going. We each chose who we thought would win the season, and the coworker whose choice gets kicked off of the show earliest has to buy the winning coworker a burrito.
Not only The Bachelorette, but the World Cup is a hot topic in the office right now. We all made brackets and have them posted all over the office. The losing bracket has to buy the winning bracket a burrito! We just really love burritos here in the MLBPAA office. I personally have Germany and Spain playing in the final game and Germany winning it all. Hopefully I chose the winning bracket, because I do love a good burrito!
If you have nothing to do on Saturday night, come out to Security Service Field where the Sky Sox play and watch the softball game which starts at 7:10! Have a great week!