Winter Weather, Spring Baseball

Hi all,

Well, the event that I previously wrote about is underway. The Swing With the Legends Golf Classic in Houston, which benefits Tony’s Prostate Cancer Research, has been postponed due to trying weather and will be rescheduled to May. However, I can confidently say that I have learned a lot in the event planning aspect of it. It was great experience to work with Geoff, and I’m very thankful I was able to do so. I achieved a whole new set of organizational skills, and it was very fun to be a part of. The next one is the Swing With the Legends in Belgrade Lakes, Maine which will take place in August. In addition to daily office tasks, I have started reconstruction on the MLBPAA Intern Binder. This is essentially an intern’s best friend in the fact that it provides them references, answers to possible questions, and just basic need-to-know information about the office. I referred to this binder a great deal, especially in the beginning of my internship, just so I could be up-to-date with knowledge on some office functionalities.

Well hockey fans, playoffs have begun. My LA Kings (Go Kings Go) are playing the SJ Sharks for the first round. It’s a rather exciting time for me because Kaitlyn is from Northern California and happens to be a Sharks fan, so there is some friendly office rivalry that is going on. The Kings haven’t had the best start to this series, but I trust in the fact that they can pull through and beat the Sharks, just as they have in the past. I will make sure to let you know what happens in the coming weeks; I think my Kings will be able to pull through this series and on to round two. Stay tuned!!

Ah, weather! We have been blessed (or cursed, in my opinion) with more cold fronts moving into the Springs. I have heard that March and April are considerably the snowiest months of the year. I made it through March, with only one little mishap, and I was hoping for a better, warmer April. So far, we’ve had two snow systems in April, the most recent one producing 8.5 inches of snow where I live. It could have been worse though, some areas of Colorado got up to 20 inches.

Thanks for reading, check back next week!

Danielle

lakings_3rd_logo2

Now that season has begun, the MLBPAA begins the next chapter of business. In the approaching months, the Communications department will begin the process of the Heart & Hustle Award. The Special Events team will be gone to multiple Legends for Youth Clinics. The Memorabilia department will also be gone conducting multiple different auctions at multiple different stadiums, nationwide. And the Membership and Development department will continue to manage and monitor MLB players throughout the season, in addition to continuing the growth and development of re-branding the Wives’ Program. The office will continue to be as busy and exhilarating as always, which just means there is more potential for me to continue learn new tasks.

Baseball is back in full-swing (no pun intended.) I have to say I love this time of year because Baseball AND Hockey are on, and that makes for one happy Danielle. My favorite NHL team, Los Angeles Kings, is first in the Pacific Division and clinched a spot in the playoffs, yet again for the fourth time in five years. Although my favorite MLB team will forever, and always, be the Angels because those are my roots, I have started to pay a bit more attention to the Rockies, and for good reason. Trevor Story is off to a fantastic start to his rookie year. He hit a home-run in the first three games of his career, and those happened to be the first three games of the season. He has definitely grabbed the attention of many baseball fans across the country. As far as my Angels go, they’re off to a rough start, but after the Rangers decided to walk Trout and load the bases with Pujols up-to-bat, in the bottom of the 9th, Pujols hammers a hit that hopped over the fence to win the game for the Angels. There is hope and I believe in them!

Stay tuned for more posts!

Spring has (not) Sprung!

Ciao,

Time in the office has been flying by. I can’t believe its April! Season starts in 3 days, and everyone who left for Spring Training six weeks ago will be returning this next week. I am continuing to assist Geoff in the planning of the Swing with the Legends Golf Classic in Houston and have started the process for Swing with the Legends Golf Classic in Belgrade Lakes. In addition to, the rebranding and building of the Wives’ program continues to accelerate and progress, which is really interesting to be a part of. Outside of these tasks, I am continuously assisting the Membership and Development department as well as the Communications department in their daily tasks. No day is the same, which makes this internship interesting and exhilarating!

Outside life: Let’s talk weather – I love talking about the weather when I post these blogs because I am so fascinated at how bipolar (for lack of a better word) this weather is. It’s so strange, it’ll be sunny and beautiful in the morning and a few hours later it’s dumping snow with no visibility. Or it’ll be 28 degrees and blizzard-ing on Tuesday, and by Wednesday its back in the 60’s. I’m eagerly awaiting Spring temperatures. California needs to send her sunshine to Colorado. Along with weather, I do have to say I am impatiently awaiting the opening of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which is the only zoo with natural habitats for Colorado creatures, like bears. Word has it that they have the largest group of giraffes- and you can feed them. Oh also, they have a tapir exhibit. No, these are not cute animals, however, I once dressed up as a tapir for a costume, if I could find pictures I would show you. I hear the spring and Summer times are the best times to go. Future interns- if the weather allots, make a trip to the zoo.

That’s all for now!

March Madness!

Hey guys!

Things around the office have been great! A large part of Spring Training tasks have concluded, and now we’re moving onto the next busy time, and I’m so excited to continue to learn and grow more within the organization.  I’ve recently been assisting Geoff, COO, in the planning of an upcoming event we have in Houston. This event involves multiple MLBPAA members and a golf tournament to raise funds for charity (such a great purpose.) It has been great experience to see how this event will come to life from beginning to end. Also, I have been listening and participating in the execution of rebranding our Alumni Wives’ program. There are a plethora of steps that still need to take place, but we are in the process, and there are some exciting things happening within this project. The end result will be phenomenal and will bring a whole new aspect of our organization to life.

Personal life: Just when I thought the snow was over, it dumps 3 inches on us. I decided to be brave and face the challenge of driving myself to work and to my dismay; I didn’t even make it half a mile before I spun out. It was my first time being in that situation, and it was traumatizing. I turned right around and went home, and left it up to Spomer to take me to work (again.) It’s a stressful task trying to drive in the snow. I think it puts a few grey hairs on my head. Other than that, I have been living the life in Colorado Springs, exploring new breweries and new places. I’m eagerly awaiting Spring in the hopes that it brings some new color (literally) to all nature that is currently brown and dead.

Hi friends,

This past week has been filled with many tasks, and I could not be happier about it. I was given the opportunity to interview a former player and write an article for our newsletter. I spoke with Scott Bullett for the ‘Where Are They Now’ piece, and it was great experience. It was exhilarating to hear how passionate Mr. Bullett is about his baseball career as well as how he has kept this passion alive today. He started his multi-sports school, Bullett Proof Baseball, 18 years ago and it has been a huge success ever since. A few other things I have been assisting with this week: continuing to work with Membership and Development on the shipments that we send to Spring Training, using my creative side to assist in the process of rebranding the Alumni Wives’ program, assist Rachel, Communications Coordinator, in the process of producing social media posts, and lastly, made some phone calls to former player members to speak about their membership. My responsibilities here at the MLBPAA continue to expand and my knowledge grows every week.

Weekend life: I did the Manitou Springs Incline this past weekend, and I did it in under an hour! 53 minutes. We lucked out with beautiful weather and a temperature in the high 50’s to low 60’s. Yes it was hard. Yes, I stopped quite often. And yes, I will do it again.  To my dismay, I wasn’t sore at all and the views were totally worth it. Plus it’s a great personal challenge, and I enjoy things like that. Also… note to self, wear the ugliest/most worn out pair of workout shoes that you own, for your shoes will get dirty during the hike, especially if it’s wet outside.  Next up on my hiking list is Garden of the Gods, which I’ve heard the difficulty level is nothing in comparison to the Incline.

Until next week.

Ciao,

Danielle

And then there were 10

Its official, the office has emptied out; all those who go to Spring Training have left the building. We are that much closer to baseball season officially starting, folks. There are just about half of the people left in the office and we’ll be holding the fort down for a month (It will be a very productive month for those of us still here). This past week has been filled with lots and lots of boxes (literally) containing memorabilia items to either auction or get signed by a player. I’m pleased to say that we have a floor underneath all of these boxes. I have continued working with Kaitlyn and the rest of the Membership and Development to put together the shipments that we send to Spring Training. These shipments contain a few letters for the players to read with updated information about what the MLBPAA has done over the past year, as well as pledge forms for our fundraiser. At this point in my internship; I have been given the opportunity to help with multiple tasks around the office and observe multiple different departments as they prepared for Spring Training. A few little things I have been able to help with: writing Bio’s for former players attending some clinics our Special Events department conducts; assisting Amy, Director of Stadium Auctions, in organizing memorabilia that will be taken to Spring Training. I will continue to say that I learn something new every day and I am so thrilled to be here.

I would like to give a huge shout-out to Mr. Chris Spomer, Sales and Inventory Manager, for being there to take me to work when I’m too scared to drive in the snow. He has never hesitated to offer and has driven me to work quite a few times already, and I am so thankful for that (I have previously discussed my fear of driving in the snow). Thank you, Chris.

Life outside of work: I went home this past weekend and it was sure nice to be in weather that was above 60 degrees. It was about 80 degrees all weekend which allowed me to get a little tan on. Oh, and it was great to see my family! However, being home has made me realize how much I miss my dogs which have led me to the thought of getting a small dog out here. My parents are definitely not thrilled about this, as they think I don’t have enough time, but I guess “time” will really tell what will happen.  This coming weekend I have plans to attempt to conquer the Manitou Springs Incline. I am already anticipating how sore I am going to be, but rumor has it that it’s definitely worth it. I am relying on my passion for fitness to get me to the top in about an hour and ten minutes, which is my goal time… check back next week to see what my time will be!

Season is right around the corner

Hi all,

I can’t believe I have been here for a month already! Time has been flying by. I have learned so much and I always look forward to the new days and what I will have the opportunity to work on next. The majority of the office is taking off to Spring Training in the next week and a half, so everyone is busy preparing themselves. Boxes are being packed, papers and envelopes are being printed and stuffed, and cars are being rented; we’re getting down to the nitty gritty here at the MLBPAA. I have been assisting in multiple different tasks and I love learning the ins and outs of how this organization works. I have been working closely with Kaitlyn and the Membership and Development Departments preparing for Spring Training. It’s been so eye-opening and rewarding to see the level of support and passion that our organization receives from current MLB players and Major League staff.

The snow is well on its way to being completely melted, and while the scenery doesn’t look as pretty as it does when there is snow covering the ground, it provides much more comforting driving conditions, which, let’s be honest, I need. This week in the Springs the weather has been relatively “hot” as the locals like to call it. Personally, I wouldn’t call it “hot” being that it is only in the 50’s, but I’m not complaining because I love this weather. I still get to bundle up in my sweaters without having to worry about driving in the snow. I have been given some wonderful suggestions of places to hike and visit, so I’m looking forward to getting started on that list of places, weather permitting.

Here’s an update on my personal life: I’m starting to become more familiar with the area and I can proudly say my dependence on GPS has decreased significantly. I am still very much obsessed with the deer. I make sure to bring my phone everywhere so I can take photos of them as often as possible. They’re so cute. I also went to my first Colorado brewery last week, and it was so much fun. We went to a chocolate and beer pairing, and while it might sound odd, it tasted amazing. I love chocolate, so much, so the thought of beer and chocolate together had me excited. The chocolates were so tasteful; they might even come close to being [some] of my favorite chocolate I’ve ever had.

Well, that’s all I have for now. I look forward to sharing my future experiences with you soon!

 

 

Oh deer, Super Bowl is here

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday! Things around the office are starting to pick up a bit more.  Everyone is preparing for Spring Training, and while we might have a full office right now, a few weeks down the road there will only be half of us here, if that.  I have been learning a plethora of new things, and I am becoming more familiar with office functionalities.  It’s incredible how much detail goes into making this organization great, and seeing first hand the daily tasks that take place has been, and will continue to be, a wonderful learning experience.  This past week, I assisted Kaitlyn, Program Coordinator, in creating Spring Training Rosters to send to Dan for our membership department. I also made my first set of phone calls to some of our members, and it was great experience to speak to those who answered.  Like I have previously stated, everyone in the office has been so kind and helpful to me, and it really makes me (the intern) feel comfortable asking for help when needed. I am so eager to continue to learn and contribute to future tasks and projects.

Well friends, it’s here.  Super Bowl weekend has arrived and I am definitely looking forward to it.  I am a diehard Saints fan (we had a rough season), but I have to admit that I have been jumping on the Bronco bandwagon because, well, they are the hometown team here. I have never been in an environment that thrives and loves football as much as this town does, so moving here at such an important football time has been quite the experience, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I can’t wait to see who the Super Bowl Champions will be, it’s going to be a great game!

We had a pretty big snow storm earlier this week that dumped about 17 inches of snow by where I live, and I came to realize that driving in the snow is not my forte, yet.  I have been driving slow and cautiously, but there is no controlling my nerves.  Every time I get behind the wheel, I start to tense up and my heart beats a million miles a minute, especially with the snow beginning to ice over due to the extremely cold weather. I do enjoy cold weather, so I can’t complain, but I woke up Wednesday morning at 6:30 and I checked the temperature on my phone to find out that it was -2 degrees outside.  I took a screenshot and sent the photo to my family back home in Orange County, and they thought it was hilarious that it was this cold here; meanwhile they’re sitting pretty in 70 degree weather.

Until next time,

Danielle

IMG_6846

Enter a caption

There are always deer casually roaming around our office complex, and I always whip out my phone and snap a photo because I think they’re fascinating.

Sunny and (not) 75

Hi everyone!

My name is Danielle Grado and I am the new Spring 2016 Intern, even though it’s more winter than spring! I’m getting close to completing my first week here at Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, and I am so enjoying it.  I’d like to start out by telling you a little bit about myself: I was born and raised in beautiful Orange County, Southern California, where cold is defined as 60 degrees. I attended Cal State University, Fullerton where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations with an emphasis in sports.  I was a competitive cheerleader for 8 years growing (yes, cheerleading is a sport) and once I got to high school, I converted over to high school cheer. Let me tell you, the differences between the two are insane.  This is the time that I fell in love with sports. It all started with Friday night football under the Laguna Hills stadium lights, standing on the sidelines cheering for my friends on the football team.  Once I learned the game and the logistics of the game, I really got into it. Soon after, my love for baseball started to grow. And by love, I mean really love, baseball.  Fortunately for me, I lived 20 minutes away from the Anaheim Angels Stadium (currently known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.)  For the past seven years, I can say that I have attended at least 100 baseball games, majority of those being Angels games with the exception of a few games in other cities.  I’m passionate about sports and love baseball which leads me here, to the MLBPAA.

I can honestly say, after my first week, that I know this is where I am supposed to be at this point in my life.  Moving here, to Colorado Springs, has been a huge change in my life, and I am really beginning to love it.  It’s starting to feel familiar and home-like.  I met almost everyone on my first day, and I did pretty well remembering names, which is usually hard for me, so I’m proud.  This past week, I have become more familiar with everyone and they are all SO nice and welcoming.  I feel very comfortable here, which makes me excited to come here every day! I also think that it has helped make my transition here much easier, and for that, I am so grateful.  No one has been hesitant to answer my questions or offer me help along the way.

I am looking forward to my internship time here, as I know I will be learning great skills and knowledge of how MLBPAA, and this industry, works.  Spring training is right around the corner, shortly followed by the start of the season, and I am so excited to see what great things are to come during this exciting, busy time.  I look forward to sharing my journey with you these next couple of months.

Stay Tuned!

-Danielle

11215763_10153005893876795_138653056857454517_n (1)

This past summer, in Capri, Italy

I Have a Feeling We’re in Kansas

I’m back again. This blog, like I promised in my last one, is much shorter than my previous post. This post is, again, about traveling. I took a trip to Kansas City to help with an alumni game-day auction.

KC 1I was not originally scheduled to go to Kansas City for Game 5 of the ALDS, where the visiting Astros were playing the Royals to see who would advance to the next round of the playoffs (Spoiler: Kansas City ended up winning). It was a Monday night, and I was sitting in my family room watching football when my boss, out of the blue, calls me and says that we need someone to go to Kansas City and help with an auction. Of course, I said yes! Granted, I am an intern, so I always responds with a “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” whenever I am assigned a task. Despite that, I still wanted to go to get more experience and learn more about the different facets that the Alumni has to offer. So, the very next morning, I was embarking on an eight and a half hour drive to Kansas City.
After arriving in Kansas City and getting a night’s rest, we were ready to go to Kauffman Stadium, the Royals’ KC 2ballpark. Kauffman Stadium is an amazing ballpark, a place that every baseball fan should visit at least once. There is a huge seating bowl behind home plate, waterfalls that line the outfield walls, and fountains that shoot up into the air after a Royals home run. The overall atmosphere of the ballpark is an amazing experience to take in, especially for a playoff elimination game. When I arrived at the stadium on game day, the parking lot was filled with cars and thousands of people, and it was only two in the afternoon. Because of the huge amount of fans in the parking lot, I feel like a lot of people were “sick” in the Kansas City area that day and could not make it to work.

I received my credentials at the employee entrance of Kauffman Stadium and then immediately started to help in the setup of the auction. We had about 100 items, including autographed baseballs, bats, pictures, and jerseys from Royals players and legends of the game, the biggest names being Ken Griffey Jr., Craig Biggio, Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., and Dallas Keuchel. Once KC Auctionthe gates opened, we immediately had a crowd of fans scanning our table, trying to find an item from their favorite player or that one baseball that would go perfectly with their sports memorabilia collection. Twenty minutes after the gates had opened, not a single person had placed a bid on any of our items, and I was concerned about how our sales would be for the night. A couple more minutes had passed and finally someone placed the first bid on a Salvador Perez jersey. After that first offer, the bids started flowing like the waterfalls in the outfield of Kauffman Stadium. By the end of the night, we sold most of our items and had a successful auction. The best part was being in the ballpark and hearing the crowd groan for every Astros run scored and roar for every successful play by the Royals. In the end, like a said previously, the Royals ended up winning the battle, and the celebration after the victory was deafening with fans cheering and fireworks bursting in KC 3the background. The celebration at Kauffman Stadium that night was one of the best, and loudest, that I have ever experience. It definitely lived up to an electric playoff experience.

The next day, I drove back to Colorado Springs, another eight and a half hour drive back across the Great Plains. In fact, the only negative part regarding the trip to Kansas City was driving a total of 17 hours in three days. Oh, and the Texas Rangers committing three errors in one inning, giving up their lead to the Toronto Blue Jays, and getting eliminated from the playoffs. Yeah, that was definitely a negative too. But other than that, the trip was a complete success. I learned valuable information about how the MLBPAA runs auctions and I am interested in helping with auctions in the future. I cannot wait to continue learning more about the Alumni Association and how I can help improve the company. I am now motivated as ever to work as hard as I can and make a difference.

 

Thanks for reading, and I will see everyone in the next post. Until then, ciao!

 

-Nick Ambrose

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.