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,
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.
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.
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.
I 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’ ballpark. 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 the 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 the 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!
Some time has passed since my last post, but that’s a good thing because I have been busy, both in and out of the office. I have spent the majority of the past 2 weeks preparing and performing the Legends for Youth Clinics in the southwest United States and that what I am going to talk about my trip on the road for this post. The four clinics went well and without a hitch… for the most part.
I left Colorado for San Diego on September 27th for the beginning of my travels. On that very same day, we held our first clinic at San Diego State University, the stomping grounds of famous ball players Tony Gwynn and Stephen Strasburg. Here is where the one “hitch” occurred. San Diego had record high temperatures the day of the clinic, easily in the low to mid 90s, which was unseasonably hot for the area and does not even account for being out in the sun and trying to run a clinic. One of our former players almost suffered from heat stroke but luckily, after a small scare, he ended up being just fine. After the San Diego clinic, I made my way up to Los Angeles with my boss.
On the way to Los Angeles, I was able to stop at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, which was a dream come true for me. As an avid golfer, I enjoyed being able to visit one of the best golf courses in the United States and be at this site of some of Tiger Woods’ most amazing performances. A Torrey Pines hat and shirt purchase later, my boss and I drove to Los Angeles and up to West Hollywood, where upon arriving at our hotel, they told us that they no longer had any rooms available. However, the minor inconvenience turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we were then given a free night at a Sheraton that was right next to Universal Studios!
Since we did not have another clinic for a couple more days, my boss and I decided to take the upcoming day easy and do a little sight-seeing. Part of that time was spent at Universal Studios, where we were able to walk around and see Mario Lopez on set for his show Extra Hollywood. After checking into our original hotel, we decided to rest until dinner, where we ate at Yamashiro Hollywood, an amazing Japanese restaurant that sits on top of a hill overlooking downtown Los Angeles. After enjoying a great salmon dinner, we went to the Rainbow Bar and Grill, a big metal bar in the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood. At the Rainbow, my boss and I were able to meet a couple of members from the band Motörhead and here some of their stories when they were touring, which was a great experience. The next day, we continued to go sight-seeing, and my boss and I went up to the Griffith Observatory to get a great view of the Hollywood sign and downtown Los Angeles. After a couple more nights in Los Angeles, we put on a clinic at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, where we had over 100 participants and 10 former players participate in the clinic. Immediately following the successful Compton clinic, we drove late at night to Las Vegas, arriving at 1 A.M.
Our Las Vegas trip was perfectly timed because it just so happened that there was a huge country concert the weekend we were there, the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, featuring names such as Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, and Tim McGraw. I went to the concert every single day, although I am not a huge fan of country music. I went every single day because my boss knew someone from Easton Corbin, one of the bands that performed during the festival. The connection allowed us to get backstage passes for all the concerts and hang out in Easton Corbin’s bus before and after their concert. After the first day of the concert, we hosted our first clinic in Las Vegas, and we had former players Mike Vail, Mike Davis, and Jerry Reuss help coach the clinic. All three of these former players spent some time in the Dodgers organization and they have a total of 42 years of MLB experience. After another successful clinic, I rested until later that night, and went to the Wynn on the strip in Las Vegas to see Lil Jon. I went back to the country concert the next day to see Tim McGraw and afterwards, I was able to go to the top of the Mandalay Bay hotel and get a great view of the city. After that night, I hosted my last clinic of the trip, which almost got rained out. I was able to call a couple of audibles after the field the clinic was supposed to be on flooded and we had a good but short 90 minute clinic, just narrowly avoiding thunderstorms. I then visited the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, home to the History Channel show Pawn Stars, which completed my last full day in Vegas. However, the “adventure” did not end there.
Getting ready to head back to Denver after almost a week and a half on the road, I arrived at the airport an hour and fifteen minutes before my flight, thinking that was plenty of time to get through security and even enjoy a nice breakfast. However, the security line at the airport was moving at a snail’s pace because they only had one X-ray machine open for two terminals worth of traffic. After waiting for more than an hour and not even getting half-way through the line, I realized that my plane was already starting to board. In a semi-panic, I started asking people if I could cut ahead of them since I was eight minutes away from missing my flight, and everyone was very understanding and allowed me to pass them. I was finally able to get through security and I rushed to the terminal, only to find out I had to take a tram to get to my terminal. After taking the tram, running up a set of escalators, and sprinting down the whole terminal, I arrived at my gate 5 minutes after the last call for boarding, and the door to the jet bridge was closed. After so much effort, I thought I had missed my flight. In a tone of defeat, I asked the gate agent when the next available flight to Denver was departing. To my surprise, she responded saying “now”. Luckily, the plane needed to undergo a little extra maintenance and after the gate agent typed in the code to open the door to the jet bridge, I was able to get on the airplane and make my flight. The trip to Denver had quite a bit of heavy turbulence and to make matters worse, the weather in Denver was poor, with a thick sheet of clouds and fog close to the ground. For the last 5 minutes of my flight, the plane flew below the clouds at maybe 1,000 feet above the ground in order to maintain visibility of the runway. Flying so close to the ground in heavy turbulence was slightly scary, but we managed to land just fine. It was amazing what a week and a half difference makes, I had left Denver with 90 degrees and record highs to arrive back to cold temperatures with highs in the 60s.
Overall, I absolutely had a blast during my time on the road, getting to experience the southwest part of the United States. I gained some valuable experience in running clinics and learned more about the company from talking with my boss on the lengthy car rides in-between cities. There was a huge difference between the first clinic in San Diego and the last one in Las Vegas. The first one in San Diego, I was learning and just assisting with the clinic. By the last one in Las Vegas, I was running the whole clinic without any assistance. I’m really starting to enjoy my job and the place I work, making friends with all of my co-workers.
Well, this is the end of the post. If you somehow managed to read all the way through to this point, I will be back with another update soon, so make sure to look out for it! I promise it will be shorter next time!
Thanks for reading!
It’s been a while since my first post, so I hope everyone is doing well and excited for the postseason! (Note my personal bias above.) September was a busy month here in the MLBPAA offices as we finished the last of the Heart & Hustle Award presentations, traveled to both sides of the country to host clinics and golf tournaments, and continued planning our 16th Annual Legends For Youth Dinner in November.
Meanwhile in the Communications and Development departments, a big focus right now is our #GivingTuesday campaign. Started in 2012 by NYC cultural center 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday is a celebration of the power of small acts of kindness, and thrives on the values of service and giving back. The purpose is to inspire selflessness and communal support during the Holiday season by using social media campaigns to generate real change in communities around the world. Many types of organizations, both large and small, across all sectors take part in this international day of giving, and each year more and more charities benefit from the selfless acts of Giving Tuesday volunteers.
We at the MLBPAA have high hopes for our 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, so be on the lookout the next few months for ways you can get involved!
On a personal note, I’m looking forward to experiencing my first work travel trip this weekend. I’ll be flying down to Arizona to help with two LFY clinics in Phoenix and Tucson. I’ve never been to either city, so it should be an interesting weekend. I’m incredibly excited to witness these kids experiencing the game they love from some of its greatest and wisest players.
As the weather has started to change, I’ve quickly realized that the majority of my wardrobe is not cut out for winter on the Front Range. Some dire updates are needed in the sweater/coat/shoe departments of my closet. The way I see it, I have two choices:
- 1) Shop online from the comfort of my own home and pray to God that whatever I ordered 5-7 whole business days ago fits on the first try to avoid returns and satisfy my Millenial-esque desire for instant gratification, OR
- 2) Set aside at least half a day for walking around a crowded shopping mall, trying on clothes and praying the first size fits so I can be done with this daunting task and return to the peace and quiet of pretty much anywhere else…
I blame my 18 years of residence in the heart of Dallas, the mecca of high fashion in the South, for my disdain of shopping malls and the due process of successful clothes shopping. Ok, rant over…
It’s looking like October will be a month of personal growth, both for me and those embarking on the life-changing sentiments of #GivingTuesday. Stay tuned for more riveting tales!
Howdy! My name is Nick Ambrose and I am a recent college graduate from Texas A&M University. After completing an internship with the Brazos Valley Bombers, a Texas Collegiate Baseball team in College Station, I was able to graduate with a degree in Sport Management. I have now moved to Colorado Springs to be an intern with the Major League Baseball Player’s Alumni Association (MLBPAA).
For a little background on myself, I am a native Texan and was born in Fort Worth, Texas, home to the Stockyards and gateway to the West. I have lived in Arlington, Texas my whole life and that is where I fell in love with my favorite sport, baseball. I live only 10 minutes away from Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers (you guessed it, my favorite team!). I grew up watching my favorite stars play for the Rangers, such as Pudge Rodriguez, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, and now players like Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, and Prince Fielder. As well, most people would expect me to be a Cowboy fan, but that is not the case. My Dad was born in Pittsburgh and made sure I was a Steelers fan, the True America’s Team!
Anyway, I have gone to private school my whole life, from kindergarten to senior year of high school. I broke the trend of attending private school by going to Texas A&M University, where I originally majored in Microbiology. However, I realized after 3 semesters, and some not-so-great grades, that Microbiology was not the right major for me. I then turned to my true passion, sports, and began my trek to getting a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. I was also able to get a job with the Texas Rangers and worked with their community outreach department, specifically the youth baseball camps and tournaments. As well, I volunteered with a graduate class in order to work at the H-E-B Big League Weekend, where the Texas Rangers play an MLB team in the Alamodome, a domed-stadium in San Antonio that was originally designed for football. In order to graduate, I completed an internship with the Brazos Valley Bombers, a Texas Collegiate League team in College Station, Texas. Finally, we have caught up to the present, where I am currently working for the MLBPAA as an intern.
I have only completed a week here with the MLBPAA and I am thoroughly enjoying the job. It is very nice to escape from the Texas heat and come to much cooler Colorado Springs. I am looking forward to experiencing Colorado and going on many adventures. I cannot wait to continue to grow with the MLBPAA and improve both myself and the organization with my hard work and effort.
Good morning folks, and welcome back to the MLBPAA Intern blog. My name is Katherine Sartain, and I am starting my second week as an intern here at the Alumni Association offices in beautiful Colorado Springs. A native Texan, I recently graduated from Louisiana State University Honors College with a degree in Mass Communication, and Business and Spanish minors. Geaux Tigers!
The path that has led me to this internship has been quite exciting, considering the fact that I’ve dreamed of working for the MLB since I was eight years old. Growing up in Dallas, I played just about every sport that was available to me, which means soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, cross country, and even dabbled in some tennis, swimming, golf and ballet. My true love was soccer, and the sport was my entire life until I went to college. My dad and older brother, who just finished his four-year stint playing at Rhodes College, are religiously fanatical about the sport of baseball. They and many of my male cousins (I’m the only girl on both sides of the family…) who also played spend hours at family gatherings to this day talking bottom-of-the-ninth game-ending pop-fly stories and comparing biographies of favorite players, and I’ve spent my entire life eavesdropping on these passionate conversations.
As I grew to understand the game more, I became mystified by the endless hours of practice and focus these professional athletes put in to perfect skills of what I believe to be one of the most intricate and mentally stimulating sports one can play. The attention it takes to perfect your swing, the diligence required to perfect your change up, the hours of repetition to perfect your aim from home to second to catch the runner: these skills do not come easy. I’ve seen first-hand how the work ethic from a lifetime of playing this sport shapes its players into the most dedicated and driven of people long after the game ends for them.
Needless to say, I eagerly accepted this internship with the goal of using the communication and marketing skills I learned from my degree to support and further the game that I love and that has been such a large part of my life. Also, my brother is incredibly jealous and all of the sudden calls “just to check in.” Fine with me.
Stay posted for more posts to come from Nick and me the next few months. Happy reading!
Last Wednesday, a group of employees from the MLBPAA drove to Denver, Colorado for a signing with Mike Trout. This signing was done through Major League Alumni Marketing (MLAM), which is a for-profit subsidiary of the MLBPAA. Several times throughout the year, MLAM hosts private signings with players who have experienced the big leagues with the intent of selling the memorabilia. Mike Trout happens to be an MLAM exclusive player. Initially I did not think I would be able to go, but thankfully the interns were given the opportunity. Being able to work the signing with Mike Trout was a fantastic opportunity and experience. Aside from getting to assist with the signing of one of the greatest ball players in the big leagues, it also served as a great learning experience. With nearly 700 items signed, this was not simply an event to hang out with Trout for a few hours. Instead, I was able to witness first-hand how much organization and teamwork is required to complete a memorabilia signing from start to finish. I had assisted with a player signing within my first few weeks of being an intern, but it was certainly not as similar to assisting with this signing. After the signing, a group of us attempted to go to the Rockies vs. Angels game. Due to all of the rain, we did not even stay long enough to watch the opening pitch. I guess you could say we aren’t true fans, but I was excited to see the stadium at least!
Aside from the Trout signing, these past days in the office have been exciting and extremely busy. As the announcement date for Heart and Hustle Award winners draws nearer, the interns have been working diligently to secure all of the details for the presentations. This includes tasks such as communicating with team contacts, generating press release lists for each team, writing press releases for each winner, and a variety of other responsibilities. Like the Mike Trout signing, being involved with the Heart and Hustle Award has been an exceptionally beneficial experience. Because of the nature of the project, my responsibilities change daily and I’m able to work in many different areas, rather than doing the same task day after day. It has been rewarding knowing that my hard work is paying off and is valuable in the overall success of the Heart and Hustle Award presentations.
Throughout this internship, I’ve been able to recognize how significant of an opportunity I’ve been given. Because of that, I’m looking forward to my last few weeks here at the MLBPAA!
A big portion of my time here has been spent planning events. Mike, our VP of Operations, will be hosting a series of clinics starting at the end of September through the beginning of October. This series, known as the Road to Glory, will take place in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Vegas. For the past several weeks, I have been working diligently to plan the initial stages of the clinics, which entails finding and securing baseball fields in the designated areas on particular dates. Because this is my first time planning events to this capacity in a business environment, it has been beneficial learning from my mistakes and victories as I go.
On top of Mike’s Road to Glory, I have also been planning two additional clinics that will be taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio and Basalt, Colorado. For the Cincinnati clinic, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to constantly communicate with people, even if it means over communicating at times. Unlike our other clinics, there are several others parties involved with the Cincinnati clinic. As a result, each and every person must be aware of all details of the clinic at all times. This has been accomplished through conference calls, emails, and a variety of other methods. Assisting with the Cincinnati clinic first has been valuable as it gives me a great reference point for future clinics.
In regard to the Basalt clinic, I recently found out I will be running the clinic. I’m slightly nervous about running my first clinic alone, but I am confident it will be a great learning experience, even if there are a few mistakes made along the way. Since I’m running this clinic, I’m in charge of essentially all aspects of the clinic, such as recruiting alums to work the clinic, communicating with these alums, booking the hotel and flight information, and reaching out to staff members where we will be hosting the clinic. Like the Road to Glory, this has been a great learning experience and I am so excited to see all of my hard work come full circle!
The last week of June, I was able to spend the weekend with my cousin in the Aspen area. We hiked around Maroon Bells and also ate lunch on top of a mountain in Aspen. The views were incredible! This past weekend, I was able to travel home to Northern Michigan for the 4th of July. We have been going there for as long as I can remember and it is one of my favorite places. I loved spending time with my family, even if it was for such a short amount of time!
I have some very bitter-sweet news. Unfortunately, today is my last day with the MLBPAA. I was offered a position for full-time job in Castle Rock, CO. It is difficult for me to leave this amazing organization and all the great people early, but I am very excited to start this chapter of my life—establishing my career. I was offered a sales position with a company called MyWedding.com. It is a wedding planning website, and my job will be to sell the website to national companies who want to advertise their service on the website. Yes I know, weddings are very different than baseball, but I cannot wait! There is so much that I can take from the MLBPAA not only to my next job but my personal life as well.
Our day-to-day tasks at the MLBPAA have constantly changed. I love it! It has allowed to discover what traits I am looking for in future jobs that I will work. I have learned anything from cold calling former baseball players to helping get alumni days prepped and ready. I have worked mostly on the non-profit side and it has really made me appreciate all the work that goes into this association. I really enjoy the event planning side of the business. I am quite detail oriented, so that has allowed me to help make sure every part of the process is done correctly and in an organized manner. When I was about half way through college, every course they emphasized on the importance of learning excel. I have used excel every day since I have been here and have learned so much. It really is critical in terms of organization and making tasks simple. This day and age revolves around technology, especially email. It is very important to be able to compose a clear and strongly worded email. With the help from the pros, my emailing skills have greatly improved and I know that is something that will benefit me in work and personal business. I could go on and on about all the wonderful things I have learned from this organization and the people around me. I have made friends that I plan to keep in touch with.
I cannot wait to take what I have learned here to my next job. Every aspect from feeling comfortable with talking on the phone to a stranger by making casual conversation to being able to write a great email and accurately use excel will make me a great business person. This has been such an amazing experience for me and I can only hope to reach the level of professionalism that I have been surrounded with these last two and a half months. Good luck to your baseball team the rest of the season and go Rockies!