Posted By Ramsey Safieh, MLBPAA Summer Intern
As cliché as the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is, I can’t find another maxim to describe how fast this summer has progressed for me. No, not the Johnny Football type of fun, but a different type of fun. Whether it’s in the office sorting out signed memorabilia from legendary players or outside of company time playing softball with our stacked softball team, I keep asking myself “where did the time go?” I cannot reiterate enough the team environment that you experience as you come into work every day. As my time here at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association is nearing an end, I remember my first day like it was yesterday – the nerves and anxiety flowing through me and I wish I could do it all over again. The office feels extremely desolate without Taylor and Ella here since we became a team over the past couple of months.
Perhaps the defining moment when I began to realize how fast my time here at the MLBPAA has passed was when we began our interview process for the upcoming interns this fall. As interns, we get the chance to sit in on these telephone interviews and participate by asking questions as well as contribute with our feedback. I cannot help but reflect on my interview process and how nervous I was! However, being on the other side of things definitely gave me great insight on how the interview process really works. Certainly, this reminiscence bears a little jealousy as my time here nears its end.
As my job search begins, I can’t stress how much help everyone in the office has been. It seems like everyone knows everyone, and in the sports industry, you can never know too many people. My experiences here have been priceless and without a doubt will help me in my future career as well as become an overall better person. I truly cannot wait to see what the future holds for me and I’m excited to take the next step in my career.
For my last week in Colorado, I plan on taking in as much as possible. Whether it’s the endless breathtaking scenery, or the overall invaluable experiences, I have to get after it. I know for a fact that when I am back in New York, I will dearly miss the state of Colorado. I have always been skeptical of the saying “all good things must come to an end,” but my time here at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association has been nothing short of phenomenal, so I guess I will have to agree this time.
Posted By Ella White, MLBPAA Summer Intern
As I walked into work this morning, I felt a rush of emotions come over me. From sadness, nervousness, excitement and everything else in between. Today marks my last day interning with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. I can’t believe it’s time for me to pack my bags and move back to Illinois. It feels like just yesterday I made the 15 hour road trip to the Springs with my fiancé and parents, not knowing a single person or where I was going to live for the next 11 weeks. My experiences with the MLBPAA have been indescribable. From the beginning, I considered this place home and my co-workers my family. I have made lifetime friends and memories I will cherish for the rest of my life, but most importantly, I have gained so much knowledge and have learned more than I ever thought possible. From the very first day, I knew this was the type of work I wanted to do my whole life. The MLBPAA has taught me how to work efficiently under pressure, accomplish multiple tasks with strict deadlines and appreciate the small things in life. I will never forget my time spent here and my co-workers who treated me like they have known me their whole lives.
No matter where I end up in my future career, I will always cherish each and every second I spent at the MLBPAA office and the company that surrounded me. I can’t wait to see where my life takes me and through this internship, I know I will land the job of my dreams and bring with me the knowledge I gained from the MLBPAA. For now, I will be driving to Monticello, Ill., where I will continue my job search and finish planning my wedding!
To the next internship class, I wish you the best of luck. I have no doubt in my mind that you will fall in love with this organization as much as I did. Work hard and take it all in. You will never meet more down to earth, charismatic and dependable individuals in your life. Be yourself and never give up!
And to the entire MLBPAA staff, thank you for taking me in under your wings and allowing me to share my strengths, ideas and personality with you all. You have no idea how much you all mean to me. Thank you for believing in me and making me a stronger individual.
And to all of you who took the time to follow my blog the past 11 weeks, thank you for reading! I thoroughly enjoyed sharing all of my experiences with you during my time at the MLBPAA and in Colorado.
Posted by Ella White, MLBPAA Summer Intern
After months of preparation, the Heart and Hustle Award presentations have officially begun! The first presentation kicked-off Friday, July 25 at Yankee Stadium where five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and Yankees’ bench coach, Tony Pena and Director of Communications for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, Nikki Warner, presented Brett Gardner with a gorgeous Tiffany & Co. encrypted plaque.
In case you missed our big announcement on Tuesday, July 22 or you aren’t caught up on your favorite team’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts, here are your 2014 Heart and Hustle Award winners:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves: Jason Heyward
Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Chicago Cubs: Nate Schierholtz
Chicago White Sox: Adam Eaton
Cincinnati Reds: Skip Schumaker
Cleveland Indians: Michael Brantley
Colorado Rockies: Corey Dickerson
Detroit Tigers: Don Kelly
Houston Astros: Jose Altuve
Kansas City Royals: Alex Gordon
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Mike Trout
Los Angeles Dodgers: Dee Gordon
Miami Marlins: Christina Yelich
Milwaukee Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy
Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier
New York Mets: Daniel Murphy
New York Yankees: Brett Gardner
Oakland Athletics: Josh Donaldson
Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley
Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Harrison
San Diego Padres: Tyson Ross
San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence
Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager
St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter
Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier
Texas Rangers: Adrian Beltre
Toronto Blue Jay: Mark Buehrle
Washington Nationals: Ian Desmond
Working alongside Nikki and Rachel on this big project has been such a learning experience for me. I have been connected with so many people including team managers, former Major Leaguers, hitting and batting coaches and MLB front office staff. Not only are we communicating with each presenter and each team’s contact, but we are continuously following our assigned players on Google Alerts, making sure they aren’t injured or traded. Luckily, since yesterday was the trade deadline, no players who won the Heart and Hustle Award were traded, which is a big sigh of relief on our end. It’s so fun watching each team’s Twitter account during a Heart and Hustle presentation. All of our hard work is broadcasted to the world on social media and to all the fans at each ballpark. It’s an amazing feeling, and I can speak for Taylor and Ramsey by saying this experience has been like no other and is truly the most rewarding feeling.
For any of you who are going to any MLB games this summer, be on the lookout for any Heart and Hustle presentations at your favorite ballpark! Presentations are scheduled throughout the entire summer and will end Friday, September 26 at Safeco Field where the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers! But, Heart and Hustle doesn’t end there. On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the overall Heart and Hustle winner will be announced at our Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City where Major League players are recognized for their accomplishments both on and off the field. Be sure to keep your ears and eyes open to see if your team’s Heart and Hustle nominee will take the overall title of the national Heart and Hustle winner!
Posted by Ramsey Safieh, MLBPAA Summer Intern
With the Major League Baseball trade deadline in the rearview mirror, teams have made big moves to compliment their final push to the rapidly approaching post-season. The trade deadline in baseball is like no other professional sport. I mean, c’mon people, Austin Jackson getting replaced in the middle of the 7th inning of his game due to a trade! One second Jackson is playing centerfield for the Tigers and the next he’s jogging off the field for the last time as a Detroit Tiger on his way to play for the Seattle Mariners. Such a bizarre occurrence can only happen in Major League Baseball. Imagine Peyton Manning getting taken out middle of a touchdown drive due to a trade; you simply can’t.
Blockbuster trade deals reinforce the fact that professional baseball is a business. From the infamous Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees for $100,000 to finance Harry Frazee, then owner of the Red Sox Broadway play, to any acquisition today; money will forever be the determining factor of a team’s success. Teams show no remorse when uprooting a player to a team across the country on short notice causing him and his family to immediately relocate. Some may say that it is the nature of the game, I say that it is the nature of the business.
Major League Baseball has too many similarities to Fortune 500 companies (in regards to business practices) to not be considered a “business first” game. At any moment, a CEO can let experienced employees go for a younger crop of workers, relocate an employee to another branch, promote unqualified workers with higher salaries, or even sell the whole company to someone else. Sounds a lot like professional baseball if you ask me. In fact, just two days ago, the Houston Astros promoted their 2013 #1 overall draft pick, Mark Appel to their AA team causing a huge stir in their organization. Normally such a promotion doesn’t get much attention, however, the fact that Appel had a 9.74 ERA while two other pitchers on that roster hold ERA’s in the 2 range was the epitome of an undeserving promotion, in my opinion.
If you have been keeping up with my blogs, then you know I have to always throw my two cents in on the New York Yankees. And what illustrates the business aspect of professional baseball more than the tactics of the Yankees? Although they are the most successful team in all of professional sports, they have not seen the playoffs in the past two consecutive years and if they don’t figure it out soon you can make that three consecutive seasons without making the playoffs. They also have not won the World Series since 2009 causing critics and fans alike to lambaste the organization with the second highest payroll in all of baseball. Surely this is to concern of the members of the Yankees front office, but like I said professional baseball is a business and what separates a successful business from a failing business is the green piece of paper that rules the world.
According to Forbes list of most valuable baseball teams in the MLB, the Yankees posted the highest revenue in the league at 461 million dollars which is 168 million more than the second place Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2013 season. This brings one to think, was last year’s sub-par season without making the playoffs really a failure? In the mind of businessman, no. As long as the team keeps coming out on top with league revenue, they are the winners. Certainly, Yankees stakeholders would love another World Series ring to add to their decorated collection, but they also like their money. To put this all into perspective, if Apple doesn’t win the award for smartphone of the year but demolishes their competitors in company revenue, I can promise you that Steve Jobs will not be rolling around in his grave.
Written by Taylor Addy, MLBPAA Summer Intern
Not only every baseball fan, but almost every American knows the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and belts it at the top of their lungs during the 7th inning stretch. Thanks to the lyrics “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,” the caramel covered popcorn has become associated with the sport of baseball and is sold in every Major League stadium. I have a fun fact to share with you that you may or may not believe about America’s favorite baseball snack. But before I get into that, let me explain my credibility and why I am a knowledgeable source for facts about caramel popcorn.
When I was 16 years old, I got my very first job at a famous candy factory located here in Colorado Springs called Patsy’s Candies. Patsy’s is a family owned business that started in 1903 by an Irishman named Patsy Mehaney who traveled to America to pursue his dream of selling salt water taffy and his famous caramel popcorn. He opened his first shop in Colorado and the original shop still exists and sells the original recipes! I worked at Patsy’s for four years- working after school hours while in high school, during school breaks in my first two years of college, and every summer since I was 16. I worked retail in the front store, assisted with packaging, got to work on the candy line manufacturing the delicious sweets and I was a tour guide of the factory. Needless to say, I am loaded with facts about Patsy’s and candy in general. So let me tell you a little story about the origin of caramel popcorn.
Patsy Mehaney worked many years on perfecting his caramel popcorn recipe, and it was a coveted secret of his that everyone in the candy business wanted to get their hands on. He was one of the first people to ever experiment with the idea of caramel popcorn. Well, Patsy and a German man by the name of Fredrick William Rueckheim who you might better know as the inventor of Cracker Jacks. Patsy traveled all over the United States for candy conventions and to meet other confectioners. During his travels, he and Fredrick made acquaintance, and there was a lot of competition between the two men trying to make the world’s best caramel popcorn.
Patsy, being a money obsessed immigrant, had a very serious gambling problem, and never turned down a game of poker. Fredrick challenged Patsy to a game, but not for money. The stakes were Patsy’s famous caramel popcorn recipe. Even though Patsy’s recipe was better than Fredrick’s, Fredrick was better at cards than Patsy was. Patsy lost the game, and had to forfeit his secret recipe, but here is the plot twist. Patsy gave Fredrick a fake recipe, and kept the real one for himself to insure that he still had the best caramel popcorn in the world. Fredrick altered his recipe to match the one that Patsy gave him, and the multi-million dollar company Cracker Jacks was born.
Now, you might think that Patsy wasn’t successful in his attempt in sabotaging Fredrick because Cracker Jacks is a successful company and Patsy’s is just a local store in Colorado Springs. But if you taste the difference in the two recipes for yourself, you will see that Patsy’s caramel popcorn is much more delicious than Cracker Jacks. As to why it tastes so much better, I can’t reveal those secrets to you. So you will just have to go visit Patsy’s Candies, try a box of Patsy’s Popcorn and see for yourself!
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!
Posted by Ramsey Safieh, MLBPAA Summer Intern
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!