In my day job I represent ownership for a Single A Minor League Baseball team. To be clear, I’m not an owner. I work for the owner. It is decidedly not what I imagined I’d be doing when I left television, but I love it.
We closed on the White Sox-affiliated team last October, and broke ground on a new ballpark on November 1st.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about baseball. I’ve learned about the names of teams, and how to re-name a team; how to design uniforms (and that each team has three different uniforms which must be approved by Minor League Baseball); the difference between sublimated uniforms and tackle twill; what a squatchee is; the importance of an extra three inches when choosing 19-inch seats versus 22-inch ones; the difference between “platinum” and “silver” according to Hussey’s plastic seat palette; why announced attendance is one measurement that doesn’t really align with butts-in-the-bleachers; the merits of an all-beef hotdog; fire code restrictions for frying foods on the concourse versus in a fully ventilated concession stand;… and on, and on, and on.
I’ve also learned about a small town 45 minutes from Charlotte, N.C., that’s home to a hardworking bunch of people who have seen more than their fair share of ups and downs. I’ve learned how important a ball club can be to a family whose budget is unpredictable many years. I’ve learned how much people are willing to give, even when on paper it looks like they shouldn’t give much. They give their time. They give their stories. They give you dinner at their home. They give you their families – here’s my son, he’ll help you practice so you don’t embarrass yourself throwing out the first pitch. Here’s my daughter, she’ll introduce you around the stadium so you don’t feel like an outsider. They give your players a home. They help with English lessons. They host Sunday dinners for the team, which is usually a lot of young guys away from home for the first time – some of them really far from home. They give you their evenings, their Sunday afternoons.
They’ve given me a place that feels just a little bit like home. My dog isn’t there, but I know a lot of the local canines. Their owners are more than willing to share.
This week our team gave their team a new name, and I am really proud of it. I hope the six months of hard work, nail biting, endless consultations, and work with legions of the best in the sports business paid off and gave them a team they will continue to be damn proud of.
Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.