In the Spotlight
The University of Texas baseball team practiced at RBI Austin’s baseball field at Reagan High School the morning of June 15 in preparation for the College World Series. As UT’s Disch-Falk Field is an artificial playing surface, the Longhorns took advantage of Reagan’s newly-renovated, natural playing surface to get ready to compete on TD Ameritrade Park’s natural playing surface in Omaha. Back in 2010, Austin Reagan was selected for the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers’ annual renovation service project. MLB Groundskeepers and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund unveiled the new facility in Austin, TX in January. It’s great to see the field being put to good use, both on the local level and in the spotlight of the Texas Longhorns. Click here to visit RBI Austin’s website and view photos of the event.
Rebuilding in Nashville
As a result of the flood in May 2010, Jess Neely Athletics lost use of its three fields, a concession stand, storage and restrooms at Shelby Park. This past Saturday during the Nashville Sounds game, BTF Grant Coordinator Meghan Chisholm presented the organization, based in East Nashville, TN, with an oversized check in the amount of $69,700 for field renovations. The money is being used for the construction of two new fields and two batting cages. Check back with us as we celebrate Jess Neely’s rebuilding effort!
Seattle Mariners Equipment Day
Seattle Mariners fans brought new and gently used baseball and softball equipment to Safeco Field on Saturday, June 25 when the Mariners played the Florida Marlins. Volunteers were stationed outside the gates of Safeco Field to accept donations and cash contributions, which went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. Next, BTF will partner with the Chicago White Sox, who will be hosting their Equipment Day on July 7.
I am truly fortunate to have worked for two top organizations in the sports industry—ESPN and now MLB—that do everything possible to make a summer internship experience anything but ordinary. The intern/recruitment coordinators at MLB (and ESPN) do an awesome job of packing the summer full of helpful speakers, fun events and informational sessions about the industry. So when I leave here, not only will I have relevant work experience to add to my resume, but I’ll have heard real world advice, seen true corporate culture and learned tips and tricks from top professionals in the field.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve attended three panels and presentations featuring executives from MLB as well as other organizations. While I can’t go into detail about each speaker, I do want to highlight a few takeaways from each event.
Last week, the interns and I heard from Tim Brosnan, MLB’s Executive Vice President for Business and member of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund Board of Directors. Telling the story of his start in Baseball, Tim demonstrated how his passion set him apart and ultimately got him a job with MLB. In his first interview with the company, Brosnan told his interviewer he would do anything—even scrubbing toilets as a janitor—to get his foot in the door, and that once he was in, he would prove his worth.
On Wednesday, Paul Archey, Senior Vice President of International spoke to us about his role with MLB. Archey talked about MLB’s international reach and objectives, focusing mainly on the World Baseball Classic. Started in 2006, the WBC is a way for players around the world to showcase their skills and take pride in their country in a setting of friendly competition. It brings together people from different backgrounds and cultures who share one common thread: a love of the game of baseball.
Thursday night, we attended a session featuring a seasoned panel of experts with a combined 100+ years of experience in the field. Panelists from ESPN, NBC Sports and MTV Networks, among others, gave career development advice to the MLB interns and other young professionals in the audience. Topics included resume building, interview questions, proper use of social media and the importance of networking.
While the entire session was packed with great information, I have to touch on one bit of advice from Joe Franco, Manager of University Recruiting at ESPN, who I got to know during my time there last summer. Among past and present ESPN interns, Joe is famous for this quote: “Don’t just meet expectations; Exceed Expectations!”
Hearing from Tim Brosnan, Paul Archey and Joe Franco reminds me (as it should remind interns everywhere) how lucky I am to already have my foot in the door with a great company. Now, it’s up to me to prove my worth: by going above and beyond what’s expected, taking advantage of every opportunity set before me, learning everything I can about all aspects of MLB (our exciting international efforts, for example) and ultimately, standing out by exceeding the expectations of everyone I come into contact with.
As I continue to garner advice and knowledge like this throughout the summer, I’ll be sure to share it with you all through my blog postings. Hopefully, through my posts, others can learn from my experience, too!
Today marks the end of my second full week at MLB as an intern with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, and by now I feel like I’ve pretty much gotten into the swing of things. Not only am I now an expert at getting from Brooklyn to Manhattan by Subway (quite an accomplishment, I know), but I’m becoming much more familiar with how BTF runs and operates.
Throughout the week, I’ve spent a good deal of time promoting some great events that BTF has put together (hopefully many of you have seen my Facebook and Twitter posts!). On Thursday, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund hosted a free field maintenance clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista in California. The clinic was led by San Diego Padres Director of Grounds Luke Yoder, who was on-hand to provide tips and best-practice techniques for maintaining youth baseball and softball fields. Sixteen people participated in the event.
This weekend, the Boston Red Sox are teaming up with BTF and Kids Gear for Baseball for a three-day long equipment collection drive at Fenway Park. Beginning today, June 17th, fans are encouraged to bring in new and used baseball and softball equipment that will be collected outside the gates and later distributed to kids in need. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I know firsthand that Sox fans are some of the most caring and generous in baseball, so I’m hoping they’ll live up to that image this weekend with tons of donations! I’ll be excited to see the results.
I’ve also had the opportunity over the past few days to take a closer look at some of the letters of inquiry and grant applications that pour into our office. It’s astounding just how many kids and communities are truly in need, and could benefit from a BTF grant. I’m excited to become more involved in and knowledgeable about the grant process throughout the summer. It must be so rewarding for all those involved to see a grant recipient’s goals come to fruition, whether it’s seeing kids in brand new uniforms or watching an opening day game at a newly constructed ballpark.
Lastly, I’d like to share a little bit about a great learning experience I had recently. Last week, I was away at an ECAC-SIDA conference in Rochester, NY, where I soaked up a great deal of knowledge about working in the sports business, specifically in athletic communications. I spent the week participating in workshops and panels with topics including social networking, best practices, and women in sports, among others.
If there’s one thing I took away from my time in Rochester, it’s this small bit of wisdom from Bill Jones, Sports Information Director at Skidmore College: sports is a people business. In this technology-dominated world of email, smart phones and Twitter, it’s still so important to have real, meaningful interactions with other people. Stopping by a coworker’s desk to talk face-to-face (even if it’s just about how well the Mavs closed out fourth quarters against LeBron James), always treating others with courtesy and respect, being mindful of your tone and behavior in the workplace—these little actions help to make working in sports one of the best careers out there.
So while I’m thrilled to be working in the sports industry, I’m even more excited about the people I’ll meet, the experiences I’ll have and the memories I’ll form while I’m here.
Ten days ago, I received news that only a handful of people in the country are privileged to hear: I had been selected to be a summer intern with Major League Baseball. I would be interning with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint organization between MLB and the Players Association designed to promote the growth of youth participation in baseball and softball. My start date would be May 31st, meaning I had only ten days to graduate from college, say goodbye to friends and family, and move to New York City to begin a new chapter in my life!
Clearly, the past few days have been a whirlwind for me. Tuesday morning, just three days after walking across the stage to receive my degree, I found myself navigating the subway and the streets of NYC in search of the MLB office on Park Ave. After participating in a short intern orientation, which included some ice breakers, a tour, and a welcome from Jonathan Mariner, Chief Financial Officer of MLB (very cool!), I was immediately put to work. My first task was to learn more about the Baseball Tomorrow Fund itself. Through the BTF website, along with help from the Fund’s blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, I’ve caught a glimpse of some of the incredible work BTF does.
As a former athlete and the sister of 10-year-old twins who both actively participate in their community’s sports programs, I fully recognize and support the role of sports in the development of today’s youth. One of my first memories is of playing peewee baseball on a tiny field in my hometown of Grafton, VT, a time in my life that I will always cherish. It’s my hope that all kids can have the opportunity that I had, learning the value of teamwork, commitment and physical fitness while having fun and enjoying the game. And from what I’ve seen so far, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund provides just that opportunity—for countless kids, in communities across the country.
Throughout my time with MLB, I hope to be a resource and a contributor in order to help further the initiatives of BTF. Luckily, my past work experience has prepared me pretty well to do so. Last summer, I was incredibly fortunate to have interned with ESPN at the headquarters in Bristol, CT (a big cultural difference from life in NYC, I might add). I interned in ESPN’s Corporate Outreach department, where I helped research charities to which ESPN would potentially donate, as well as helping coordinate some fun volunteer opportunities for employees. Additionally, I’ve spent the past three years as a student worker in my school’s Athletics Department, where I worked extensively with our baseball and softball teams as a scorer.
With the combination of my past experiences and passion for sports, I hope to make a great addition to the BTF team this summer!