I always had a passion for sports growing up. My Dad was an avid Baseball player and played while enlisted in the Military and also got as high as AA Ball (Mini Minors) until he popped a knee and that was the end of his career. I followed suit and played every sport possible. I played Baseball when I was 4 years, played on multiple travel ball clubs, made All Stars, played in High School, and even played a year of college before too, my knees gave out and that was it for me. I played other sports as well, from Soccer, to Basketball, Football, and even golfing. So I was a well rounded athlete, loved watching it, playing it, or even doing Fantasy Sports, which I'm sure a lot of you do.
Never had I thought my love of sports would lead me on an interesting journey. I landed a gig with the Los Angeles Clippers. I was in the Fan Relations and Communications Department and we handled all the season ticket holder accounts, pregame activities such as shoot around with the players before the game, special introductions, giveaway nights, and any other promotional activities; I was there.
As fun as that little gig was, it wasn't very lucrative and the hours were extremely long, but it did open a lot of doors for me in the sports world and that is what it's all about these days kids, make those connections while you can! I was a volunteer ball boy at a very early age helping with the Dodgers here and there, but it wasn't until after the Clippers experience, I learned a lot more about the day-to-day operations of running a professional sports team. I was given access to Dodger Stadium, was able to speak with a few folks who work there and gave me an inside look how the Dodgers are the Dodgers.
First I have to mention I am a season ticket holder and have been for about 4 years now. My Dad was a huge Dodgers fan he had season tickets, but after he passed it was hard for me to pay for them solely. Now I am able to follow in his footsteps and know each time I go to a game, he is right there with me. I also took my almost 90 year old Grandmother who had not been to a game in 25 years due to her health, but boy did she have a blast. She LOVES the Dodgers!
So the nuts and bolts of a Professional Baseball Team like the Dodgers are of course, players, the managers, coaching staff such as hitting, batting, infielding, outfielding, the list goes on and on. Then you have a General Manager, scouts, team operations managers, account supervisors, media outlets, sponsors to deal with, promotions and public relations, so it takes a lot to do what many of us have no clue about. We just sit in front of our TV, or plunk down in a seat and watch things go.
The Department head I spoke with says they have roughly 30,000 active season ticket holders. Now that is a lot of people to keep track of. The department does a great job of handling each account with the utmost respect and well-being of each ticket holder. For as many people as they service, they sure do a great job of making their STH (Season Ticket Holders) feel welcome. There are a lot of promotions, firework nights, giveaways, and special events like my favorite, Baseball Star Wars Style May 4th of course.
So I was given a behind the scenes tour so to speak of the grounds and facilities most fans don't get to experience.
It was great to be able to walk around the stadium, eerily with no fans or players (They were on the road during my interview). As a landmark of Southern California, everyone recognizes the Dodgers Logo, know of the history behind it all and with many people from out of town just to catch a game. The Dodgers organization does so much for the community through outreach programs, adopt a park events, and every summer players host free baseball camps for youngsters.
The moral of this story is, you never know where life will take you. It was such an honor to be able to walk around Dodgers stadium and check out all the cool memorabilia and private access to the field. Words of advice for anyone who is interested in the sports field, the Dodgers do offer intern positions for college student and you can find information through www.teamworkonline.com.
Links to the Dodgers Websites and Information can be found here:
Dodgers YouTube Channel
And Finally couldn't leave you without one of the greatest commentators and announcers of our time, a most memorable and humble man I once had the pleasure of meeting, and has 5 of the sweetest sounding words to any Angelino......"It's Time For Dodger Baseball"-Vin Scully