Livin’ the Dream
It wasn’t motivated by anything in particular, but over the past few days I’ve created a compendium of Minor League front office cliches on Twitter. If you’re interested in seeing them simply search Twitter for the #MinorLeagueFrontOffice cliche hashtag. And, of course, feel free to submit your own as I will be compiling these cliches in an upcoming blog post. (If you don’t use Twitter, feel free to leave your Minor League Front Office Cliche in the comments or send me an email.)
Such a cliche compilation is both the literal and figurative definition of the term “inside baseball,” and I apologize to readers who I am leaving in the cold. But, in conjunction with this apology, I’d like to direct you to an interesting new initiative that can give anyone a chance to see these cliches come to life in an up-close-and-personal fashion.
This season, the Hickory Crawdads are offering a “Day in the Minors” fan package.
From the team:
[T]he ‘Dads Day in the Minors program offers a behind the scenes experience like none other, giving YOU the chance to see what it’s like to work for a minor league baseball team for a day. For just $99, you will receive experience in all areas of the organization, including promotions, sales, concessions and media!
Of course, there’s no such thing as a “typical” day in the Minors, but the Crawdads are offering the following as a “sample” schedule:
9am - Staff meeting
10am - Work with the promotions team to prepare for the game
11am - Go on a mascot appearance and wear the suit if you want the total experience
12pm - Work with the Group Sales department
1pm - Work with the Stadium Operations team to make sure the stadium has been properly cleaned from last night’s game and is stocked and ready to go for tonight’s game
2pm - Check in concessions deliveries and set up for a picnic
3pm - Assist the groundskeeper with field preparation
4pm - Batting Practice
5pm - Make sure the Press Box is all set up
6pm - Open the gates, greet fans, take tickets and hand out giveaway items
7pm - Go over the ground rules and exchange the lineup card with the visiting manager during the managers meeting at home plate with the umpires
7:15pm – 10pm - During the game you will receive experience in most of the following areas: Ticket Office, concessions, promotions, customer service & the Press Box
10pm - Break down and clean up
Midnight - Go home as an official Day in the Minors survivor!
Plus, if you are truly lucky, it will rain during the day and you’ll have the opportunity to pull tarp!
While $99 is far more than most people spend on MiLB-related endeavors, I do believe that this is a worthwhile expenditure that could be enjoyed by people of all ages. In particular, a “Day in the Minors”-style program could be a great way to expose high school and college-age fans to the realities of working in the sports industry so that they could then make a better informed decision as to whether this would be a career they’d like to pursue.
Teams could also waive the fee and make this part of their community outreach efforts. In recent years Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner has emphasized the need for teams to diversify both their staffs and fan base in response to changing demographics, and offering a full immersion into front office culture would be a unique way to engage portions of the community that currently aren’t aware of or interested in the local Minor League product on offer.
But I’m just riffing here…As far as I know the Crawdads are currently the only team offering such a program, and it will be interesting to see if they are successful with it. Your thoughts? Would you pay $99 for this comprehensive Class A experience? Or, if you work for a team, is “Day in the Minors” the sort of initiative that you’d consider making available to your fan base?