Results tagged ‘ Orlando ’
Throughout the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair kept a journal chronicling their employment seeking experiences. (Meet them all HERE). This endeavor will be repeated at this year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando; 2013′s four Job Seekers will be introduced in an MiLB.com feature on Friday and then chronicle their experience throughout the next week (and, perhaps, beyond).
But first, an update from one of 2012′s quartet. Clint Belau recently got in touch with this guest post, in which he writes about his first season season working in professional baseball (as a stadium operations intern for the Albuquerque Isotopes). Last year I described Clint as “irrepressibly optimistic” — as you’ll soon see, those words continue to be a good descriptor of his life outlook.
When last we left off, I was a 35-year-old former musician, set to begin an eight month internship in a place I’ve never been, for an organization I was completely unfamiliar with, on a journey to pursue a career path I was hoping would be the one I could honestly attest to loving. Wow, when I put it that way, it sounds ultra-promising!
However, if you know anything about me (which most of you don’t, but for the sake of this sentence, I’d ask that you pretend to), you know that I’m not deterred by less than favorable odds. But realistically, what did I think would happen? That I would come to Albuquerque, immediately get along with every person in the organization, truly love every minute of the season (yes, even the 7:00 a.m. hot dog rolling sessions…I’m a sucker for assembly line situations), and develop such fantastic relationships with game day staff, fans and vendors that, after a 16 hour “work” day, I’d voluntarily stay longer simply because I enjoy the environment so much? That I would work hard enough that the organization would feel comfortable offering me a full time job that I’m mildly qualified for, and perhaps most importantly, I would spend a small portion of every single day smiling uncontrollably like a lunatic as I ponder my good fortune? Yeah, let me know how that works out pal.
Well, that’s exactly how it turned out. I spent the season as a stadium operations intern. Did I treat it like an internship? Absolutely not. From the second I set foot in that stadium, I made it my mission to weave myself into the fabric of the organization, to show them how much I wanted to be a part of it, to do everything and anything I could to represent the organization in a positive manner, to contribute to creating a valuable environment in which fans could experience everything this incredible game has to offer, and to do it all while exuding a contagious amount of joy. Alright, now I’m just starting to sound weird, but you get where I’m going with this. As a general statement, things are going well.
So now I’ll attempt to bring this all back to the point of Mr. Hill’s experiment: to take four people who are trying to kickstart their respective careers in baseball by attending the PBEO Job Fair, follow them through their week, and see where it takes them. If I have some sort of semi-educated advice for job seekers, it would be to, above all else, stay positive. You’re about to enter(or have already entered) a world of extreme competition. If you’re not passionate about it, I suggest you do something else. This world will require much more than you probably think it will. This isn’t a career that you leave at your desk after eight hours. If you do not truly love it, you will most likely grow to resent it. All of those statements are examples of what you’re about to hear when you attend the Winter Meetings, and more specifically, the Business of Baseball workshop. I know because I heard them less than a year ago. As I listened to them, I thought “it seems like they’re trying to scare us out of the industry.” In fact, it’s not a scare tactic, it’s a proper warning. However, if you’re really as passionate about baseball as you think you are, it will be an incredibly rewarding experience. For me, to be able to spend every day at the ballpark, to be surrounded by the game, to see families sharing the experience of it all, to witness the smile on a child’s face when they catch a foul ball, to know that on any given game day, you have the opportunity to help someone appreciate the game you love so much in a whole new way…that cannot be beat. I’m happy to say that a year later, I truly love being in baseball even more than my “irrepressibly optimistic” personality believed I could.
The value of attending the PBEO Job Fair is based on opening your eyes to what you’re dealing with. The advice from seasoned veterans comes at you fast and furious. The employment opportunities are high in volume, yet seemingly low in comparison to the amount of potential applicants. I can be extremely wordy at times, but if I’m boiling it down to a three word bit of advice that I’ve received numerous times from a good friend of mine, it would be this…do your best.
And there you have it, straight from the operations intern-turned-assistant director of field operations’ mouth. 2013′s series of Job Seeking Journal posts will begin on Monday, as will myriad other dispatches, Tweets, and Vine videos from Orlando’s Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. In short, it’ll be another year of unparalleled Winter Meetings coverage. (And, yes, it truly is unparalleled — no one else provides such in-depth accounts of the non-Hot Stove perspective!)
The Winter Meetings are next week — Monday, December 9 through Thursday, December 12 to be exact — and, as such, I’ve got the Winter Meetings on my brain.
Also, as of yesterday, I’ve got the Winter Meetings on my phone. This year, for the first time ever, baseball’s premier industry confab is coming equipped with its own app. It is free to download, and available via Apple and Google Play (search “Winter Meetings”).
The Winter Meetings app is courtesy of the Professional Baseball Promotions Corp, a subsidiary of Minor League Baseball. (Minor League Baseball is headquartered in St. Petersburg, as you may recall.) Anyone who has attended the Winter Meetings knows that they are a sprawling, multi-faceted, and altogether overwhelming affair, and the purpose of the app is simply to help attendees make sense of it all (to the extent that that is possible).
Steve Densa, executive director of communications for Minor League Baseball, writes that the app has many features that should come in handy. Highlights include a list of Trade Show exhibitors that functions as a “walking Buyer’s Guide,” detailed maps of each hotel so that attendees can locate meeting rooms, a “full schedule which shows every main event/meeting by day,” and, finally, the ability to share schedules, comments, and contact info with fellow attendees.
Perhaps these screenshots will help to elucidate the information contained in the above paragraph.
If you desire, you can enter your personal info so that it is accessible to other attendees. Consider me accessible (as well as overly precious and perhaps not as protective of my privacy as I should be).
As with last year, much of my Winter Meetings content will be centered around the “Job Seeker Journals.” Four individuals have been selected, and they will be introduced in an MiLB.com feature on Friday. But, I cannot stress this enough, I am always looking to meet new people, because new people lead to new story ideas and what is this job if not a vehicle for story creation? Individuals that I am looking to meet include (but are not limited to) job seekers, trade show exhibitors, front office denizens, high-ranking execs, media moguls looking to capitalize on the most underrated niche in all of sports journalism, and, of course, veteran scribes waiting for the perfect moment to acknowledge the existence (and awesomeness) of my long-running Crooked Numbers column.
Oh, and even if you won’t be at the Meetings: what kind of coverage would you most like to see? And does anybody know of any good gluten-free places in the Orlando area? Man cannot live on Kind bars and popcorn alone.
I will return to “Return to the Road” content momentarily, but today I want to deal with a more pressing concern: The Winter Meetings are almost upon us! This year’s event hearkens all the way back to those long-ago days of 2010, as it will be held in the (usually but not always) sunny environs of Orlando, FL:
I’ve always enjoyed covering the Winter Meetings, as I’m just about the only journalist who doesn’t care about free agent and trade proposal rumor mongering and reportage. I focus on what is in actuality the main business at hand: the entirety of the baseball industry coming together in order to share successful operating practices (the Bob Freitas Business Seminar), shop for promotional items and stadium improvements (the Trade Show), and hire new staff members (the PBEO Job Fair).
It is that last item that I wish to focus on at the moment — the Job Fair. As you may recall, last year I recruited four job seekers to chronicle their Winter Meeting experiences as they hustled their way toward potential baseball industry employment. You may remember them:
Are you planning on attending the 2013 Winter Meetings in a job seeking capacity? Would you like to chronicle your efforts for this blog and MiLB.com, therefore giving you invaluable publicity while demonstrating your verve, talent, drive, moxie, chutzpah and, of course, writing skills? Then simply send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and within the contents of said email please provide your age, alma mater (if applicable), birthplace, and current place of residence. Then, please provide brief answers to the following questions (and please do so by Sunday, December 1).
– Do you have prior sports industry experience? If so, what?
– Why do you want to work in the world of baseball?
– Why should you be selected as one of the job-seeking journalers?
– What is one completely and totally random fact about you?
Among those who apply, four job seekers will be selected to write about their experiences (three posts during the Meetings, approximately 400 words each, and a follow-up post the next week). This fortunate quartet will be chosen by me and my trusted inner circle of MiLB.com advisers and announced on Monday, December 2. An MiLB.com piece profiling this year’s journalers will run on Friday, December 6, and the following week it’s off to the job seeking races!
I believe that this will make for some interesting and engaging content, which, of course, is the name of the game. And, don’t forget: if you’re going to be at the Winter Meetings in any capacity whatsoever then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pitch me a story idea, offer to buy me a drink, whatever. I’m always open to meeting anyone and everyone. (Except that one guy. You know who you are).
The annual Baseball Trade Show is one of the highlights of the Winter Meetings, featuring a sprawling cavalcade of vendors selling a veritable cornucopia of baseball related goods. The show is accessible via this entrance, leading to an escalator that brings one into the depths of National Pastime consumerism.
And once one gets down there, there is a LOT to take in. My guess is that the Trade Show encompasses 3.2 billion square feet.
And once you start wandering, it’s easy to get disoriented. The images just fly by in an kaleidoscopic whir (these next two shots courtesy of MiLB.com photo prodigy D. Wild).
And check out these “Player’s Packs”, shaped like ball caps and available in backpack or cooler form:
Stormy, one of the new mascots of the Omaha Storm Chasers, was on hand.
No one complimented me on my earlier reference to Stormy being “anemometer-ically correct”, but yet I still find the inner strength and self-confidence to pose in front of giant jerseys.
The above was a non sequitur in a post filled with them, the perhaps inevitable result of writing after an extremely long day of huffing and puffing through the vast confines of the Orlando Swan and Dolphin Resort (it doesn’t help that this internet connection is slower than Kevin Slowey pitching in a slow-pitch softball league in Penn-slow-vania).
So let me make it clear that I have much more content to share in the near future, including a variety of Flip Cam interviews that I am (tentatively) quite pleased with. One of my interview subjects is none other than Ted Batchelor, the stuntman who ran around the bases on fire in Savannah last summer. He and his wife Debby were manning a booth at the trade show, attempting to convince teams to add him to their 2011 promo calendars (in conjunction with his goal of being lit on fire in all 50 states).
My suggestion to all teams is to wholeheartedly embrace this imminently worthwhile and distinctly American endeavor.
Greetings from Orlando, FL, home of the 109th Annual Baseball Winter Meetings!
And helloooooo industry!
To the extent that the Winter Meetings exist in the popular imagination, they are viewed as a simmering cauldron of Major League hot stove activity. And while the lobby of the Disney Swan resort is admittedly teeming with agents, scouts, managers, and big-name sports media personalities, the bulk of the attendees are associated with good ol’ Minor League Baseball.
But the assembled media cares not about such individuals. And why should they? Minor League business news doesn’t sell. Right guys?
But who needs them? I’ve got you, whoever you may be. And what I’d like to tell you about is my time in Orlando thus far.
Upon arriving on Sunday evening, I was whisked away in a Party Bus and driven to Disney property. Anyone have any idea who these people were and how this happened?
But all that’s in the past now. My day started bright and early at the Bob Freitas Business Seminar, designed to “bring together the best minds in the industry…and making their thoughts available to the industry as a whole.”
Last year I was able to present at the Seminar. But my mind isn’t the best these days, so this year I simply existed as audience member. Then, I wrote about it.
One of the highlights of the morning was courtesy of Jim Jarecki and Steve McCarthy of the West Michigan Whitecaps. They gave an informative and highly detailed presentation on specialty theme jerseys which I found to be very interesting (the team does 10 each year, five for a cause and five for fun).
Here’s McCarthy and Jarecki in action, modeling their wares (Led Zeppelin and ’70s Night, respectively).
Some much better shots of the Seminar, courtesy of MiLB.com’s photography wunderkind Danny Wild.
This is Brooklyn Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen, detailing “Promotions That Pop.”
In between the morning and afternoon portions of the Seminar was the Opening Session, featuring league by league executive of the year awards and speeches by Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner, vice president/COO Tim Purpura, and vice president Stan Brand. More on this can be found in my article on MiLB.com, which will go live any minute now. Go check it out, as some interesting stuff was said.
But save for the feverish typing (and even more feverish cursing of the internet connection) of the assembled media hordes, Day One has largely come to a close. We’ve now arrived at the portion of the evening in which attendees enjoy expense account steak dinners at Shula’s and then adjourn to the hotel lobby for alcohol-fueled conversation within the clamorous din of the Swan Lobby.
Check back in Tuesday afternoon for more, as I’ll have lots of info from the Trade Show and beyond. In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out in the Coronado, listening to THIS.