1 year ago today.

Just around 1 year ago today I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. It was Opening Day of the Inaugural season of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball team and I was an intern working her very first baseball game ever. Now I had never been to a minor league baseball game let alone worked one. I was new to everything and like many others had no idea what to expect.

I had been working for the team since the previous September. I started out as a receptionist before we even had a stadium built. It was cool to see this team come from nothing. Granted some of our staff came with the team franchise from Wichita, KS but it was basically all brand new. I spent months mailing out brochures, organizing inventory, shipping out orders, filing, answering phones, etc. Anything and everything they needed done, I pretty much did.

In January I switched over to the Gameday Operations Intern position. There I was in charge of all of the staff that worked on game days, payroll, hiring, firing, managing, organizing, etc. I had from January to April to hire a staff, train them, get their payroll information submitted, and schedule them. Remember I had never worked for a baseball team before and had only managed at the local movie theater when I was in high school and early years of college. 

So here I was with this daunting task of putting together an entire staff but I loved every second of it. I was in my element, solving problems, organizing, planning, developing. The job had all of the things that challenge me in life. I was given a rough outline of how they had done things in years past and completely changed everything around and "fixed" it. 

Finally we reached April 10th and Opening Day was upon us. This was the new entertainment in town and we had to come through. After going through meetings all morning and talking with the others who had worked in baseball before I started preparing for the game around 2 o'clock. What was nerves quickly faded away to the determination to do my job. Next thing I know I'm having my first pre-game staff meeting and the gates are opening. The night flew by in a blur from then on. Granted the weather wasn't the greatest, not all of the big plans we had got to go off, and we had major parking/traffic issues but to me the night was a success.

The rest of the season all 70 home games were gone before I knew it. I learned so much working at the ballpark, not only about managing and organizing and planning for large numbers of people but also about myself. It was through this job that I figured out that I could be a producer. After all a producer is the person who plans and organizes and makes sure the project gets made. That was basically my job at the ballpark and the season was my movie. 

So here we are a year later and it's Opening Day again and I can't help but reflect on what I was doing a year ago (around there at least). I miss the excitement I felt, seeing things coming together, the energy of the crowd waiting to come in, the excitement on little kids faces when they see Strike the mascot for the first time, the feeling of knowing that I was doing something that I was meant to do. I will get these feelings again in my life but reliving that Opening Day experience has made me feel like I was lucky to be able to be there for the beginning and to watch it grow that first season.

I will be at the game tonight and for the first time ever be able to sit back and watch the ball game but I have a feeling it just won't be the same. I will be listening for voices in my ear on the radio or checking on the ushers to make sure they are doing their jobs, etc. I love baseball, and will love going to games this season. New memories to be made and old friends to see. Go Nats!


Lindsay April 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

I know this will be hard for you but just try to enjoy the game! Relax, have a beer (NOT high life) and watch the crazy Hawaiian guy go nuts! And the best part is when the game is over, you can go HOME RIGHT AWAY!!!

PS-There was that one afternoon that you made me work for you that I don't believe I ever got a check for....if you could get that taken care of that would be great :)

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I'm a 24 year old girl who is taking a change in direction and going to school online through Full Sail University seeking a bachelors in Entertainment Business. I'm working towards being a screenwriter/producer/director anywhere in the TV or Film industry.