|Baseball, One Woman's Perspective #4 - Working For the Team|
Written by April Addington (Contact & Archive) on June 14, 2003
The management at Bank On Ballpark does an orientation for the new hires. It is a half-day seminar for the new employees, which was a lot of fun. All new employees are given a tour of the park and shown the most vital and important areas including where the room is to open and close the ballpark's roof and even the locker rooms. There was even a Diamondbacks trivia session where everyone is asked questions about the team's history. For each correct answer given, the person who gives the answer wins a prize. I won a really nice Diamondbacks souvenir for answering one of the questions.
During my summer working at the ballpark I did two different duties. I worked in the upper concourse during some of the home stands and also took tickets. I had ticket-taking experience from working in a movie theater, so I knew how to do that already. I got to know many of the season ticket holders that summer, but my most memorable night there was my first game when I worked the Players' wives section. I met many of the wives and children that night and really enjoyed being there. They treated me like royalty and welcomed me with smiles and handshakes.
There is not a bad place to be in that ballpark, from either a fan or employee's standpoint. I learned how to run the elevators and had fun ushering fans wherever they needed to go. You sure do learn a lot when you work for a team and its ballpark. One thing I learned is that fans come from all over the place, in various shapes, sizes, and genders. I've had many a conversation with fans. Most of the fans were great, others, not so great, but you learn to be neutral when it comes to the teams. Sure, you can root for your home team, being you are their employee, but you can also have an appreciation for other teams and players who come for a few days. For me, I always kept an appreciation for both the Diamondbacks and the Rockies and when they'd play each other at the BOB I would talk to fans of both teams and carry some great conversations. I have great memories of the games I worked.
For the most part things were calm and the people were great. I did have a few strange things happen while ushering at games. Once I had two fans, a Mets fan and a Diamondbacks fan, get into an argument and I had to be the mediator. It became a heated battle and I got hurt just doing my job. It resulted in me getting security to handle the ongoing dispute, which had turned into a fistfight. I escaped in one piece, but had a black eye afterwards. I also had the misfortune of dealing with some rowdy Cubs fans that ended up being escorted out of the park by security after their third warning for throwing objects at other fans in the crowd and at me. Over all, I did enjoy ushering and the fan interaction.
I enjoyed my time working for the Diamondbacks and the ballpark, albeit brief, since I moved to Tucson when the season ended. Someday, I would love to get back into working at the ballpark or doing something baseball-oriented. A person can do anything their mind and heart is set on doing. I never thought I'd get to fulfill my dream of working at a ballpark for a team or writing for an awesome baseball site, but here I am, doing just that; writing for a baseball site. I enjoy what I do, just like I did working at the ballpark.
The next time you are at a game, if you wonder what working at a ballpark for a team is like, think back to what you've just read here. Take it from a former Diamondbacks employee - baseball and working the game are what you make of it. It's all up to you.