Baseball Behind The Scenes With Ben Baker

Today we're going to meet a good friend of mine from California, Ben Baker. Well Ben isn't from California, but we worked together with the Visalia Rawhide what feels like a million years ago. Anyways, when I graduated from college I picked up and moved all the way across the country. I had previously never lived more than an hour and a half from home and thought it was a solid decision to move three time zones away.
So, like I mentioned, Ben and I met in California where we shared a giant four person cube like area. Ben Baker is the salesperson anyone would die to have. That kid could sell sand in a desert and all of the other sales cliches. Without anymore unnecessary explanations, here's my interview with Ben! 
What did your career path look like? Did you major in a specific sports related field?
I've wanted to work in sports my entire life...I'm one of the lucky few who actually knew what I wanted to do. I went to Indiana Tech where I majored in Business Administration and I had a concentration in Sports Management. I started off as an intern with the sports marketing department at Notre Dame. I then went to work for an independent baseball team in Texas, unfortunately after my initial season there the league & team had significant financial issues and folded. I spent a few months back in Indiana selling cars to pay the bills until I left for Visalia to take a gig as a Group & Event Coordinator. I loved Visalia, the staff we had was amazing and I have great memories from there (read meeting me, obviously) but I chose to leave and pursue my career in hockey--and here I am.

What is the biggest difference between working in minor league baseball and working in hockey?
Pros: No pulling tarp, weather isn't a factor, & no 12 game home stands
Cons: No 12 game home stands (baseball is about the grind, and I love it...and actually miss those long homestands) (okay this is actually a real thing. I miss 12 game homestands too. obviously those of us who choose to work in baseball are gluttons for punishment or we'd just rather be at the ballpark than anywhere else..)

What is your favorite memory from working in sports?
I was fortunate enough to be a part of a championship run here in Florida. During the 2011-2012 season we made a historic run and clinched the Kelly Cup for the first time in franchise history in front of a standing room only crowd of 7,000+. We clinched it in overtime over Las Vegas and I was standing behind the net when the winner went in during OT. The place went nuts, I went radio flew off, I'm hugging co-workers, friends, and random people. Oh, and I got a ring out of it too.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone looking for a career in sports?
Take your internships seriously--even the grunt work. It can sometimes suck, but in order to succeed you HAVE to do it. I've been in mascot suits getting pulled in every direction by kids, full green spandex body suits running through the stands, & cut 10,000 bookmarks by hand (hey, I helped with that thank you.). And in fact, I still do some of that. But it's worth it...I go to work every day at an arena and get paid for it.

What made you originally choose baseball?
I played the game growing up and it was just a natural fit for me.

What is your most outrageous story from working in sports?
Oh there's plenty--and not one sticks out more than another. There was the time we had a knife wielding man in the stands, or the time I had a bounce house deflate when it was full of kids, let's not forget about the time I was in a green spandex suit and the back of it ripped, or the time I had an on field contestant puke in a giant hamster ball, oh and the time the drunk guy fell into the dugout during dizzy bat. (I got in trouble for that + subsequently had to make everyone play dizzy bat in right field instead of the first base line...)

So there you have it! Straight from the mouth, er well e-mail? of Ben Baker! If you don't believe him about the green body suit, I obviously have a picture. Duh.

Is there anything specific you would like to see/know about working in sports? What do you want to see on the next edition of Baseball Behind the Scenes


  1. I love this!!! I was thinking of doing something similar at the start of baseball next season. I think it's great to highlight all the behind he scenes stuff because it's a lot of work.

  2. it's always so much more than anyone realizes!