ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball’s headquarters welcomed 27 students and graduates from colleges around the country, including two Hampton University students, this summer to show them the business of baseball, and to encourage them to make the business their career.
Ari’Elle Moore and Erika Frazier, both graduate students in Hampton University’s Sports Administration program, participated in Minor League Baseball’s FIELD (Fostering Inclusion through Education and Leadership Development) Program, a week-long gathering of baseball executives with women and minority students who may be interested in the baseball industry. The 2017 program was Aug. 7-11, at the Minor League Baseball headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Frazier and Moore heard from what could be called a “Who’s Who” of minor league and major league baseball executives during the conference.
“This conference was a great opportunity to meet people in the business,” Frazier, a master of science in sports management candidate, said. “I learned to be open and transparent to all the opportunities in sports.”
Moore has a passion for sports marketing and appreciated being exposed to the business side of baseball.
“This was just a great opportunity to meet many individuals and seeing how they view sports,” Moore, who is studying toward a master of science in sports administration, said. “And, I learned a lot about the operation of minor league teams.”
The FIELD Program is an effort to encourage women and minorities to pursue a career in the business of professional baseball. Frazier and Moore participated in a five-day program of professional development workshops, skill-specific training, networking sessions and hands-on learning opportunities. They learned about the business of baseball, had their resumes critiqued during a mock interview session, and they finished the week with a visit to the Tampa Yankees to meet the staff and take in a baseball game.
“I remember that mock interview; sitting down and interviewing like it was for real,” Moore said. “I liked the hard core treatment.”
The duo was recommended by Dr. Aaron Livingston, Graduate Coordinator, Sports Administration, at Hampton University. He has a long-standing relationship with Pat O’Connor, who organizes FIELD for Minor League Baseball. Livingston is on a mission to help Minor League Baseball include women and minorities in baseball offices.
“There are a lot of opportunities in baseball,” Livingston said. “Baseball is working hard to increase its diversity, and these young people are getting a great opportunity to learn about baseball.”
Frazier said that her biggest lesson from the week was how important salesmanship is in baseball – ticket sales, working on attendance and a lot of menial work that isn’t seen from the outside looking in.
“Sales is a bigger part of athletics than I thought,” she said. “A lot of the work isn’t glamorous, but I also learned (that’s) OK.”
The most exciting part for Livingston is to see what lays ahead for the FIELD attendees. Many who attend FIELD are invited to Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando in a few months. Frazier and Moore are no exceptions. Many of the students he’s recommended in the past have gone to the Winter Meetings, too, and come away with future opportunities.
“It’s been a win-win for everyone,” he said. “They are getting a look at some good internships and job offers.”
Editor’s Note: This story includes information provided by Minor League Baseball.