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Ballpark Notes for Oct. 28, 2009

Personnel news in the baseball world, as Minor League Baseball, Omaha Royals and Altoona Curve make announcements.

Personnel news in the baseball world, as Minor League Baseball, Omaha Royals and Altoona Curve make announcements.

Jeff Biddle and Shanelle Slaughter have joined the Minor League Baseball staff as Director of Athletics & Marketing, Minor League Baseball-Vero Beach LLC and Manager, Special Operations, respectively.

Biddle, a native of Dansville, N.Y., joins MiLB after serving as Director of Athletics for the Cocoa Expo Sports Center in Cocoa Beach, Fla., for the past 15 years. Jeff will be based at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., and will be responsible for marketing and securing tournaments and other events for use by various sports groups at the facility.

Slaughter is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, with an emphasis in Social Interaction. She will be responsible for various elements surrounding the Baseball Winter Meetings™ and the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar. Some of these elements include the preparation and design of publication materials, sponsor relations and event programming.

Shanelle, a native of Anaheim, Calif., will also work with the Baseball Operations Department on projects as needed.

The Omaha Royals (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) announced the hiring of two new employees, while several current staff members were promoted or shifted to new roles in the team’s front office.

Danny Dunbar joins the Triple-A club as Group Sales Manager and Rustin Buysse has been hired as a Ticket Sales Executive. Dunbar comes to Omaha after spending the past three seasons with the Boise Hawks (short season; Northwest League). Prior to that, he served an internship for the Iowa Cubs’ video production department. The Barnum, Iowa native is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Buysse spent the last four seasons in the ticket office of the Sioux Falls Canaries (independent; American Association). He began his career in sports in 2006 as the Music Coordinator of the Sioux Falls Storm, a professional indoor football team. A native of Minneota, Minnesota, Buysse is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State with a degree in Speech Communication.

In other personnel moves, the Royals have promoted Eldon Lindsay — who was a Marketing Intern in 2009 — to the newly created position of Creative Services Manager. After spending nearly ten years in the newspaper industry as an award-winning photographer, Lindsay began his career in Minor League Baseball in 2008 as the Iowa Cubs’ Video Production Intern.

Ben Hemmen, who served as a Ticket Operations Intern last season, has been promoted to Promotions Manager. During the 2010 season, which will be his second in professional baseball, Hemmen will serve as the Royals on-field emcee.

Jason Kinney, who was the team’s Merchandising Manager in 2009, has been promoted to Director of Merchandise. Next season will mark his fourth year with the Royals after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2006.

Diann Spataro, who joined the Royals in 2009 as a Corporate Sales Executive, will lead the team’s efforts in the community as Community Relations Manager in 2010. She spent the first three seasons of her professional baseball career in the Corporate Partnerships department of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low Class A; Midwest League).

James Jensen is entering his third season in Minor League Baseball, all with the Royals. Now a Corporate Sales Executive, he started in 2008 as Ticket Operations Intern before serving as a Ticket Sales Executive in 2009.

Dave Endress, who came to Omaha last season as the club’s Director of Ticketing, will now serve as its Director of Business Development. The 2010 campaign will mark his 19th season in professional baseball.

The Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) announced the following changes to their front-office staff.

Matt Hoover was promoted to Director of Ticket Sales and Promotions. In 2010, Hoover will enter his sixth season in professional baseball, first joining the Altoona Curve staff as a marketing intern prior to the 2005 season. In 2006, he was added to the Curve Baseball LP full time staff as the Assistant Director of Promotions, primarily overseeing the promotional efforts with the Curve’s sister franchise at the time, the State College Spikes (short season; NY-Penn League). In 2007, Hoover was promoted to Director of Promotions and stationed in Altoona on a full-time basis overseeing all of the promotional efforts for three teams -– the Curve, Spikes and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

In his new role, Hoover will lead the Altoona Curve ticket sales staff in servicing current ticket accounts while generating new ticket leads for the organization.

The Curve are announced four new hires for the 2010 season. A.J. Palazzi and Cassie Stroup have been added as Ticket Sales Associates, Chuck Griswold has joined the front office as a Sponsorship Sales Account Executive, and Claire Martin has returned to professional baseball assuming the team’s duties as Director of Merchandising.

Palazzi is no stranger to the Curve franchise. The Altoona Area High School and Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania graduate spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as a marketing intern with the organization.

Stroup is a Newton Falls, Ohio native who brings a track record of sales and customer service experience to Altoona. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with degrees in Parks and Recreation Management and Spanish, Stroup was employed for three years at She worked in customer service and sales, as a bridal show promotions coordinator and product development operations manager.

Griswold brings a wealth of sales experience -– nearly 30 years -– to the Altoona Curve. A native of the region, Griswold will handle corporate sponsorships for the organization.

Martin returns to baseball after a nine-month absence to assume the duties of Director of Merchandising. Martin first joined the State College Spikes in 2006 and served as the manager of their Spikes’ team store for two seasons before assisting with the Altoona Curve operation in 2008. Martin also worked in Myrtle Beach during the last half of 2008 as the Pelicans’ Merchandise Director.

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