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Ballpark Notes for Jan. 11, 2010

Today's news from baseball's front offices: the Potomac Nationals add four to the front office, while the Visalia Rawhide add six; the Pacific Coast League adds a new media manager; and the Altoona Curve adds two to the payroll.Today's news from baseball's front offices: the Potomac Nationals add four to the front office, while the Visalia Rawhide add six; the Pacific Coast League adds a new media manager; and the Altoona Curve adds two to the payroll.

The Potomac Nationals (High Class A; Carolina League) front office returned from a short winter vacation and kicked off the new year with a full staff. Director of Ticket Operations Michelle Metzgar, Director of Corporate Sales Libby Huguley, Corporate Sales Account Executive Travis Painter and Director of Media Relations Tripp Miller comprise the new additions to the staff.

"We are very pleased to have this talented group going into the 2010 season," Vice President/General Manager Jonathan Griffith said. "Each member of our staff brings in their own unique qualities and that's what makes our group one of the best out there."

Metzgar joins the P-Nats having previously worked with the Washington Wild Things (independent; Frontier League), Savannah Sand Gnats (Low Class A; Sally League) and Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League). The Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, native and graduate of Temple University will be in charge of all ticketing and box office operations.

Huguley, the proud mother of a three-sport athlete at Osbourn High School, C.J., comes to Potomac by way of CBS Radio 106.7 The Fan. The daughter of a former minor-league ballplayer, Huguley has always been a big sports fan. She is also a guest commentator on In the Pits Racing Radio, a Saturday-morning NASCAR show on 106.7 The Fan.

Painter, a member of the class of 2009 at James Madison University, is entering his second season with the P-Nats and first as a full-time staff member. He spent the 2009 season as the Assistant Director of Food and Beverage, a seasonal intern position.

Miller comes to Potomac all the way from Atlanta, where he spent last season as the Public Affairs Trainee with the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. A graduate of the University of Florida, he has also spent time as sports editor for the Venice Gondolier Sun in Southwest Florida, as well as for the DeKalb Neighbor in metropolitan Atlanta.


After a record-breaking 2009 season, the Visalia Rawhide (High Class A; California League) are expanding their staff for 2010, as six new hires joined the ballclub.

Chris Jones, a native of Rising Sun, Indiana, will be the team’s new Ballpark Operations Manager, with Dan Hargey of Colchester, Connecticut joining as Operations Assistant. Mitch Retelny comes by way of Aventura, Florida to become Hispanic Marketing Coordinator. Group Coordinator Sarah Twiggs hails from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. And Kacey Conley travels from Liberty Hill, Texas to fill the role of Executive Assistant.

Finally, Marissa Smith, a Visalia native and Golden West High School alumnus who also currently serves as Head Coach of Golden West’s women’s water polo team, has become the Rawhide’s Events Coordinator.


The Pacific Coast League added Mike Feigen has been named Baseball Operations and Media Relations Assistant for the 2010 season. The announcement was made by President Branch B. Rickey, Director of Baseball Operations Dwight Hall and Director of Administration Melanie Fiore.

Feigen, 29, comes to the PCL following a year with the Texas League in San Antonio, where he served in a similar role for Texas League President Tom Kayser. In addition to his work with the league office, Feigen was a member of the game day staff for the San Antonio Missions

A native of Olympia, Wash., Feigen attended Washington State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the College of Education. While at Washington State, Feigen served as a staff writer, columnist and sports editor for The Daily Evergreen, directing coverage of the Cougars’ run to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2008. He also worked as a volunteer intern in the WSU Athletic Department, spending time with the Athletic Foundation and Media Relations departments.


The Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) announced two additions to their front-office staff: Brian Soukup has been named Head Groundskeeper, while Altoona native Bill Bettwy joins the organization as Director of Mascot and Brand Development. The announcement was made by General Manager Rob Egan.

Soukup, an Ohio native, takes over for Derek Morton, who assumed the position of Assistant Groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training complex in Sarasota, Florida.

Soukoup’s most recent assignment was as an Assistant Groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox, helping maintain the team’s spring training complex in Glendale, Arizona. While in Arizona, he worked under the tutelage of the Curve’s original head groundskeeper, Justin Spillman, who directs the White Sox’ field maintenance there. Soukup has also held the same role with the Charleston RiverDogs (Low Class A; South Atlantic League).

A graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and minor in general business, Soukup also has previous experience on crews as an intern with the Akron Aeros (Class AA; Eastern League), Albuquerque Isotopes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and Philadelphia Phillies.

Bettwy is no stranger to the Altoona region or the Altoona Curve organization. The man who donned the mascot suit and portrayed the original Steamer in 1999 will be the team’s Director of Mascot and Brand Development. In his role, Bettwy will be contributing to the overall atmosphere and entertainment experience at Blair County Ballpark. He will be working with all mascots to ensure skits and interaction with fans are fresh and creative. Additionally, Bettwy will be involved in the overall branding and marketing of the Curve and their new image as the team prepares for another decade of baseball. A professional cartoonist, Bettwy’s work has become widely popular and recognizable, with previous work including editorial cartoons for the Altoona Mirror and the Philadelphia Daily News.


Josh Gilkey is the new Director of Food & Beverage for the Charleston RiverDogs (Low Class A; Sally League).

Gilkey is experienced in the field having served as the Senior Area Supervisor for Food & Beverage at Cedar Fair's Kings Dominion Amusement Park in Doswell, Va., since 2003.  There, he was responsible for generating more than 50 percent of the park's food budget.

"We feel that we've brought aboard another quality individual to join the RiverDogs staff," said RiverDogs GM Dave Echols.  "Food & Beverage is a huge part of the RiverDogs' experience and I'm confident that Josh will be among the best we've ever had here at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. We're excited to have him join us."

Gilkey is a 2007 graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he majored in history.

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