In Delmarva, the Shorebirds announced the addition of two new full-time front office staff members. Benjamin Posner, box office manager, and Steve Uhlmann, communications services coordinator, complete the Shorebirds staff in preparation for the 2015 baseball season.
The Shorebirds are returning 14 front office staff members from last season, including general manager Chris Bitters, who will embark on his ninth season with the team in 2015.
Posner, who joined the Shorebirds staff on December 28, is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Shorebirds’ box office at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium while also contributing as a season ticket and group sales representative. Posner comes to the Shorebirds after an internship with the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) in 2014, and he graduated from Hofstra University.
Uhlmann will be in charge of maintaining the team’s social media accounts and website in addition to assisting with media and community relations efforts. The 23-year-old completed media relations internships with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) before joining the Shorebirds. He graduated from Ohio University, where he majored in journalism.
“The addition of Posner and Uhlmann will help us continue to grow Shorebirds baseball on the Eastern Shore,” Bitters said. “With the vast majority of our staff returning, and these new additions, we are excited to serve our loyal fans like never before during our 20th season.”
The Visalia Rawhide announced a staff addition and several promotions.
Eric Clark, a Visalia native, is the sole addition to the staff, joining as a Ballpark Operations Coordinator & overseeing the Food and Beverage operation. Eric has worked in the Rawhide kitchen seasonally for the past 5 seasons.
The Rawhide also announced the following promotions:
- Cody Gray was promoted to Assistant GM of Ballpark Operations heading into his fifth season with Visalia.
- Charlie Saponara was promoted to Assistant GM of Tickets, Groups & Events, and is also heading into his fifth season.
- James Templeton transitions from an assistant into his new role as Head Groundskeeper.
- Lauren Lopes enters her 3rd season, becoming over as Ballpark Events Manager.
- Heather Dominguez transitions from a front office internship to Ticketing Coordinator.
Ian Church is the new general manager of the Medford Rogues and of Harry & David Field. Church takes the reins from former GM Chuck Heeman, who left the team in December to accept a position with the city of Yuma, Arizona.
Church, 33, comes to Medford after playing baseball for and graduating from Stetson University and spending six years as a minor league player. After his playing career, Church put his focus on the overall development of baseball players, their athleticism, and their preparation to compete. He has successfully opened two indoor athletic training facilities: ProSwing of Port Chester in Westchester, N.Y. and most recently Pro Performance Athletics in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Church is married to Viktoria and they have a one-year-old son, Vladi, and the family is in the process of moving to Medford.
As a player, Church starred in 2006, belting 31 home runs for the Frontier League’s Kalamazoo Kings and was named Baseball America’s “Independent Player of the Year,” Frontier League MVP, Frontier League All Star Game MVP, as well as winning the league’s All-Star Game Home Run Derby Contest. He has also played in the Mexican Pacific League with Los Algodoneros de Guasave, spent four years with various Northern League teams and played high-A ball in the Florida State League with the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
“I’m so excited to be named the General Manager of Rogue Nation,” Church said. “It has always been a dream of mine to be a part of such an outstanding organization. Gary and Chuck have done such a fantastic job building the stadium and infrastructure of the business. With the continued support of the fans and local community, I know we can grow Rogue Nation and continue to positively impact the local economy and grow together.”
Gary Gelinas, president of the Rogues’ ownership group, CSH International, expressed his satisfaction in bringing Church aboard.
“We are excited to bring Ian on board as GM of the Rogues and management of the stadium,” Gelinas said. “Chuck has created a strong business and because of that we are able to hire someone of the quality of Ian, he comes highly recommend. He has passion, excitement, he comes from the baseball world and most of all he is a quality family man. He will bring creative ideas, help find new revenue streams, continue to make the Rogues the thing to do in the summer, while he builds to bring a title to Rogue nation! We look forward to having Ian in the market within the next few weeks, we welcome him, his wife and son to Medford.”