We have some personnel news to report from the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League), who have announced several promotions within their front office.
Ben Rothrock will assume the role of Flying Squirrels General Manager, a title initially held by Bill Papierniak and temporarily absorbed by Vice President and COO Todd “Parney” Parnell. Rothrock has been with the Flying Squirrels since the team’s inception and is elevated to the GM role after holding the title of Assistant General Manager for the past three seasons. Additionally, current Director of Field Operations Steve Ruckman has been promoted to Executive Director of Field & Ballpark Operations. Ruckman will oversee all aspects of grounds and ballpark maintenance. VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell continues in his role, leading the franchise’s day-to-day operations.
“Thank you to Lou DiBella, the entire Flying Squirrels Ownership, Chuck Domino and Parney for this amazing opportunity here in RVA,” said Flying Squirrels General Manager Ben Rothrock. “With this transition, I can assure you that the overall dynamics of this first class front office and our collective value on entertainment will continue to be what we strive for every single day. Our main objective is and always will be fan-friendly affordable funn and being heavily involved the great community that we live in.”
“I’m grateful to the Flying Squirrels organization for allowing me this opportunity to continue to advance my career,” said new Flying Squirrels Executive Director of Field & Ballpark Operations Steve Ruckman. “Having been in charge of the field for the last seven years, I’m excited to take this new role to see what changes and ideas I can bring to the table.”
Rothrock is currently in his 16th season in baseball and his eighth with the Flying Squirrels. Rothrock is a charter member of the Flying Squirrels franchise, beginning as the Director of Merchandise in 2010. He helped jump start the Nike Squirrels Nest Team Store, turning the Flying Squirrels brand into the top-selling brand in all of minor league baseball. In 2011, Ben took over the reins of the food & beverage operation along with overseeing the merchandise and team store. Rothrock advanced to the role of Assistant General Manager of Operations in 2015 and guided the Squirrels through various ballpark renovations and enhancements. He previously worked for the Altoona Curve, State College Spikes, and Myrtle Beach Pelicans, as the Director of Merchandise. The Lewistown, PA, native is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where he received a B.S. in Sport Management and a minor in Business Management. While at Liberty, Ben played on the Flames football team.
Ruckman is in his 13th season in baseball and his eighth with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Steve is also a charter member of the Flying Squirrels staff and has been responsible for any and all field upkeep, operations and enhancements over the first seven seasons. Ruckman previously worked as an intern for the Louisville Bats from 2005-2008, Valhalla Golf Club in 2006-2007, and as the Manager of Field Operations for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2009 before coming to Richmond. Steve’s hometown is New Albany, IN, and he graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Turfgrass Science.