We have personnel news to report from a pair of High-A California League clubs–the Stockton Ports and the Visalia Rawhide.
In Stockton, the Ports have promoted Taylor McCarthy to Assistant General Manager.
“I am excited to announce Taylor’s promotion within the organization,” said General Manager Bryan Meadows. “Taylor has been a key staff member for many years now and has earned this opportunity through his tireless effort. I look forward to Taylor becoming more involved in the management of our day-to-day operations as well as the Corporate Sales Department.”
Currently, McCarthy directs all marketing operations and oversees the Graphics/Web Design and Community Relations departments. In his new role, he will continue to manage those areas in addition to assisting in the day-to-day managerial duties of the organization.
McCarthy will enter into his 6th season in Minor League Baseball and 5th with the Ports this coming Spring. Prior to his time with the Ports, he worked for the Lowell Spinners’ (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) Public Relations and Promotions Department and then spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the General Manager of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide.
“I am truly honored for this opportunity with such an amazing organization,” said Taylor McCarthy. “I’d like to thank the 7th Inning Stretch ownership group along with the Stockton Ports front office, our season ticket holders, corporate partners, and the hundreds of thousands of fans I’ve met over the past 4 seasons. I’m very grateful to be a part of the Stockton community and privileged to call it my home.”
In Visalia, the Rawhide have announced several changes within their front office. Two longtime front office employees, Assistant General Manager of Ballpark Operations Cody Gray and Assistant General Manager of Groups, Ticketing, and Events Charlie Saponara, are leaving the ballclub this offseason to pursue other endeavors. In conjunction with the announcement, Director of Sales and Marketing Jill Webb is being promoted to Assistant General Manager of the club.
“This is a bittersweet time for us in the Rawhide front office family. Charlie and Cody have been an integral part of the Rawhide family for almost 15 years combined, so while we’re sad to see them go, we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next,” said Rawhide General Manager Jennifer (Pendergraft) Reynolds. “Minor League Baseball is notorious for its high turnover rate for employees, and yet we’ve been fortunate to have had both Charlie and Cody working in great leadership capacity for years. We wish them the best of luck in their future careers and are incredibly supportive of their decision to take opportunities that will allow them to spend more time with their family.”
Saponara plans to remain in the Visalia area with his wife & two young children. Gray intends to relocate to Wisconsin, closer to his Michigan roots, with his wife, where they plan to start their own family in the near future. Both are responsible for many of the improvements to Rawhide Ballpark over their tenures and have served critical roles in helping the Rawhide set attendance records in seven of the last eight seasons.
Saponara will remain connected to the Rawhide as a consultant for the 2018 season.
“We can’t thank Cody and Charlie enough for their contributions to the Rawhide brand, the Visalia community, and the great culture we have at the Rawhide front office,” said Rawhide President Tom Seidler. “Their work will leave a lasting impact here at Rawhide Ballpark. Thanks to the culture of teaching they helped establish, they leave their departments in excellent hands moving forward.”
Webb has been with the Rawhide for four years and headed up the Sales and Marketing departments last season. Webb will now oversee the Ticketing, Events, Media, and Community Relations departments. Manager of Ballpark Operations Jerry Verastegui will now take over Facility Operations while Manager of Baseball Operations Julian Rifkind will supervise Clubhouse operations.
The Rawhide also announced that Orlando Mendoza, who served as the Assistant Clubhouse Manager for two seasons with the Rawhide, will begin a role as the Baseball Operations Coordinator. Mendoza joins a Front Office Staff that includes over 30 years of experience in Visalia.