We have personnel news to report from the Sonoma Stompers (independent; Pacific Association) and the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League).
In Sonoma, the Stompers have announced that Brett Creamer is their new General Manager. He succeeds Theo Fightmaster, who had been at the helm of the Stompers since the team’s inaugural 2014 season.
“I am thrilled with the incredible opportunity presented to me by ownership. After being a part of this team for two seasons, I am eager to continue building a strong relationship with the community,” Creamer said. “Armed by my past experience, I am confident in my ability to lead this organization.”
Creamer joined the Stompers during the 2014 season as the Director of Game Day Operations and Community Affairs before working three seasons for the Golden State Warriors in event and arena operations.
The Petaluma native also gained Major League Baseball experience in the ticketing department for the Oakland Athletics before returning to the Stompers as Assistant General Manager in 2017.
During Fightmaster’s tenure, the team reached three championship games, winning once in 2016. He negotiated the deal that made the Stompers the subject of the New York Times-bestselling book “The Only Rule is it Has to Work,” and established inclusive roster-building practices that earned the team national acclaim.
“The past four seasons have been four of the best years of my life, professionally and personally. I’ve made great friends and countless memories,” Fightmaster said. “I’m so incredibly grateful for every single person who has supported the Stompers since 2014, for every player who’s donned our uniform and taken the field, and for each generous host family, sponsor and season ticket holder who, very simply, allowed me to do what I got to do.”
Creamer will oversee all aspects of the Stompers organization. Hayley Slye, formerly the Stompers’ media director, has also been promoted to Director of Marketing.
“I have learned so much from Theo over these few years, and am excited for his next chapter. The rest of the Stompers family and I will miss him,” Creamer said.
FULL STATEMENT FROM THEO FIGHTMASTER:
The past four seasons have been four of the best years of my life — professionally as well as personally. I’ve made great friends and countless memories. I’m so incredibly grateful for every single person who has supported the Stompers since 2014, for every player who’s donned our uniform and taken the field, and for each generous host family, sponsor and season ticket holder who, very simply, allowed me to do what I got to do.
But, like all good things, this has come to an end. I feel strongly that It’s time for a fresh set of eyes. New vigor, determination and a renewed spirit of enthusiasm is required to help this team continue down a sustainable and long-lasting path.
I want to share a heartfelt thanks to Jon and Carol Sebastiani, as well as the previous owners, Eric and Lani Gullotta and Derek Rampone for allowing me to make a living doing something I love. To our relentlessly hard working manager, Takashi Miyoshi, thank you for making me look smart and being open to new ideas, challenges and helping make social progress in this great game of baseball. And to the Stompers staff this past season, and every season prior who’ve made the heavy lifting a bit lighter, it’s been an honor to work with you to bring Stompers Baseball to life every night at Arnold Field.
While the day-to-day managing of the business of the Stompers is no longer something I can devout the required attention and passion to, the Stompers do and will always occupy a part of my heart — as well as a convenient scapegoat for my depleted hairline.
Thank you, thank you and thank you again. Go Stompers.
In Reading, the Fightin Phils have announced several new staff title changes. Fightin Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker made the announcements.
Anthony Pignetti has been promoted to Executive Director of Business Development. The title of Executive Director expands a leadership role for Pignetti. The 2018 season will be his ninth season with the Fightin Phils.
A native of Marlboro, New York, Pignetti graduated from Marlboro Central High School in 2004. He went to college at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated in 2008. He started with the Fightins back in 2010 as an intern.
Todd Hunsicker has been promoted to Chief Director of Promotions. He will continue to oversee the roles of education, music and game presentation with the Fightin Phils. The 2018 season will be his eighth season with the Fightins.
The Conshohocken, Pa native graduated from Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in 1992. Todd graduated from Temple University with a degree in Elementary Education. He started with the Fightins back in 2010 as an intern. He’s been Quack’s best friend in the Mascot Band since 1999 and is a proud member of the Fightin Phils Employee Honor Roll.
Tonya Petrunak has been promoted to Executive Director of Baseballtown Charities and Fightins Director of Marketing. Petrunak will assume all responsibilities for day-to-day management of Baseballtown Charities and Baseballtown Dream League.
Petrunak will represent and promote Baseballtown Charities and the Baseballtown Dream League throughout the community by developing and directing the volunteers, overseeing marketing and communication efforts, driving fundraising efforts, supervising maintenance of facilities, grounds and equipment plus developing event schedules.
A graduate of Exeter Township High School, Petrunak received her B.A. in Commmunication from Slippery Rock University in 2000. She currently resides in Wyomissing with her husband Jon and their children Charlotte and Kaden.
Andrew Nelson has been promoted to Director of Client Fulfillment and Clubhouse Operations. The 29-year-old will continue to oversee the Fightins’ fundraising programs and clubhouse services for the team.
The Temple University and Warwick High School graduate got his start with the Fightin Phils in 2011 as a front office intern in group sales, concessions and graphic arts. He was hired full-time in 2012 following another internship with the club.
Stephen Thomas has been promoted to Director of Extra Events. Thomas will continue to oversee the planning, enhancement and execution of all stadium events including, but not limited to high school, college and legion baseball games, baseball camps and clinics, public community events, corporate private events & meetings, wedding ceremonies & receptions, the Baseballtown Gridiron Classic, and the very successful Christmas at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Albright College and William Tennent High School graduate got his start with the Fightin Phils in 2013 as a front office intern. He was hired full-time in 2014 as Groups/Extra Events/Game Presentation Manager.
Ryan Springborn has been promoted to Director of Graphic Arts and Merchandise. Springborn will be in charge of all graphic arts responsibilities and merchandise operations. This will include design work for in-stadium signage and organizational marketing. He started with the Fightins back in 2014 as a game-day intern then continued as a Community Relations and Merchandise intern in 2015 before being hired full-time as the Merchandising Manager last off-season.
The Lebanon, Pennsylvania native graduated from Cedar Crest High School and received his undergraduate degree from Kutztown University in Sports Marketing and Management. He also spent time studying Communication Design.
Brian Wells has been promoted to Assistant Director of Groups. He will continue to sell and service groups in the various picnic areas, the Savage 61 Dugout Suite, the Savage 61 Loge Box and the Savage 61 RAM Club Box Seats.
Wells also worked part-time in concessions for the Fightin Phils from 2010-2015. He is a 2011 graduate of Wyomissing High School and graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2015 with a dual degree in Marketing and Communications.
Jarred Smeltz has been promoted to Assistant Director of Operations. The 2008 graduate of Muhlenberg High School will continue to handle the day-today operations tasks of America’s Classic Ballpark in addition to selling corporate partnerships throughout the year.
Smeltz got his start in the Fightin Phils back in 2010 as a game day intern. He came back to the club in the same role the following year, and was promoted to a full-time junior associate position during the Fightins’ All-Star season in 2012 where he specialized in fundraising and special events.
Nick Crosby has been promoted to Assistant Director of Food & Beverage. Crosby will oversee concession stands and bars plus managing concession employees, bartenders and interns.
The West Chester University and Governor Mifflin graduate got his start with the Fightin Phils in 2015 as a game day intern. He was hired full-time in 2017 as the Fightin Phils Food and Beverage Manager.
17 of the 23 front office members were initially interns for the Reading Fightin Phils organization before being hired full-time.