We have personnel news to report from the Lowell Spinners (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
In Lowell, the Spinners have announced that Paul Kleinhans-Schulz is their new Assistant General Manager.
The Spinners are operated by Main Street Baseball, Ballpark Digest’s 2016 Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year, which is owned by Dave Heller. Main Street Baseball also operates three other MiLB teams: the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League), Billings Mustangs (Rookie; Pioneer League), and the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A; Carolina League).
Kleinhans-Schulz comes to Lowell from Greeneville, Tenn., where he briefly served as General Manager of the new Greeneville Reds (Rookie; Appalachian League). Prior to Greeneville, Kleinhans-Schulz served as Assistant General Manager of Sales for the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
“I am extremely excited to join the Spinners,” said Kleinhans-Schulz. “The Spinners are one of the most well-known and well-respected teams in short-season baseball and the opportunity to work with Shawn Smith, Brian Lindsay and their great team in Lowell was one I could not pass up. I look forward to working with everyone to create one-of-kind memories for every fan who attends a Spinners game.”
“Paul Kleinhans-Schulz is one of the rising stars in Minor League Baseball,” said Heller. “He’s smart, funny, hard-working and a winner. He’s the ideal person to help us take the Lowell club to new heights and he’s a great fit for the Merrimack Valley. Paul does things the Spinners way – the right way, focusing on customer service, the guest experience, in-game entertainment and treating our guests as if they are the most important people in the world, because to us, they are. We’ve put together a front office All-Star team in Lowell and I couldn’t be more excited to have him join us!”
Kleinhans-Schulz has spent the past seven years working in baseball. He started as a Game Operations intern for the Waterloo Bucks (summer collegiate; Northwoods League). From there, he moved into affiliated baseball when he joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A; Midwest League), where he assisted with sales and ballpark operations.
In 2014, Kleinhans-Schulz first joined Heller’s Main Street Baseball family of teams when he became Group Sales Manager for the River Bandits. With the help of Kleinhans-Schulz, the River Bandits set numerous attendance and group sales records and won a myriad of awards for their community service work, promotions, and improvements to the ballpark.
Kleinhans-Schulz left the River Bandits in 2016 for the New Orleans Baby Cakes, where he served as Assistant General Manager of Sales. There he helped coordinate efforts for their rebranding and name change, which led to increases in attendance, merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships. In the Baby Cakes’ inaugural season, they won Baseball America’s “Logomania” contest and the “Golden Bobblehead” from Minor League Baseball for Best Community Promotion for their Baby Cakes Nation program, which gave free season tickets for life for every baby born in Louisiana in 2017. He served on multiple boards and committees that focus on business development in the Greater New Orleans area.
Kleinhans-Schulz is a native of Waverly, Iowa, and a graduate of Augustana College in the Quad Cities, where he earned a degree in Business Administration, concentrating in Marketing.
In addition to Kleinhans-Schulz, the Spinners have also welcomed three new team members to the front office staff this season. Eric Teichman and Frank Pimentel have been promoted to full-time roles after interning in 2017 and Tracy Taylor has joined the team as the Coordinator of Operations. Teichman will serve as the Grounds Manager and Pimentel is the new Coordinator of Marketing Partnerships.
In Wisconsin Rapids, the Rafters have announced the hiring of Ray Jensen as the team’s new Radio Broadcaster and Director of Media Relations.
Last season, Jensen interned with the Tampa Bay Rays as a Broadcast Production Assistant. While helping with Rays Radio broadcasts behind the scenes, Jensen wrote stories for the Rays Radio blog, helped set up Watch Parties throughout the St. Petersburg and Tampa areas, as well as produced and voiced radio spots for the Rays Radio Network.
During the upcoming summer, on top of calling all 72 regular season Rafters games on AM 1320 WFHR with all home games additionally simulcast on the live HD video steam, Jensen will act as the Rafters traveling secretary and media relations coordinator. In addition, Ray will help with additional video, audio, and graphic projects this season.
“Ray’s broadcasting experience and enthusiasm for the role will be a valuable addition to our organization,” said Rafters general manager John Fanta. “Rafters fans are going to love the demeanor that he will bring to the radio broadcast and the way he portrays a baseball game.”
Jensen is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania in York, Pennsylvania with bachelor’s degrees in Speech Communication and Sport Management. Jensen has been active in sports radio since 2013 when he joined the York Revolution (independent; Atlantic League) and later the team’s flagship radio station, WOYK 1350 AM. Throughout his career, Ray has broadcasted baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse. On top of handling play-by-play duties on WOYK, Jensen has also broadcasted for York College’s campus station WVYC 88.1 FM and Maryland Sports Insider.
Heading into the spring, Ray will continue calling high school sports for WOYK 1350 AM and help with the production of several other sports carried by the station including Hershey Bears Hockey, Washington Capitals hockey, and Philadelphia 76ers’ basketball.
Jensen is elated to be a part of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters this upcoming summer and deliver a product on the air that describes in great detail and the fans enjoy.
“I am excited to be a part of such a well-respected league as the Northwoods League and an organization equally respected in the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters,” Jensen said. “The season is all about these young players taking the next step in their baseball careers. I am honored to have the chance to be a part of this journey and take a step forward of my own as a broadcaster and storyteller. The Rafters are a very professional and proud organization. I cannot wait for the summer to be here as this is a prime opportunity to grow as a sports professional.”