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Personnel news: Fredericksburg, Eau Claire

We have personnel news today from the Fredericksburg Nationals (Low-A East) and the Eau Claire Express (Northwoods League).

In Eau Claire, Sammi Costello is the first female General Manager in franchise history, becoming the seventh GM Expresshistory. Sammi, 25, started her career in baseball back in 2016, where she interned with the Medford Rogues (Great West League) for two summers before graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Public Relations. 

Costello made the move to the Midwest in the spring of 2018, where she had the opportunity to intern for the St. Paul Saints (then independent; American Association). A few months after her internship with Saints ended, Sammi was brought on as the Director of Ticket Sales and Community Involvement for the Express. Costello started to make an impact on the Express organization early on by working with local nonprofits for her Non-Profit of the Night program and building relationships with season ticket holders, host families, and fans.

“We had an extensive conversation with past ownership, host families, and vendors. In all of those conversations, it was apparent that Sammi had earned this opportunity.“ Express Owner Craig Toycen said via press release. “They are all rooting for her, and we’re excited for her to have this opportunity to be a trailblazer.” 

“I am grateful for the last three and half years that I have been able to share the with the Express organization, and for Craig and the rest of Toycen Baseball Club for giving me this opportunity,” Costello said via press release. “As a woman in sports, it’s important to feel appreciated and valued in your field. That is something I have felt every day with the Express. I’m excited and honored to be the first female General Manager of the Eau Claire Express, and I hope I’m not the last.” 

In Fredericksburg, Joey Zanaboni is new lead play-by-play broadcaster for the FredNats. 

“It is one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as the Voice of the FredNats this season,” said Zanaboni via press release. “I plan to make this the most memorable season of my career. I will leave no stone unturned in making this the most original, entertaining and engaging broadcast in Minor League Baseball.”

Zanaboni becomes the second broadcaster in team history. He replaces Erik Bremer, who served as the team’s primary play-by-play voice in 2021 before becoming the broadcaster of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A South). 

“Joey will be a wonderful addition to our staff. His on-air personality will bring another level of contagious excitement to our already entertaining game days,” said Fredericksburg Nationals Vice President of Creative Services and Assistant General Manager Robert Perry via press release.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Zanaboni has worked in professional baseball since 2014 when he debuted with the independent River City Rascals of the Frontier League. He served as the voice of the Johnson City Cardinals (Appalachian League) in 2019 and most recently served as the voice of the Sioux Falls Canaries (American Association)

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