Call me Reilly. Rick Reilly. (Group Sales Gab)
~Kathryn Bobel, Co-Director of Group Sales
In my high school years I had always believed that writing was the path for me. Not just free-lancing or beat reporting, but sports writing. I thought, what is better than becoming the first female Rick Reilly? I would get paid to entertain hundreds of thousands of people with my opinions concerning everything from the sheer pointlessness of a 0-0 tie in soccer to the ever eccentric Ocho Cinco (the NFL calls him that, I guess I have to too) and his on and off the field antics. Once a week my column would enter homes and be the first article that hungry readers eagerly flip to. “Who is this amusing, witty writer?” they would ask. But, somewhere along the line I fell out of love with the written word; perhaps it was the innumerable hours spent composing papers pertaining to the rise of railroad, the Franco Prussian War, or the archetypal references in A Tale of Two Cities–or maybe I realized I wasn’t ever going to provide 1/20th of the entertainment Reilly consistently does. Instead, I chose to work 16 hour days at a minor league ballpark 700 miles from home, where for a while, my only benefits included leftover suite food and free Pepsi products.
This summer was my first in the “real world,” that looming, post-graduate place where early twenty-somethings like myself are attempting to establish roots and make a name for ourselves. Unfortunately, a good number of us moved back in with Mom and Dad, seeing as the job market is tighter than Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh’s bikinis. However, I was lucky enough to enter the sport and entertainment industry, where the fast-paced, unforgiving environment isn’t necessarily for everyone. There are others, though, who embrace it whole-heartedly; I consider myself to be the latter. I moved to a place I had never been before and shared an apartment with someone I had never met before, all to work for a team that I knew only through its website (www.hickorycrawds.com to any of you wondering–check it out for the latest Crawdad happenings). As terrifying as that seemed, any fear was canceled out because I was so excited to do what I had prepared myself for.
After getting a tad bit of distance from the collegiate scene, I’ve learned that your most rewarding experiences won’t necessarily come during a lecture, that my professors were telling the truth when they said get ready to work long hours for little pay, and that despite my early trepidations about leaving the familiarity of the classroom, the real world is actually a pretty cool place. So to all you kiddies out there, just know that it’s after you don your cap and gown that the real fun begins. What I learned this past summer, who I have come to know, and who I have become will stay with me for a lifetime.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” After ten months of going confidently in the direction of my dreams, I can honestly say I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than right here, working 16 hour days at a minor league ballpark 700 miles from home. However, my benefits are now considerably (and thankfully) better than leftover nachos.
Kathryn Bobel is entering her second season with the Crawdads and first as Co-Director of Group Sales. She served as Sales Assistant with the ‘Dads throughout the 2009 campaign, after stints with the Indianapolis Indians (AAA) and US Track and Field.