Editor's note: This story was inspired by a feature that ran in the Spring 2009 issue of Oswego magazine.
Late one night at Oswego, Jon Sherman '04 submitted an online application to work for his favorite baseball team. Two weeks later, he had a job with the New York Mets.
"I had kind of forgotten all about it," he said. There's an audible smile on the other end of the phone, where Sherman is standing in left field seats at the just-opened Citi Field in New York.
The business administration major started out answering phones in the box office. As a corporate ticket sales representative today, Sherman sells to companies all over Brooklyn, Northern New Jersey and his native Staten Island. He grew up rooting for the Mets, especially the 1986 World Champion squad, and the team's star players.
"Now they're around all the time," Sherman said. It's not unusual to cross paths with Met greats who have transitioned to TV and coaching jobs.
A season-ticket holder for the Mets since 1995, Marc Beck '93 didn't get to work just for his favorite team. He works for all 30 major league teams in the office of the league commissioner.
"I deal with anything that pertains to understanding the fan base - how big the audience, how much time and money do they spend, how they do the game, how they perceive the game," said Beck, Major League Baseball senior manager for market research. "[I'm looking for] any sort of way we can try to talk to the fans and try to understand their perceptions and how they consume the game."
That includes anything from testing uniform designs on focus groups to data crunching to simply conversing with fellow fans.
In a career that included market research for Nielsen and World Wrestling Entertainment, Beck said getting called up to the majors has been his biggest highlight as a professional.
"It took a long time to get here," said Beck, who used his experience in broadcast at Oswego to get a first job working at a Manhattan TV station.
The MLB job offers a fascinating look at how the business of baseball operates. The experience has also made Beck a better fan of the sport, he said.
Jessica Scott '08 was already a full-time sports fan, so it only made sense she would go for a job in the industry. Like most ballplayers, she started out in the minors: first at an internship in Auburn and then with the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino, Calif.
If you've never heard of that single-A Dodgers affiliate, you might be more familiar with her current employer, the Oakland Athletics. Scott has been a group sales account manager there since September.
"There are moments where you pinch yourself and think 'somebody actually pays me to do this,'" she said. "I get to work with our fans and be a part of the experience here."
Scott, a journalism major, remembers how inspired she was her senior year when ESPN personality Linda Cohn '81 participated in the Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit panel.
Scott frequently reunites with her "sportsturnal twin," Erin Pollina '07, who works for the Buffalo Sabres hockey team.
"We get together and laugh about the fact that we have our dream jobs just like we said while we were sitting in class or at Rudy's," Scott said.
-- Shane M. Liebler
From top: Jon Sherman '04, Marc Beck '93 and Jessica Scott '08 with Linda Cohn '81
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