I learned a lot from meeting and interviewing Reno Aces’ Communications Manager Chad Seely. First of all, good relationships stay with your no matter where you go in life and second, the job of a communications manager is non-stop from March to September. I also love the advice he gives to those wanting to follow in his footsteps as a worker in a baseball team’s front office. Please use the Facebook comment thread below to ask your own questions of Chad or just to say hello….thanks Chad for the great answers!!!
The Chad Seely Interview
What has the 2015 season been like so far for the Aces? What players are fans most excited about this year?
The 2015 season has been up and down on the field for the Aces. Lots of early losing streaks and winning streaks but the losing streaks lasted longer. The outlook now is the team will unfortunately miss the playoffs. I think fans get most excited about players who hit the home runs and drive in runs so that would be guys like Peter O’Brien, Danny Dorn and Nick Evans. They also recognize players that contribute every day and have been here for more than one season so in that regard they get excited about Mike Freeman, Blake Lalli, Kevin Munson, etc.
What kind of baseball town is Reno? Are there any Reno Aces that fans might recognize who are now in the major leagues?
I wouldn’t call Reno a “Baseball Town” but I think the awareness is improving. It’s a very last-minute type of city so sometimes it’s tough. There is your everyday season-ticket holders who will not miss a game unless there’s some type of emergency, but Minor League Baseball is a lot of groups, promotions, things like that that can drive the non-average fan to the ballpark.
There probably aren’t any typical days for you on the job, but could you give our readers an idea on what a week in your life as Communications Manager for the Reno Aces is like?
A week in my life is very busy with not a lot of down time. My day will often start depending on what time the game ends the night before. On average the day will be from 10 AM – 11:00 or 11:30 PM, and that varies a bit. The morning is filled with a lot of preparation work like putting together stat packs and game notes for the team personnel and media, then it turns into game preparation which includes printing lineups, game programs, tending to the media if there’s any at the ballpark that day, etc. Once the game starts I’m in the press box paying attention to the game and researching feats, running the social media accounts and writing the game recap. These are just a few of the things that goes into being the Communications Manager.
What are the most fun and challenging parts of your job?
The most fun part of my job for me is being around baseball every day. Once my playing days were over (a long time ago) I wanted to stay close to sports and baseball was always the sport I liked most going growing up. The most challenging part is the hours and being away from home. Realistically you’re working 80-90 hour weeks from mid-March-mid-September and that’s half of the year. So when the season is over you really want some kind of break. I’m also from Wisconsin and close to my family and friends so that is very difficult.
We have readers who may want to follow in your footsteps. What are some paths high school kids, current college students, even former players, can take to get where you are today?
My advice is to get involved. You can’t have enough experience. If I could go back to High School and College, I would just do more. I would work in the Sports Information Department in college. I didn’t even really know media relations was a thing until it was too late in college. I only wanted to be a baseball broadcaster so I really didn’t consider the behind the scenes PR aspect of it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do as much broadcasting in college as I would have liked. But it worked out with the Daytona Cubs offering me a job after college…but I probably got a little lucky with my lack-of-experience.
A few years ago, you worked for the Daytona Cubs. I’m an avid Cubs fan and I’d love to know what Cubs prospects were in Daytona when you worked there and are any of those in the big leagues today (or definitely on their way)?
And what do you think of the Cubs’ chances this year? The big prospects when I was in Daytona were guys like Justin Bour, Logan Watkins, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur, Jae-Hoon Ha, Zac Rosscup. Justin is with the Marlins and having success and Logan has been in the big league but had a bad injury early on. Lake, Szczur and Rosscup have been in the big leagues too. Obviously now the Cubs are having a good season. I think they’re a few more impact players away from being legit contenders but they have great pieces in Rizzo, Arrieta, Russell, Schwarber, Lester, Bryant, etc.
Baseball players are known to be practical jokers. What’s the best practical joke you’ve witnessed on any of the teams for whom you’ve worked and have you ever been a victim of a practical joke?
I can’t really remember one specific one but it happens a lot in the clubhouse and on road trips when the mood needs to be lightened. A few years ago a player grabbed my radio equipment off the bus and I didn’t know it, so there was some panicking going on until I got word he was messing with me.
What’s the craziest promotion you’ve ever seen at a minor league ballpark? (not necessarily for the teams you’ve worked with, but anywhere)?
The craziest promotion is probably what Fresno was able to do recently with the Fresno Tacos idea. They changed everything from team name, to jerseys, etc. It was brilliantly done and they gained a lot of press.
Can you share with our readers some of your favorite baseball books and movies?
I really don’t have a favorite baseball book. I actually do read quite a bit but I’ve only read a few baseball books. I kind of use reading to get away from the game for a while. My favorite movie is the Sandlot. By far number one on the list.
Finally, if you one day have to leave minor league baseball behind because you either enter politics and become president or move on up to the major leagues or you front a rock n’ roll band and tour the world, what would you miss most about minor league baseball?
I would miss the relationships that I have made along the way but I continue most of them. I hope to one day be in Major League Baseball or the NBA or NFL, so hopefully that will happen someday soon. But wherever you go, you make new relationships and like I said, the good ones always continue no matter where you are.
Thanks Chad for your time