Swamp Bats players strive to make it to Major League Baseball. The Swamp Bats and the New England Collegiate Baseball League are a valuable stepping stone for these college prospects to gain exposure and recognition in order to one day have the chance to make a Major League roster. For the collegiate athletes this mind set is well known, but what about the other side of the game? Members of the Operations Department for the Swamp Bats, consisting of interns lead by the operations manager, have the same mindset. For these interns, Keene can be this same stepping stone on a path that could lead to what some interns may describe as the “dream job” of working for a Major League Baseball team. Eric Varney, a former Swamp Bats operations intern, has this dream job. Eric is the Sr. Account Executive for Suite Sales for the Texas Rangers and just like a player would he used his experience with the Swamp Bats as a valuable asset for himself moving forward, in this case, in the administration side of sports.
Eric started his internship for the Swamp Bats during the start of the 2007 season. He was exposed to the internship through a professor he had while at Keene State College and being the life-long baseball fan he was he thought it sounded like a fun opportunity. During Eric’s time with the Swamp Bats he enjoyed every aspect of what the operations department is in charge of. Working with sponsors to plan games, interacting with the community that supports the team, and the physical setting up and breaking down of the field and concession area at Alumni Field was among the long list of duties completed by Eric and other Swamp Bats operations interns. The experience did not stop at home games for Eric however. His love for baseball and being around the game lead him to travel with the team and do play-by-play for the away games as well. This was the extra effort Eric put in to get all the experience possible in the realm of baseball. The internship made Eric realize something that previously he didn’t know and thought to be unrealistic, that you can make a career out of being around the game of baseball.
Upon completion of the internship after the 2007 season Eric made a trip that a lot of fans have thought about doing, but haven’t put in the serious effort and time commitment needed to complete. Eric and his sister made a trip across the country and attended a game at every Major League stadium. From Fenway Park to Dodgers Stadium; Camden Yards in Baltimore to Safeco Field in Seattle, Eric was there. He used this trip as not only a source of enjoyment, being that he was completing the ultimate baseball fan’s journey, but as a source of networking as well. Eric would contact teams prior to his arrival at the stadium, tell them his plan and what he was doing and some teams even donated tickets to him. By meeting with these team representatives while at the stadiums he was able to get his name on the list of possible candidates when MLB teams have job openings. This led to his first offer from the Philadelphia Phillies in their customer service and sales department, his start to a career in Major League Baseball.
Eric is currently a Sr. Account Executive for Suite Sales with the Texas Rangers. He was contacted about an opportunity in the outside sales department for the Rangers in 2008 and has worked his way up to his current Sr. Sales Executive position for the team. He still carries his love of interacting with the fans on a daily basis with him to his work with the Rangers, something that started back in his days at the friendly confines of Alumni Field. Eric was nice enough to lend some advice to those currently completing the operations internship with the Swamp Bats and any of those interested in the opportunity in the future.
`“Figure out what you love to do” says Eric “It does not have to be specific, in my case I just loved being around the game of baseball…If you truly love what you are doing, the work can feel effortless.”