THE INSIDE PITCH November | 2020
Sports have always been such a major part of my life. For as long as I remember, I have been an athlete. Sports are everything to me - not only have they given me life lessons but also lifelong friends. There is just something so special about sports. They give you the power to inspire and unite people in a way that other things can’t. I began playing volleyball my freshman year of high school and immediately fell in love. I simply cannot picture my life without volleyball. It has given me more than I could have ever asked for.

I am a junior at Williams College majoring in Economics and concentrating in Leadership Studies. In addition to my studies, I play on the Women’s Varsity Volleyball team as a middle blocker. I also have an on campus job where I work as a sports statistician for Williams Sports Information. My duties include recording statistics for the Winter and Spring sports teams. I take game and player statistics for both men and women’s hockey and lacrosse. Additionally, I am my team representative for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Williams. This committee is designed to enhance the experience of student athletes at Williams and offer opportunities for student-athletes to enrich the community around them. As a sophomore, I was nominated to be a TeamEph Orientation Leader by my coach. As a TeamEph Leader, I assisted freshmen fall athletes in their adjustment to Williams. Stepping foot on a college campus as a freshman athlete can be extremely overwhelming and intimidating. As an orientation leader, I was able to improve their overall experience.

As I begin to think about possible career paths after graduation, I am so lucky that a mutual friend introduced me to Del. Del has not only been such a great mentor, he has also been my biggest fan as I explore job opportunities. He has taken such a genuine interest in my career and I look forward to seeing the doors Del and The Perfect Game Foundation open for me. One day I hope to make my mark on the sports world.
After graduating from American University in 2019 as a Business Administration major, with help from The Perfect Game Foundation I got a position working for the Baltimore Orioles. I thought I was well prepared for a career in the sports industry. Covid-19, however, provided me a lesson in sports economics that I could have never learned in the classroom. I have always been involved in athletics and was fascinated by the “business of sports”, and how teams operate, market themselves and prosper. As a Boston native, I had four successful sports franchises to observe. This year I had the unique experience of watching the impact of a global pandemic on a sports team and how devastating it was not having fans engaged and in the stands. Not only did it affect the game day experience for fans but it was also economically devastating to the many men and women who are employed by teams in major and minor league baseball.

My role with the Orioles is under Camden Entertainment. Our focus is on enhancing the fan experience through pre-game and post-game concerts, such as our Friday Night Fireworks and Music and Saturday Roof Deck Sessions that are held during the season. We would do our best to promote emerging Nashville country music artists and Baltimore acts to provide them with exposure, advance their careers and promote the importance of arts and music education. Our biggest challenge was to find a way to bring the Camden Yards experience into the homes of our fans. The difficulties of working from home and contacting musical artists in the middle of a lockdown proved to be daunting. Unfortunately, due to an altered season only National Anthems were able to be produced virtually. The challenges of COVID-19 have made me question how the future of sports will change for major league teams, will they create contingency plans for pandemics in the future? It is certainly something they will have to consider. My involvement in social media, marketing, customer relations and service-based entities have always been important assets of mine. This pandemic has forced me to think about using these skills in new creative ways to help the business side of the team succeed. I hope to be able to continue my career in the sports industry and I know that this unforgettable season has helped prepare me for any unforeseen events that may occur in the future.

Having recently graduated from American University amidst a global pandemic, I wasn't sure how my career would be launched any time soon. Graduating with a degree in business and entertainment with aspirations to work in the sports industry, I had no direction in terms of a full-time job search due to my lack of connections and resources necessary to find a position. However, my luck changed when I was introduced to Del and The Perfect Game Foundation. Del was able to connect me with many employees who worked in the sports industry and were able to offer valuable advice that I would not have been able to get elsewhere. In addition to this, speaking with these individuals allowed me to become directly connected with employees of companies and teams that I was extremely interested in working for including Octagon, the Golden State Warriors and Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

Although I am still searching for a position, I am confident that Del and the Perfect Game Foundation will continue working tirelessly to aid me in finding my dream job. Along with many of the people that Del has introduced me to, Del is constantly available for advice over the phone or email at any time during the day. The Perfect Game Foundation has helped to build my confidence overall while also introducing me with individuals who have taught me valuable skills in terms of how to find a full time position in the sports industry.
Ted Leonsis has lost three friends to suicide. He doesn’t want to lose any more.
Ted Leonsis has a question, the most important question of these incredibly tumultuous times.

“No one ever asks me: ‘How are you doing?’ ” he said. “‘How are you doing through all this?’ ”

So, Ted, how are you doing?

“I’ve had my ups and downs,” the owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics said, “because this is an uncontrollable time in history.”

Ain’t it the truth? And because that’s the case, if you’re down — about the pandemic, about the election, about societal inequalities, about widespread unrest, about any or all of it — let’s talk. Ted will.
“We have to talk about how we’re doing,” Leonsis said. “There are issues we sweep under the table, and we’ll look back at this and say, ‘Why did we do that?’”

Leonsis knows that right around Thanksgiving and again just after Christmas and once more just past Valentine’s Day, he will get an email — or two or three or more — marking the anniversary of a friend’s suicide. These were successful people. They seemed happy. They struggled with the fallout of the financial crisis of 2008-09 or a professional setback. But in each of the three cases, the friend put up false fronts, smiling through sadness. Now they’re all gone.
Notre Dame’s president lacked self-control. Its student body is merely following his example.
Notre Dame let 11,000 students into a football game — and now is reprimanding them for acting like students at a football game. How very Fighting Irish, what a classic mixture of high superiority and low, of guilty expediency, of painted-on purity. Other football schools are having their problems with coronavirus outbreaks, lots of them, but Notre Dame appears to be the only one taking the gate receipts and then blaming spectators for the same uncontrolled passions of their unmasked leaders, while making pale after-the-fact confessions and gestures at discipline.
Marshall football, 50 years after plane crash, carries on and remembers
Jack Lengyel became the football coach at Marshall University four months after the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash that killed all 75 members of the football team’s traveling party.

Lengyel is 85 years old, but his memory is still sharp, especially when it comes to the events of that first season and what it still means to the community in Huntington, W.Va.

On Saturday, the 50th anniversary of the plane crash, 16th-ranked Marshall (6-0), will host Middle Tennessee State. The annual ceremony that takes place at the on-campus fountain built to honor the victims of the crash will be invitation-only this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith, who grew up 10 miles east of Huntington and was 13 when the crash happened, will sing there and then sing the national anthem before kickoff. Lucianne Kautz-Call, a Marshall graduate whose father, Charles Kautz, was on the doomed plane as the school’s athletic director, will be the primary speaker.