GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Pitchers and catchers for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians reported last week to the shared spring training site of those two teams in Goodyear, Ariz., but Brett Myers reported for his new job there on Feb. 4.
Myers, a 2000 Ottawa-Glandorf High School graduate, was hired in January by the city of Goodyear to be the operations manager for Goodyear Stadium, where the Reds and Indians play their spring training games.
The opening day for Ohio’s two major league baseball teams in the exhibition season will be Feb. 23 when they play each other at Goodyear.
During spring training his job will focus on the major league games there. The rest of the year he will be in charge of other activities at the spring training complex, such as youth baseball tournaments and a Christmas lights festival.
“What I will be doing during spring training is that I oversee all of the event staff, all the game day employees, all the parking staff and the volunteers. It’s basically just crowd management and making sure everything is going well in the ballpark,” Myers said.
Since playing four years of baseball at Tiffin University and getting a bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2004, Myers has worked in a variety of positions in minor league baseball, including being the director of stadium operations the last three years for the Sacramento River Cats, the Class AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
“I have been working in baseball for close to 15 years. That’s always been a passion of mine and has been a big thing for me. If this was just a normal city job for an event planner and that type of stuff I don’t think I would have come close to looking at it,” Myers said. “But since it is a ballpark and a sports facility, that’s what attracted me.”
His first step in baseball operations was an internship with the Reds in 2004 and 2005. After that, the second step was churning out resumes and wondering if anyone was looking at them.
“I wrote a resume and sent it to every single team in minor league baseball and independent baseball. I think I sent out 230 resumes and I got about 20 or 25 that came back that said, ‘No.’ The rest of them, I never heard from.
“Finally, one of them said we need kind of a grounds keeper and a coach and that’s how I got started. You have to keep going after it if that’s what you want to do,” he said.
He started as a hitting coach for the Evansville (Ind.) Otters, then worked for two other independent teams in Amarillo, Tex., and Lincoln, Neb. For five years before moving to Sacramento he was ballpark operations manager for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Class AAA team of the Kansas City Royals.
“When you’re first starting out you’re going to be the ones going out and setting up the trash cans. I still go out and move things around and make sure things are set up correctly. I tell guys who are just coming in here that nothing is beneath us. I’m just going to make sure everything is running smoothly, that’s the way I’ve always manged. I will get out there and get dirty.”
The biggest difference this year, though, is that dirt comes from a diamond major leaguers play on.