Front Office Staff
Mississippi Braves Front Office
Game Day Hours
Lobby: Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Closed Sunday
Store: Opens at 9:00 AM on game days. Open Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM year-round
Box Office: Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM-Until; Sunday 9:00 AM-Until for 1:00 PM games and 12:00 PM/1:00 PM-Until for 5:00 PM games.
The box office stops taking phone orders 1.5 hours before gates open Monday-Saturday. No phone orders on Sunday. Times subject to change. Call ahead for specific hours.
|Mailing Address:||Shipping Address:|
P.O Box 97389
Pearl, MS 39288
1 Braves Way
Pearl, MS 39208
Mississippi Braves Front Office Staff
Click on each person's name to read more information about our front office staff.
|Steve DeSalvo||General Manager|
Steve DeSalvo, a 56 year-old native of Centereach, New York, is in his 30th season with the Braves' Double-A franchise and his 36th season in professional baseball, 35 of them as a Minor League General Manager.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of St. John's University in New York City with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, DeSalvo began his career in Daytona Beach, FL, as Assistant General Manager of the 1981 Florida State League Champion Daytona Beach Astros.
From there, DeSalvo was promoted to General Manager of the Auburn Astros of the NY-Penn League. Spending two years in Auburn, DeSalvo's club broke an all-time attendance record, earning him the league's 1983 Executive-of-the-Year honors.
In 1985-86, DeSalvo returned to the FSL as General Manager of the Ft. Myers Royals. At the conclusion of the 1986 season, DeSalvo accepted the position of Assistant General Manager of the Tucson Toros, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. However, three months later, DeSalvo was named General Manager for the Greenville Braves.
DeSalvo has been named Southern League Executive of the Year three times (1990, 1998 and 2007). His peers also honored him in 1997 with the Southern League's Outstanding Community Service Award. In 1992, Greenville captured its first Southern League Championship under DeSalvo's tenure and when Mississippi won the 2008 SL title, it marked the fifth time DeSalvo has been General Manager of a championship team.
In October 2000, DeSalvo was elected Vice President of the Southern League. DeSalvo is the Double-A Braves representative on the Southern League Board of Directors.
He involved the Braves with many charitable organizations in the Greenville, SC, area. In three consecutive years (2001-03), DeSalvo was named Man of the Year by the Upstate Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in his efforts to raise funds in the fight against devastating childhood diseases. In 2001, he was awarded the Vocational Service Award by the Pleasantburg Rotary Club.
DeSalvo was also actively involved with an effort to save middle school sports in cooperation with the School District of Greenville County. His work, through the CORE Initiative, has assisted in allowing basketball, baseball and softball to continue at the middle school level. In 2002, he was awarded the American Medal of Honor for his community service work, a national award presented through the American Biographical Institute.
DeSalvo commuted back and forth from Greenville, SC, to the Jackson area during the 2004 baseball season and became a permanent resident of Rankin County in September 2004. Continuing the community efforts put forth in South Carolina, DeSalvo sits on several community boards including The Salvation Army, The Pearl Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, The Pearl Kiwanis Club, The Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter of the ALS Association, MS Diabetes Foundation and MS March of Dimes.
DeSalvo served as Chairman for the American Red Cross Ride for the Red and as Chairman for the Leukemia Society's Light the Night Walk in 2006. He has also served as Corporate Walk Chair for the MS Walk (2014), the ALS Walk (2014) and the MS March of Dimes' March for Babies (2016).
In addition, DeSalvo is a member of the Downtown Jackson Rotary Club and was honored by the Pearl Kiwanis Club by being selected as the 2010-11 Kiwanian of the Year. DeSalvo has involved the Mississippi Braves in numerous charitable events throughout the Jackson Metro area. The M-Braves have donated over $1,000,000 in cash, merchandise and tickets to many area charities and fund-raising events.
In October 2011, after the announced retirement of Southern League President Don Mincher, DeSalvo served as Interim Southern League President until the Southern League Board elected a new president in July 2012. DeSalvo was also elected to the Greater Greenville (SC) Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2013.
A "lifetime" member of Strathmore's Who's Who for Business Professionals in the United States, Steve and his wife Bonnie reside in Brandon with one of their three children, Brandon. They also have two daughters: Jessica and Hannah. Jessica and her husband Jacob live in Brandon as well. Hannah now resides in Nashville, TN.
|Jim Bishop||Assistant General Manager|
Greenville, SC, native Jim Bishop, 45, begins his 21st year as the club's Assistant General Manager and his 24th overall with the Double-A Braves. Bishop spent his first 13 years with the organization in Greenville, SC, before the club relocated to Pearl for the 2005 season.
Bishop's wide-ranging duties include assisting to manage the staff in advertising, corporate outing and promotional sales, the hiring and managing of in-season game day employees and the coordination of outside/special events hosted at Trustmark Park. In addition to his work at Trustmark Park, Bishop enjoys donating his time and efforts for various non-for-profit organizations in the community, including the Pearl Kiwanis Club, Brandon High School Athletic Programs and the Salvation Army, just to name a few.
Bishop's tenure with the team began in 1992 as an intern with the Food and Beverage Department, before concluding the season as Visiting Clubhouse Manager. He then progressed through the organization serving as Food & Beverage Director in 1993 and Ticket Manager for the 1994-95 seasons. Bishop was named Assistant General Manager in the fall of 1996.
A 1992 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Administration, Bishop worked for the USC Athletic Department, serving as student equipment manager with the Gamecock football team during his college years. During his tenure, Bishop worked under head coaches Joe Morrison and Sparky Woods, with the highlight of his college years being the Gamecocks facing Indiana in the 1988 Liberty Bowl.
Jim, his wife Krista and their two sons, Jack (18) and Davis (16) reside in Brandon. When not at the ballpark or working with a non-for-profit organization, "Bish", as he is known to friends around the park, enjoys spending time with his family, an occasional round of golf and cheering on the Braves and Gamecocks.
|Sarah Banta||Merchandise Manager|
Sarah Banta enters her 12th season in professional baseball as the Merchandise Manager of the Extra Innings Team Stores at Trustmark Park. She was hired in November 2004 as a Sales Associate at the Northpark Mall kiosk before being promoted to her current position.
Raised in Memphis, TN, Banta graduated from Lyon College in Batesville, AR, in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She served as an Assistant Merchandiser for JC Penney from 1984 until 1989, and worked in El Chico restaurants from 1987-1998. Banta started as a hostess and progressed to a manager position.
Banta's duties with the El Chico chain took her to Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. In 1999, Banta moved to College Station, TX, as a General Manager for Schlotzsky's Deli. They relocated her to Pearl, MS, in 2001, so she could be closer to home.
Banta lives in Richland with her son Luke.
|Miranda Black||Director of Tickets & Communications|
Miranda Black enters her seventh season with the Mississippi Braves in 2016 and her first as Director of Tickets & Communications. She spent the past three seasons (2013-15) as Media Relations Manager. After spending two seasons (2010-11) as a media relations/sales trainee, Black was hired as a full time Sales Associate in September 2011. She held that position until transitioning to media relations full time in March 2013 and then took on tickets prior to the 2016 season.
Black is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Trustmark Park Box Office along with roster moves, recaps, press releases and newsletters. She oversees graphic design projects, fulfills media/photo requests and manages the M-Braves website and all social media outlets. Black coordinates the M-Braves annual education day games and assists with executing national MiLB partnerships along with any technological issues that might arise. She is also a member of the BIRCO Club Advisory Board.
Winner of the 2016 Southern League Woman of Excellence Award, Black is a 2011 honors graduate from The University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. During her two years at Southern Miss, Black served as Baseball Secretary and Media Relations Staff Assistant.
Black holds an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Jones County Junior College. At Jones, she worked in both the athletics and marketing while also assisting in the alumni/foundation office. Black spent two years as Baseball Statistician and served as Sports Editor for The Radionian.
The Ellisville native now resides in Brandon. Having grown up playing fastpitch softball, Black is an avid sports fan, especially baseball and NASCAR.
|Dave Burke||Director of Sales|
With over 26 years of experience in sales and baseball management, Dave Burke enters his fifth season as the M-Braves Director of Sales. Burke was appointed General Manager of the Grand Prairie AirHogs, member of the American Association, in October 2007 after serving four years as General Manager of the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Class A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, and three years as General Manager of the Fort Myers Miracle, a Class A Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
Under his leadership, the Grand Prairie AirHogs organization was prestigiously named one of the 2009 Top 100 Work Places in Dallas-Fort Worth by the Dallas Morning News. In addition, the team was recognized by the Grand Prairie Recreation & Parks Department as its 2008 "Partner of the Year" and Dave, himself, was recognized as the 2009 "Man of the Year" by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
He began his career in baseball with the Burlington Indians, a Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. As GM of the Fort Myers Miracle, Burke was deeply involved in developing a growth strategy for the team that resulted in leading league attendance for three consecutive years. In his final three years with the team, Burke served as Spring Training Coordinator for the Twins.
Burke was named Executive of the Year for the Florida State League in 2001 and was also a recipient of the Organization of the Year in 2002, an honor that encompassed all Class A minor league teams.
In 2005, Burke was awarded by the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce as a "Top 40 Under 40" for his community involvement and business leadership in the Hudson Valley. For 2006, Burke was selected by the Rotary of the Hudson Valley as "Business Person of the Year."
Also in 2006, Burke was named as League Executive of the year for the New York-Penn League as well representing the Hudson Valley Renegades as the recipient of the John Johnson award for the league.
Burke holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Rutgers University.
|Zach Evans||Stadium Operations Manager|
Zach Evans, a Taylorsville native and Mississippi College graduate, enters his second season with the Mississippi Braves and his first as Stadium Operations Manager. Evans began the 2015 season as the Stadium Operations Intern. After a season of doing only stadium operations, he returned for the 2016 season working in the tickets, stadium operations and sales. Evans accepted the position of Stadium Operations Manager in April of 2016.
Evans has been involved in sports his entire life. From playing high school football to golf, baseball has out-weighed them all. Baseball has been a part of Zach's life since he was four years old. He played through his younger days, high school and played four years of college ball at Southern Miss, Lambuth University and finished his career at Mississippi College. Evans thoroughly believes that sports has molded him into the person he is today.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his fiancé Shannon, watching baseball, playing softball and cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels. However, the most important thing to Zach is his faith in God, his family and his friends.
|Dan Oleskowicz||Promotions & Entertainment Manager|
Dan, a Chicago native, is entering his first season as the Promotions and Entertainment Manager for the Mississippi Braves. Last season he worked within the Southern League with the Tennessee Smokies and, at the conclusion of the regular season, he worked for the Australian Baseball League's Melbourne Aces before joining the Mississippi Braves full time.
Dan graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Audiovisual Arts and Business. In his time away from the ballpark, Dan enjoys running, biking and cheering on his favorite teams the New York Yankees, Indianapolis Colts, and his alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
|Christy Shaw||Office Manager|
Christy Shaw enters her 11th year as Office Manager for the Mississippi Braves. She served as receptionist for the M-Braves during their inaugural campaign before accepting her current position in late 2005.
As Office Manager, some of her duties include handling various reports for the club, processing paperwork for seasonal employees, maintaining the payroll clock system, and hiring and managing the in-season game money audit staff.
Originally from Lexington, MS, Shaw is a graduate of Central Holmes Academy, Holmes Community College and also attended Hinds Community College. She is a big fan of the Atlanta Braves, loves horses, enjoys softball, football, being outside and spending time with her family and friends.
|Patrick Westrick||Graphic Design Manager|
2016 marks Patrick's eighth season in Minor League Baseball and second with the Braves. After spending three seasons (2011-14) working with the Albuquerque Isotopes as the Retail & Graphic Design Manager, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to become the Graphic Design Manager in Pearl and is very excited to be part of the Braves family!
When not at the ballpark, Patrick enjoys cheering for his Alma Mater Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, exploring National Parks across the country, going on college football/NASCAR road trips and enjoying all the local, southern food in the South.
|Jan Williams||Corporate Hospitality Manager|
Jan Williams enters her second season as a full time staff member with the Mississippi Braves. In 2009 and 2014, Jan worked as a part time employee in the ticket office while teaching high school full time. In July of 2014, she began interning in the ticket office and was promoted to a full time staff member in August of 2014. Her responsibilities include sales and hospitality. Jan is excited about the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a part of the Mississippi Braves family.
Jan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mississippi College in 2005, where she majored in Spanish.
When not busy with baseball, Jan is busy with two teenage daughters. Her youngest daughter, Allie, is 17. Her oldest daughter, Abbie, is 18 and will be graduating high school this May.
|Matt Taylor||Director of Field & Facility Operations|
One of the premier groundskeepers in all of professional baseball, Matt Taylor returns for his 26th season grooming the playing surface for the Braves' Double-A affiliate. Taylor has been named the Southern League's Groundskeeper-of-the-Year five times, last winning the prestigious honor in 2008.
Originally from Auburndale, FL, Taylor began his career in the Kansas City Royals organization, working his way up to supervisor for the entire complex at Baseball City, FL. He joined the Greenville Braves in 1991 and made the move from Greenville to Pearl in 2005.
Taylor oversaw the building of Trustmark Park from start to finish and was promoted to Field and Facility Operations Manager in February 2005.
Taylor, 48, his wife Teresa, and their son, Zachary, reside in Brandon. In his spare time he enjoys cheering on the Florida Gators.
|Kyle Tait||Radio Broadcaster|
Kyle Tait, the 2014 Southern League Broadcaster of the Year, enters his sixth season as the "Voice of the M-Braves" on WYAB 103.9 FM. Tait began his play-by-play career in 2007 calling Georgia Tech baseball. Since then, he has called more than 900 baseball games, including over 600 with the Double-A Braves.
During the offseason, Tait voices audiobooks for Audible and iTunes, and also serves as the public address announcer for Belhaven University football, basketball and baseball. In 2012, he hosted "The Kyle Tait Show", an evening drive-time sports talk show in Jackson.
A native of Atlanta, Tait graduated from Georgia Tech in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Management. He resides in Brandon with his wife Megan and two dogs, AJ and Indy. For more on his work, visit www.HearKyleTait.com.
|Derrel Palmer||PA Announcer|
Derrel Palmer is the "Voice of the Mississippi Braves."
After starting the 2005 season as a spectator behind the home dugout, Palmer took over the PA position in the fourth inning of game two at Trustmark Park and never looked back. Once given the opportunity to perform, he proved to management that he not only had the skills to announce, but also the ability to assist in coordinating the activities of the production room. 2015 is his 11th season to announce all Mississippi Braves home games as well as most other games played at Trustmark Park, including the College Series Games featuring Miss. State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss and the MHSAA State Baseball Championships.
After spending over 23 years in the insurance and financial services industry, Palmer made a career change by becoming General Manager of the local ESPN Radio affiliate, WPBQ 1240 AM. There he was the play-by-play voice for Millsaps Majors Athletics including football, basketball and baseball. In the fall of 2007, he began a weekday sports talk show airing from 11-1 PM Monday-Friday talking about local high school and college sports as well as other sporting events in the Jackson Metro area.
In 2009, DP became the Play-by-Play broadcaster for Pearl High School Athletics. The broadcasts are aired locally on The Pirate Media Network on television and radio as well as globally, audio as well as video, on the internet. He also does announcing and event coverage for the City of Pearl with Pearl Municipal Broadcasting.
Palmer has been married to Melinda for over 38 years and is an active member of Pinelake Church where he has served as Elder, Deacon Chairman, Worship Choir President and Bible Study Leader. Currently he serves as a Decision Counselor and as a Greeter. He has participated in a number of short-term mission projects to Mexico. In his spare time, Palmer is an avid golfer.