The BlueClaws will host their annual Job Fair on Saturday, January 19th.
Frank Ackermann had been coming to games at FirstEnergy Park for two seasons when, as the calendar turned into 2003, had had an idea. Why not come back in 2003, not as a fan, but as an employee?
It was an idea that has filled his summers every year since.
"I was thinking that I was here 15 or 20 games a year anyway so I might as well work here," Ackermann recalled.
He and his daughter Stacy came to that year's BlueClaws Job Fair and both got jobs, Frank in the security department and Stacy in the Claws Cove.
This year's BlueClaws Job Fair is Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm. Those interested can come to the ballpark to interview for positions across various departments.
The team will be hiring for the following positions: ushers, security, parking, concession stand managers and cashiers, bartenders, line cooks, stand cooks, beer vendors, bat boys, merchandise, kids zone, clean team, ticket takers, production, and promotions.
For more information on the 2019 BlueClaws Job Fair, click here.
"It's really a great place to work," said Ackermann, who noted the interaction with the fans is his favorite part of the job. "It's really special to see kids come to a game for the first time, or to see their reactions when they get to meet Buster for the first time."
Plus, he noted, gameday staff members form special bonds with fans throughout the year.
"You get to know people without knowing their name," he said. "But I know them and they know me."
The BlueClaws open their new season on Thursday, April 4th and the positions that will be filled at their Job Fair on Saturday will run from April through the end of the BlueClaws season.
"The time from the beginning of the season to the end of the season and the time from the end of one season to the beginning of the next one, seems to go in the snap of a finger," said Ackermann. "I run into a few people in the off-season. I say goodbye at the last game of one season and hello again on Opening Night."
This Opening Night starts what is the 19th season of BlueClaws baseball, and the 17th for Ackermann. It was 2006 though, his fourth on the job, that provided perhaps his favorite memory. The BlueClaws were in the South Atlantic League Championship Series, which, as always, ran into mid-September.
"I had been watching the game, as best as I could, but we were short-staffed and a young lady from the Claws Cove asked if I could help selling sweatshirts if we won the game," he recalled. "So I went over and helped her set up and missed the last inning."
Matt Maloney retired the Augusta GreenJackets to complete a shutout and deliver the BlueClaws their first league title. Ackermann sold a lot of sweatshirts that night.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.