When Amy Gladieux hired Tim O'Brien in 2015, she didn't just hire a ticket sales account executive. She hired her future husband.
Gladieux and O'Brien will tie the knot Sept. 29, the culmination of a relationship that began in the Lake County Captains front office. According to Neil Stein, Lake County general manager and unofficial intra-office romance historian, their wedding will mark the eighth time in 16 years that a pair of Captains co-workers have united in the bonds of holy matrimony.
While no studies have been done on the topic and no official facts or figures exist, it has long been anecdotally assumed that Minor League Baseball employees are more likely than most to meet their significant other via the workplace. Gladieux was speaking for herself when she described a circumstance that will nonetheless sound familiar to many.
"In Minor League Baseball you're working a lot of hours, and it's hard to meet people," she said. "I'd been single for a while. You don't have a lot of free time to meet new people because you're working so much and you're hanging out with your co-workers because they have the same schedule."
Gladieux was working as the Captains' director of ticket sales when she hired O'Brien in 2015. He was a familiar face within the organization, however, having been a press box intern in 2006 as well as parts of 2007 and 2008. He returned in 2012 and spent three seasons as the team's No. 2 broadcaster, working alongside veteran play-by-play man Craig Deas.
2018 Road Trip
" was my first season here, and I recognized that [Tim] was wearing a Baldwin Wallace polo -- which was also where I went to college," said Gladieux. "We were not there at the same time -- I'm a little older -- but I recognized that right away. 'Oh, who's that guy?' ... He was familiar, so [in 2015] when we were looking for a ticket person it just worked out."
"She was my boss then and she still is now, so it works out well," added O'Brien.
Gladieux and O'Brien didn't start dating until October 2015. Gladieux left the Captains organization at the end of that month, though she still occasionally works at the box office in a game day employee capacity.
"It was interesting. Him being around the ballpark so long, we were definitely friends," said Gladieux. "And we hung out outside the ballpark, too. But there was another co-worker who wanted to introduce him to somebody, a friend of hers. And that's when I realized, 'Oh, gosh. If Tim wouldn't be available anymore. I'm starting to feel these things I didn't even know I felt.' And then things started accelerating, flirting-wise, from there. It was a wake-up call for me."
It all became official during a Cleveland Indians game that took place during the last weekend of the regular season.
"The Indians weren't good that year but I still wanted to see October baseball in Cleveland," said O'Brien.
"And we went with two other guys from the Captains, so it was the four of us. It was a little colder," added Gladieux.
"It was. And I think both of us were having the same kind of thoughts," said O'Brien. "When we were there I put my arm around her and the rest was history."
Gladieux departed the Captains at the end of that month, moving on to a position with Two Men and a Truck moving company. It was then that she and O'Brien informed the rest of the Captains staff that they were now dating.
"It's funny. We started telling people and they're like 'Yeah, we know.'" said O'Brien. "You work so many hours with people in Minor League Baseball, it's just one of those things. Like, OK. No shock, really."
A shared love of baseball was one of the things that drew Gladieux and O'Brien to each other, even if the former is a Detroit fan while the latter roots for Cleveland. There were also other, more pragmatic considerations.
"I am not the most organized person in the world, by any means, and Amy might be the most organized person in the world," said O'Brien. "Which is good, because I used to play a game of 'Where are my keys?' every morning. Now I know where the keys go. Amy has all the hooks."
Another key element in their relationship is that Gladieux understands first-hand the perils of working in Minor League Baseball. Therefore, there will be minimal friction when workplace obligations arise on short notice.
"Whe he has to go into work randomly on a weekend, to put the tarp on because the team's coming in, it's like 'Okay, yeah, I get it,'" said Gladieux. "And have fun, because I don't miss it."
Not surprisingly, the future Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien are now planning a baseball-centric wedding day.
"You know how people usually throw rice? And bubbles now is the main thing," said O'Brien. "I go, 'How cool would it be to go walking down an aisle of rally towels?' So we're gonna have rally towels. It's the end of September, so we'll be in a postseason mood."
"This was his genius idea," added Gladieux.
Minor League Baseball led Gladieux and O'Brien to one another. Would they recommend the path they took to others in the industry?
"Maybe we could start, like, an eHarmony for Minor League front offices. We could call it On-Deck Singles," said O'Brien. "But who am I to recommend how you meet? Just keep all options open, I would say."