¡Ser un fan! is a content series designed to spotlight and embrace the people, programs, culture and stories that champion Copa de la Diversión's community impact and further advance Minor League Baseball's continuous efforts to diversify the game and business of baseball.
As part of the third edition of Minor League Baseball's Latino fan engagement initiative, Copa de la Diversión, we are highlighting our teams' Latino staff members. We had the opportunity to chat with Pattie Gomez and Isidro Cabrera from the Sacramento Dorados (Sacramento River Cats). Gomez is the community relations assistant, and she looks to help the team continue to build its relationship with the Latino community in the region. Cabrera is a production assistant, and he is the control room coordinator for all games and Raley Field events.
Minor League Baseball: How did your career in the sports industry begin?
Pattie Gomez: I went to a job fair, believe it or not. I moved to Sacramento with a mission to find something in sports. I applied online for an associate position but decided it would be in my best interest to also attend a job fair the team happened to be hosting the same weekend I submitted my application. I got a call that Monday saying I got the job.
Isidro Cabrera: After completing my bachelor's degree in criminal justice, I began the job application process. During this time, I realized that my true passion had always been production. In addition to being tasked as a child to fix all technological failures around the house, I also developed and produced videos with my cousins. The videos were not by any means considered extravagant productions, but they provided me with a sense of freedom and artistic expression that I could not find elsewhere. After my realization, I followed my passion and applied for the Broadcast and Electronic Communications program at San Francisco State. I graduated two years later and combined my love for sports and production and applied for a control room position with the Sacramento River Cats for the 2019 season. Amber Wyatt, our promotions coordinator, interviewed me and thought that my skill sets would be better suited for the Production Assistant job opening. After a second interview, I was offered the job and have enjoyed being part of the team since February 2019.
MiLB: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to break into the sports industry or work for a baseball team?
PG: Work hard, make connections and put yourself out there. I didn't want to go to that job fair, but I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone -- and that's really all it takes. It's hard and frustrating but putting yourself out there and taking risks pays off. Also, learn as many things as you can about everything. Beginners Photoshop experience is better than no Photoshop experience. And most importantly, speaking Spanish is a commodity; don't be afraid to use that to your advantage. Baseball is a diverse sport. Organizations should and will want to have authentic relationships with Latino communities -- you're a part of that.
IC: The sports industry is extremely competitive and fast-paced; as such, you will need to have a lot of patience and determination. Remember to be patient with yourself and others and take every opportunity as a learning lesson. In the end, all it takes is one organization or a television network to give you an opportunity and you are in. From there, your possibilities are endless, as your experience is invaluable.
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Pattie Gomez from the Sacramento Latino Art and Culture throwing out the first pitch at a Dorados games.
MiLB: What does your typical day look like?
PG: I start at my mailbox -- I run donation requests for the organization so I pick up stacks of mail on any given day. I then check my emails and start making an agenda for things to get done in order of importance. It's really the only way to keep track of the different tasks you'll be responsible for.
IC: My responsibilities during game days and non-game days are very different and vary depending on the need. For example, on non-game day's I usually edit games for our record and develop videos to show during the games. On game days, my duties may include: editing game highlights, implementing the graphics that our team has made, troubleshooting technological issues in the control room, and assisting the production team and other staff with issues they may come across. At the end of every game, I ensure all equipment is stored properly, and produce and submit game highlights for news outlets to utilize.
Isidro Cabrera operating a camera during a River Cats game.
MiLB: What is your favorite part about your job?
PG: My favorite part is interacting with fans and season ticket members. It's a great feeling to walk the concourse during a game and chat with fans on a first name basis. And there's really no better feeling than getting involved in the community. I love going to community events and hearing people's excitement about the team's presence. I'm a firm believer in organizations supporting the communities they serve.
IC: My favorite part about being a River Cats staff member is that I get to work with a fantastic team who shares the values and passion for sports and production. It is a pleasure to work alongside people who want to make coming to a River Cats game as entertaining as possible. Additionally, I enjoy being part of an organization that elevates and celebrates diversity on and off the diamond.
MiLB: Would you do something differently in your career?
PG: I wish I started earlier. I'm one of the older women in my office -- but, this goes back to putting yourself out there. I love the young folks I'm surrounded by, and I admire their energy and commitment to making the organization successful.
IC: I want to continue my passion in sports production. Working with the River Cats has allowed me to strengthen and build a new set of skills that I intend to use and develop new and exciting projects to highlight the incredible impact of the River Cats.
MiLB: Who is your role model and why?
PG: Honestly, our front office. I walked into Raley Field thinking I would see something else, but the representation of women is remarkable. From Susan Savage, the CEO and majority owner to department directors. It's inspiring to work in an office with so many women. Also, the Los Angeles Dodgers Community Relations team -- women of color represent!
IC: My role model is Greg Papa, the current San Francisco 49ers play-by-play radio sportscaster. I grew up listening to him as the voice of the Oakland Raiders and I always admired his excitement for the game. He is always very informative while making the game exciting to listen to on the radio.
MiLB: Who is your favorite player from the Sacramento Dorados roster?
PG: Abiatal Avelino because he loves people and baseball; you couldn't ask for two better things.
IC: Abiatal Avelino always brings passion and charisma to the game and the team. He is an incredibly talented player and great representation of the Latino community.
Chanel Zapata is an associate with Minor League Baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.