Mehring Monday: Thankful

Linus Van Pelt could make a darn good extemporaneous speech when he had to do it. (Charles Schulz)

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | November 19, 2012 5:05 AM ET

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Here is a short column for a short week.

Thanksgiving is Thursday.  This time of year does turn the mind to things for which people are thankful.  I am no different.

I am thankful for many things.  My family.  My friends.  My Country.  My health.  Another Packers win over the Lions. 

Writing in depth about those things would make a scriptwriter for a patriotic John Wayne movie blush.  So, I will keep those thoughts to myself.  Save this one: Go Packers!

One thing that I can write about in this space that I am thankful for that won't be so over the top is this: I am thankful for my luck.

[I will now pause for one paragraph to allow the 98% of the people who know me to stop laughing, stop choking, or give them time to wipe the beverage they were just drinking off of their respective monitors.]

No. I'm serious.  Despite using
Charlie Brown for an online avatar and what I have told you about my poker skills, I am thankful for my luck.

How else to explain that I have the job I have wanted since I was a kid in small town Wisconsin? 

Granted there has been a lot of hard work - if you consider talking on the radio about baseball for a living hard work - involved in getting to this point.

However, the series of events that allow me to write this column here today involved a great deal of good fortune.

The Duluth-Superior Dukes season was winding down and I had lost my job as the Sports Information Director at UW-Superior.  I turned down a part-time announcing job with the Green Bay Gamblers hockey team in 1998 because I wanted full-time work.   It seemed stupid at the time because there was nothing else lined up on the job front.  Nothing.

The Gamblers called back a week later and informed me that an assistant coach, who was also the media relations director, left the team for a college job.  I jumped at the chance.

I was out of announcing baseball for the summer of 1999, but was fortunate to have a high school acquaintance in the Timber Rattlers ticket office.  He introduced me to Tim McCord, the team's radio announcer at the time.   Late in the season, Tim informed me he was leaving and told me I should apply for the Rattlers job.  I jumped at the chance.

The Gamblers, who encouraged me to go after the baseball job, and Timber Rattlers shared me starting in April of 2000.  It was a great time.  I was calling 60-70 hockey games and 140-145 baseball games a year.  I'll let you figure out how many days out of the year that is and how many days on the road that is.

There were changes in 2002.  The Gamblers had been sold and my position changed to just being the announcer and that was part-time.  The Timber Rattlers had a change at the top of the Timber Rattlers organization.  In 2003, the Timber Rattlers offered me a full-time position in corporate sales and as the announcer.  I jumped at the chance.

I look back at that 2003 date and think, "I really spent six years in sales?  At the time is seemed like a lot longer than that.  Now, it feels like a lot less.

Change entered the picture again in 2009.  I was offered a chance to move out of sales and into media relations for the team.  I jumped at the chance.

There are times I wish I could send a message back to 6-year old me after he raced home from T-ball at the Waterford Athletic Park to let him know that things would all work out fine.  But, those series of events led to where I am right now.


Happy Thanksgiving.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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