Portland, Maine- The Portland Sea Dogs have announced that Jason Cooke has been named the new Head Groundskeeper for Hadlock Field. Additionally, Alan Barker and Samantha Fletcher have been promoted to full-time positions with the organization as ticket office coordinators. Sea Dogs Executive Vice President & General Manager Geoff Iacuessa made the announcement.
Cooke replaces longtime Hadlock Field groundskeeper Rick Anderson, who retired at the end of the 2017 season. Anderson had served as the Head Groundskeeper since the Sea Dogs inception in 1994. He was honored as the Eastern League Groundskeeper of the Year in 1999.
"Rick will forever be a part of Sea Dogs history," stated Iacuessa. "He took a lot of pride in meticulously maintaining the field for hundreds of future Major Leaguers and millions of fans over his 24 seasons at the park."
Cooke has served as the Sea Dogs' Assistant Head Groundskeeper for eight seasons under Anderson. Prior to joining the Sea Dogs, Cooke spent ten years working for the City of South Portland, maintaining the fields at the Wainwright Recreation Complex. Cooke is a graduate of South Portland High School and the University of Rhode Island. Cooke played baseball at Rhode Island, where he developed his interest in turf management, as the baseball team often worked on the field. In addition to his duties at the Sea Dogs, Cooke is an assistant baseball and football coach at South Portland High School.
"Jason is extremely talented and has tremendous experience maintaining athletic fields," stated Iacuessa. "He is the perfect person to lead our hardworking grounds crew to keep Hadlock Field looking beautiful for years to come."
After serving in seasonal positions with the Sea Dogs, Alan Barker and Samantha Fletcher have been added to the full-timd staff. Both serve as ticket office coordinators.
The 2018 season will be Barker's fifth with the team and ninth in professional sports. Barker got his start in the industry as a public and community relations intern with the Maine Red Claws, where he spent four seasons. At the end of his second season with the Red Claws, he came on board with the Sea Dogs as the guest services representative, a job he enjoyed for two seasons before transitioning into the ticket office in the coordinator role.
Fletcher joined the Sea Dogs in January 2017. She received her B.A. in Politics from Hillsdale College in southern Michigan, where she acted as an opponent scout and assistant recruiter for the Hillsdale Chargers baseball team.
"Both Alan and Samantha played key roles in the Sea Dogs' success in 2017 from their outstanding customer service skills to their support of the sales team," said Iacuessa. "We are thrilled to welcome them as part of our full-time staff, their addition will help continually enhance the fan experience at Hadlock Field."
The 2018 season will be the Sea Dogs' 25th season. The home opener is scheduled for Friday, April 13th at 6:00 PM against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Tickets for the 2018 season go on sale on Saturday, November 4th.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.