December 2011

Grab Bag: Office makeover, holiday party, promotions, tickets, internships, draft changes & more!

It’s been a busy time for all of us in the front office since the season ended in September, and thus the blog posts have been a bit less frequent. In this edition of the ‘Cats Corner, the objective is to catch everyone up on what’s been going on.

To start, our office makeover project has begun and is coming together slowly but surely.

New paint job in the main entrance:
New Paint Office

A baseball display case that will eventually feature signed baseballs from all of our former players who have reached Major League Baseball:
BBall Display Case

Right now we’ve put signed balls of James Earl Jones (visited “The Joe” in 2002), Roger Clemens (visited “The Joe” in 2005 to watch his son Koby play for the ‘Cats) and George Springer (Astros 1st round pick in 2011):
BBall Display Case Close Up

The wall behind the front desk has been painted ValleyCats red and will have a sticker of our primary logo placed in the middle:
Office Front Desk

Our Hunter Pence signed Astros jersey graces the wall above the display case that features our division and championship trophies, awards, bobbleheads, game used memorabilia and signed bowling pins from our annual holiday bowling party:
Pence Display

We stuck a huge photo of our stadium to the entire back wall of the conference room with our mission statement:
Conference Room

As you may have noticed, our office is also decorated for the holiday season. Thursday night we held a holiday party for our season ticket holders, corporate partners and friends.

Everyone was allowed into the ValleyCats clubhouse, where food and drinks were served.



Our team store/lounge was decorated as well, complete with lights and presents under the tree:






Photos from the event:







The quartet Kaleidoscope roved through the party singing holiday music in great harmony! Santa even joined in!




Video highlights:



One of the main objectives at this time of year is to plan our 2012 promotional schedule. Once the game schedule is released, we’re hard at work deciding which past promos worked, those that didn’t and new ones we think our fans would enjoy. We also decide on the different giveaway items the ValleyCats are notorious for…including bobbleheads.

Some promotions expected to make their return in 2012 is Bark in the Park Night, Tunes for Tuesday, Photo Day, Going Green Night, Italian Night and more.

We’re also really excited about some prospective ideas for our premium giveaway items. One of them may even be the best giveaway the ‘Cats have ever had!

The promotional schedule will be release at some point in late February. Individual tickets will not go on-sale until April, but you can still get tickets to ‘Cats games through our 6-game mini-plan packages, 20-game flex books and season tickets.



Some great news for our fans is that buying tickets online will be much easier in 2012. Fans will now be able to see what seats are available for each game and select which ones they want to sit in. This goes for mini-plans, season tickets and individual tickets. Our Box Office Manager Jess Kaszeta has been working hard learning the new system and will be providing a video tutorial for fans in the new year.



We are currently accepting applications for our Internship Class of 2012. There are a wide array of positions available, which can all be found on our website. For those looking to break into the game of baseball, an internship is a great way to start. Houston Astros Player Development Coordinator Allen Rowin shares his advice for those looking to obtain a job in baseball.

Click here to watch the interview.



A new agreement between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will now require draft picks to sign by mid July instead of mid August. With the Houston Astros having the number 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft, that player (provided he’s out of college) should report to Troy in July, much earlier than the late August arrival of George Springer in 2011. Springer, the Astros first pick in the 2011 draft and 11th overall, joined the ‘Cats with only five home games remaining. Full details of the draft shake-up can be found here.


FAQ: What does the sale of the Houston Astros mean for the Tri-City ValleyCats?

Following the sale of the Houston Astros, many have been asking what that means for us. Ed Weaver of the Troy Record sat down with General Manager Rick Murphy to ask that very question.

You can read the article by clicking here.

ValleyCats Named One of Business Review’s Best Places to Work

There’s no doubt that every full-time member of the ValleyCats front office loves what they do, given the amount of effort and time we all put in to create an experience at “The Joe” that is affordable, fun and entertaining. On Friday, that was proven when the Tri-City ValleyCats were one of 30 workplaces to be presented with the Business Review’s Best Places to Work award.


The awards luncheon took place at the Crowne Plaza in Albany and was hawaiian themed. Each person was given leighs to wear and we all wore the team’s red batting practice jerseys to be uniform and stand out from the crowd.


Media Relations Manager Chris Chenes and Account Executive Mike Johnson
SouthPaw with Box Office Manager Jess Kaszeta and Business Development Manager Joel Pagliaro


A research firm compiled the results of anonymous employee surveys that were sent to nearly 125 companies and those with the highest scores were named “Best Places to Work.” The winners were broken down into five categories by company size. The ValleyCats won the award in the category for 10-25 employees along with the Bouchey Group of Companies, CMJ LLP, Community Resource Federal Credit Union, MAC Source Communications and Robert C. Parker School. All of the winning business were in attendance for the awards luncheon.

500 people attended the event at the Crowne Plaza in Albany

Many are friends and partners of the ‘Cats including Blueshield of Northeastern New York, CAP COM Federal Credit Union, DeCrescente Distributing, First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, NBT Bank and Sunmark Federal Credit Union. Each are outstanding companies and excellent examples of all of the great places to work in this region. SouthPaw made the rounds at the event to say hello to some of his friends!

SouthPaw with CAP COM Federal Credit Union President/CEO Paula Stopera (L), Business Development Manager Carie Sala (R) and many more of the CAP COM team.
Lee and Jessica Aiezza from DeCrescente Distributing.
Key Bank President Jeff Stone
More Key Bank employees
Southpaw having fun the Sumark FCU Communications Associate Rich Meddaugh
Schenectady ARC

SouthPaw even had a spot reserved at our table and was able to enjoy the great lunch that was served!


Along with the award, we were presented with a banner to hang up in the office and found a perfect spot right in our conference room under Johnny Evers!

Biz Review Banner

It’s truly an honor to be named one of the Best Places to Work in the Capital Region, and it’s even more of an honor being able to all work towards the same goal of providing Capital Region residents with something fun and exciting to enjoy during the summer. We can’t wait ’till June!

A full list of “Best Places to Work” winners and a slideshow of the event be found here.