Page 25 - FOXTALK Fall 2012

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Fall 2012
Minor league team gives sports communication
student major league experience
photos by Phil Bomzer
he New Jersey Jackals are an
independent minor league base-
ball franchise, but that doesn’t
stop them from providing major league
Competitors in the Can-Am League,
which is unaffiliated with any MLB
franchise, the Jackals recently celebrated
their 15th Anniversary season. The
team, which plays its home games at
Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of
Montclair (NJ) State University, recently
capped off a 59-41 season, with the cam-
paign climaxing in a 2nd consecutive ap-
pearance in the Cam-Am Championship
Series. The team was led by several
impact players including SP Isaac Pavlik
who completed his 6th year with the
team with his 60th win and 633rd
strikeout with the team, both setting
new franchise records. Also on board for
the ride were 3B Nick Giarraputo (.316,
22 HR, 71 RBI) and 2003 AL Rookie of
the Year SS Angel Berroa (.310, 18 HR,
62 RBI). In August, RP Zach Woods
(2-1, 3.38 ERA in 31 games) took the
next step on his journey to the majors
when the New York Yankees purchased
his contract. Despite falling to the
Québec Capitales in five games in the
title series, the Jackals enjoyed a stellar
season, and saw manager Joe Calfipietra
win his 500th game as a skipper.
I had the pleasure of interning with
the Jackals summer 2012. While the
only payment was college credit, the
memories I’ve made with the team were
worth a fortune. In a job where you
could be doing the YMCA one inning
and directing traffic the next, the time is
passed and well spent with excellent fel-
low interns and Great supervising staff.
Being an intern with the team gives you
season tickets and front row seats to one
of the best show in Jersey. Classy charac-
ters like Scott the Trumpet Guy fill the
seats every night, and don’t be surprised
if you see a dinosaur throwing out the
first pitch. The players, too, get in on the
fun, always greeting the interns with
a smile and stopping to talk about the
latest baseball news, or sometimes even
trying on the sumo wrestling suits for a
between-innings promotion. One can’t
ask for a better working atmosphere,
overseen by Jordan Cascino, the director
of group sales for the Jackals.
The interns had a couple of highlights
of their own, even making it as far as the
official website of the worldwide leader
in sports, ESPN. Prior to the season
premiere of Saturday Night Fireworks,
a Jackals tradition, the intern group did
a rendition of the late Michael Jackson’s
Thriller video. The video, which appeared
on ESPN’s Visuals Page (a page dedi-
cated to sports-related viral videos and
photos), received a positive fan response
and inspired a “sequel,” which featured
our take on the infamous “Evolution of
Dance” video. The two videos combined
received over 2,000 views on YouTube.
Upon reflecting on my experience at
the Jackals, I’ve come to realize there’s
a reason they’ve been around so long,
while other teams in their league, like
the Worcester Tornadoes, have ceased to
exist. The Jackals run a terrific opera-
tion, allowing for a fantastic experience
at affordable prices. In an era where it
could cost $40 to simply park your car
at a major league game, I found that the
Jackals can still put on a great show at
only a fraction of the cost.
A view of
Yogi Berra
home of
the Jackals,
during their
July 24 win
of Dance”
crew strikes
a pose
after their
of fame,
which later
on espn.