Living in the apartments behind Coolray Field makes it easy for Ryan Moore to walk to work. It not only saves on gas but is also a very practical location considering the hours he and other members of the Gwinnett Braves front office staff work.
Not that Moore is complaining. Like most folks who choose to work in the sports field, the long hours are an easy trade-off for a job they love. Moore is in his second year as the G-Braves ticket sales manager, a job that puts him in charge of the team's season, partial season and promotional tickets.
As you can imagine, when your job is about tickets, everyone has a request. And not just for the G-Braves, who have a homestand that concludes on Friday. Moore said friends think of him as the "ticket guy" and he's not surprised to be asked for tickets to any event, including the Final Four or the Masters. "I do get those," he said of wild requests.
Being in charge of season tickets has allowed Moore, a Connecticut native, to build relationships (and some friendships) with the folks who regularly attend games. But no matter whether he knows them personally or not, the reward is seeing the attendees enjoy themselves during a night at the ballpark.
"The interaction with the fans," Moore said when asked for his favorite part of the job. "Seeing the fans walking out of the stadium with a smile after the game. Seeing the kids show off a foul ball they caught. Those are the fruits of the labor."
Moore, who attended Elon University, has plied his trade for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league team as well as at his alma mater and with the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina. Those jobs have produced plenty of good memories and unique opportunities, but none like he experienced recently with the G-Braves.
Players come and players go in the minor leagues, it's just a way of life. But when Pat Egan was called up to the G-Braves, it was very special for Moore, who went to high school with Egan. The two grew up in Rocky Hill, Conn., played youth ball together and have been lifelong friends. Egan was at Moore's wedding in November, the last time Moore had seen his friend before picking him up from the airport to report to the G-Braves in June.
"Being 800 miles from home and having a friend join the team was amazing," Moore said. "Our fathers were friends in high school. We grew up together. It was really neat.
"But both of our (sets of) parents were blown away more than anyone else. My parents kept texting me, asking me to take pictures of Pat pitching."
Egan has since been optioned back to Double-A Mississippi, but Moore is happy for the experience of being with the same club and eager for his friend's return. In the meantime, there's plenty of work to be done, as always. Working in sports doesn't garner much sympathy from folks who sometimes put in 40 hours a week doing something they don't like, but it's still a job and there are still expectations to be met whether you are a Triple-A pitcher or ticket sales manager.
"A lot of folks don't realize how many hours we put in," Moore said. "We have office hours every day, even when we aren't at home, and then there are the games. When the season is over we start right away planning for the next year. There's always something on the agenda."
Not that he's complaining. Because it's hard to beat a job you love or a short walk home.
Email Todd Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Wednesdays.