Out of the Park: Gannon University Students Learn and Network at Baseball’s All-Star Game

Posted: August 30, 2017

To represent your team at baseball's All-Star game takes years of hard work and more than a little luck. Or you could sign up for the "Gannon's Green Team" that makes an annual visit to the Midsummer Classic led by Eric Brownlee, Gannon University associate professor of sport management and marketing.

As he has done for the past three years, Brownlee traveled to the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Miami last month accompanied by Gannon University students Geremy Paige and Norella Roche, and five students from Kangwon National University in South Korea.

The group was part of a new sustainability initiative coordinated by MLB.

The students helped with recycling and educating fans about sustainability and sports. That's a combination that was as rare as a perfect game just a few years ago.

"Recycling is not done as often at major sports events as people might think," Brownlee says. "At many stadiums and arenas, trash goes into one big trash room; nobody even thinks of recycling. Having a green team helps. It's really simple. We have bags that make sure that stuff is clean and sorted."

In addition to seeing game action with the green team, the students learned about sustainability initiatives at the University of Miami, and from the sustainability coordinator of MLB.

They also helped to landscape and build benches for a new ballpark in a low-income neighborhood of Miami as part of MLB's Revitalizing Baseball in the Inner City initiative and worked the registration table at the Electric Run 5k. The Gannon students were also able to attend a speakers panel that included high- level MLB personnel.

And, of course, all got to witness the week's events: the celebrity softball game, Futures game and the Midsummer Classic itself. Beyond this, the students got what every ballplayer knows to be essential: an opportunity.

"The connections they made, the people they met and the experiences they draw from are assets that they can always call on. When they are looking for a job or another internship, they have a connection that they can use," Brownlee said. "If you want to work in baseball, it's a great start.