This week's "My turn" column is by Andrew Weber, general manager of The Oneonta Tigers.
As opening day rapidly approaches here in Oneonta, I'd like to share with Tiger fans some of the details of our preparation for this exciting 2009 season. I am extremely proud of what our staff has accomplished during the offseason to bring an exemplary product and experience to all of the fans who come to Damaschke Field this summer.
If you've taken in a game here before, we hope you will join us again. If you've never been through the front gates, then take a summer evening to try one of the best forms of entertainment that is offered in central New York.
Preparation for an upcoming season begins as soon as the previous season ends. There are marketing sessions, Minor League Baseball's promotional seminar, and the front office's evaluation of the recently completed season's successes and failures. These events, coupled with new, fresh ideas, begin the planning stage for the next season.
As winter months of dormant grass and inches of snow roll by, efforts are being forged to create an entertainment package for fans of all ages and interest levels. What sets minor league baseball apart from all other professional sporting events is the ability of fans to enjoy themselves on so many different levels and through many different experiences.
On any given evening you can find yourself sitting next to a Major League scout, throwing out the first pitch at a professional baseball game or watching your child have a "dance-off'' with the mascot. Oh, by the way, don't forget that a great baseball game is unfolding before your eyes!
When that final month before opening day comes for the staff, it is similar to an accountant's month of March or an attorney's breathtaking moments before trial. Work days become work nights, as all the planning that took place in the offseason is now being implemented. This is no different for the staff of the Oneonta Tigers right now.