Michael Abramson is the Assistant General Manager of the Hartford yard Goats, AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Mike is a constant contributor to Baseball Desk and recently shed some light on his current role, and how he got there.
Growing up, were you a big sports fan?
Definitely. I played a lot of sports, and was a big baseball fan. Later I became more of a football fan than anything else.
For some, working in professional sports is always just a dream, you made it a reality – can you tell us how this all came to be?
My route was a little different than most. I went to school for journalism, and worked for NPR and in news radio on the news and reporting side. Later, I went into radio station management, then into sales with a sports radio station in Boston. I was selling Red Sox on radio. Through that, I met the leadership team at the Pawtucket Red Sox. They ultimately offered me a job.
You are now the Assistant General Manager of the Hartford Yard Goats, what does a typical day look like for you during the season/off-season?
Off-season is all planning. Promo, sales, marketing, operations… putting plans into action we’ll later have to follow. Also a lot of meetings with our higher level sponsors, and prospective sponsors. We work “half days”… 9-5, but the pace is much quicker. In-season it’s just the grind… executing all of our off-season plans, juggling challenges that come up daily, and always trying to push attendance to the most it can be.
Everyone knows the story of the Dunkin Donuts Ballpark and the delay of construction, in fact, the team had to play one full season on the road before the park was finished. (Click here for story) Can you talk about the challenges you faced during those times?
It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. We were under a microscope from the first day the project was announced, and the tide seemed continuously against us. At the same time, it was exhilarating building something new, from the ground up, and imagining the ballpark, the new branding, and all the possibilities. Often times it felt like the negative cycle would never end. The pace was also frantic from day one. We made a decision to hold our heads high from the start, to not respond to criticism, try to show people who we were with our actions. At the end of the day, that worked. Once all the pieces feel into place, and everyone was finally able to see the “why” of what we were doing, we hadn’t alienated anyone by fighting back during the tough times.
How does it feel to have the first full season of Yard Goats Baseball at Dunkin Donuts Park finished as you look ahead to the 2018 season?
The response this season was tremendous… more than I ever expected. The momentum just kept picking up, and we sold out our last 21 games in a row. I’m happy to have it behind us, and would love to have some sort of a break, but 2018 just looms so large we’re already running and gunning.
What are some of your long term plans / goals in terms of advancing your career over the next 3,5 and 10 years?
I really don’t look that far ahead anymore. I love my job, the town I live in here in Connecticut, my kids are happy in their school. I’m not looking to change anything professionally in the near term… aside from continuing to play a larger role within my own organization.
Advice you can give to someone who wants to make working in sports a reality?
Learn to sell, learn to manage a calendar, learn to find solutions to your own problems. If someone can do those three things they can go all the way to the top.
Mike Abramson is the Assistant General Manager for the Hartford Yard Goats MiLB team, Double-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. You can follow him on Twitter at @YardGoatsAGM.