Central New York, Community, Sports, Things to do

Behind the Scenes of the Syracuse Chiefs

Aaron Scheinblum, Broadcast & Digital Journalism Major, Class of 2017. This is an original package for Sports Reporting class at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. All materials are original

Going to a baseball game is a part of growing up. While fans enjoy the game, some are working during it, keeping everything on schedule.

Aaron Scheinblum – Syracuse, NY

There is a lot that goes into preparing a Syracuse Chiefs baseball game at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY. The field has to be maintained. The players have to warm up. And some work behind the scenes.

Take Kyle Fussner: the new Manager of Promotions & Community Relations for the team. And before the fans find their seats, Kyle has been working for weeks.

“I’m in charge of the in-between inning activities,” Fussner said. “Anything from pillow tosses, to hot dog shooting, to t-shirt tossing, anything that goes on the field in between innings or in between games is pretty much all run by me.”

So while most just sit back, relax, and watch a baseball game, Kyle has been doing the legwork on community events and running the charitable foundation for the team. But he loves the job, because of the company he keeps.

“It’s nice seeing people, especially after a long homestand,” Fussner said. “You see the same ushers, you see the same fans sitting in the same spots. It’s just nice getting to know people. Being a people person I like to meet new people and this is a perfect way to do it.”

One of the things Fussner is asked about from fans and adults very frequently is how to find the mascots to get an autograph or take a picture. He said very simply: that is not something he would really be able to help with.

“As far as finding Scooch and Pops? That’s a mystery to me, even I can’t find Scooch and Pops half the time I need to.”

Despite the mascots and their tendency to wander, Fussner says the team has created a laid back atmosphere.

“Nothing is too stressful. This is Triple-A Baseball. If something goes wrong, we’ll find a way to fix it.”