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Pulling back the curtain on sports salaries: Part 2

Hi friends,

Presenting another installment of our transparency series, aimed at providing insights into the realities of entry-level sports salaries and early-career positions. This time, it's me, Sam, sharing about my first job post-college with the Salem Red Sox. It's important to note that the pay was minimal, but the experience gained and connections established made the journey truly worthwhile.


Several months post-graduation, I secured an interview with the Salem Red Sox in Salem, Virginia. Despite my unfamiliarity with the team, simply receiving a call back brought me immense joy. Initially, they offered me the position of on-field host, which, unfortunately, came with no housing and only a meager stipend each month. This involved commuting from Durham, NC to Salem, VA for every home game.

After consulting with my parents, I presented a proposal to the team. They had another opening for a social media intern so I suggested taking on both roles to not only secure a slightly higher income but, more importantly, to have access to free housing. Once they accepted my proposition, I eagerly embarked on my journey to Salem!


As previously mentioned, securing my position with Salem involved some negotiation. Despite taking on the responsibilities of an on-field host, and social media manager, plus various miscellaneous tasks typical of a small front office staff at a minor league team, my monthly compensation was a mere $750. Yes, you read that correctly—no missing zeros. It's crucial to acknowledge that I could only embrace this opportunity thanks to the provision of free housing and the unwavering support of my incredible parents. Fortunately, I am grateful for having the best parents in the world!

Work-Life Balance

When it comes to work-life balance in minor league baseball, one might assume that the modest pay would translate to a lighter workload and ample leisure time. However, the reality is quite the opposite. In the world of minor league baseball, you wear numerous hats and juggle a myriad of tasks on any given day, whether the team is playing at home or away. Your responsibilities extend from tarp pulling and mascot duties to stadium cleaning, community engagement, concessions, and beyond. I practically lived at the ballpark that summer. Fortunately, the positive side was that I genuinely enjoyed the company of everyone I worked with, making it one of the most memorable and fulfilling summers of my life. While I don't necessarily advocate for making work your entire life or living at your workplace, I do strongly recommend prioritizing work culture. Regardless of the allure of your job title or the team you're part of, it's the work culture that can ultimately make or break a job experience. Always prioritize a healthy and positive work culture for a more fulfilling professional journey.


Mental State

Due to the fantastic culture at the Salem Red Sox, my mental state couldn't have been better. I genuinely felt immense happiness and fulfillment, surrounded by wonderful coworkers while eagerly tackling diverse challenges every day. While it might not sound like the typical dream job, I cannot emphasize enough how much I cherished my time with Salem. Despite never envisioning a career in baseball, that summer marked the beginning of my love affair with the sport and set the foundation for my post-college career! So remember, when it comes to pursuing a career in sports, make it a priority to consistently value work culture over the attraction of job titles or the amount of money you're earning in the long run.

Remember, you’re awesome and you belong here.

Stay tuned for the next edition of our Pulling Back the Curtain series coming soon!

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