SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We are two months away from Springfield Cardinals baseball returning to the Queen City.
Seasonal and gameday workers say they’re excited to come back to the ballpark, but not just because of their paycheck.
They say working for the Cardinals isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.
And they’re ready to give fans the gameday experience they missed last season.
“I’ve not had a day where I didn’t want to come to work,” Everett French the event staff supervisor for the Springfield Cardinals said. “And when I do it’ll be time to hit the rocking chair. But, I love working here.”
This is French’s 17th year working for the Springfield Cardinals.
“It’s a lot of meet-and-greet with the public, assisting the public with any kind of questions they have,” French said. “The Cardinals are a part of me. I’ve been a Cardinal fan really all my life. And I enjoy working with the fans. I’ve made many friends over the years. All of our staff missed that last year.”
But they won’t this season. Springfield will host 60 games, with opening day scheduled for May 4.
“It was just great, great news,” French said. “You miss the opportunity to be at the games, to see the games. You’re anxious to get out. See family, see friends. We’re all looking very forward to it.”
“I am the Director of Ticket Operations, from the back-end programming of a computer system to day-to-day operations,” Angela Deke said.
This is also Deke’s 17th year with the team.
“I actually opened this stadium as a member of the (MSU) Bears staff the very first year of Hammons Field,” Deke said. “So, really, 18 years at Hammons Field.”
She sticks around because of her job’s challenges and perks.
“There’s always something new, you’re always on your toes, and getting to know the people,” Deke said.
This year, Hammons Field will have capacity guidelines and fans will have to wear a mask with some exceptions.
“It just says something about the times that we’re in, and it kind of gets people back into doing something normal,” Deke said. “That’ll be good for everybody, for us and the fans.”