It probably helped that Tyler Grabau ’14 had completed a successful work-study with the Saint Mary’s Business Department.

It couldn’t have hurt his chances that he pulls in good grades and had worked for Fastenal, an international leader in fastener distribution, for a year and a half.

Grabau’s application for an internship with the Minnesota Twins undoubtedly stood out among the hundreds of other applicants.

But what really knocked it out of the ballpark was his true passion for baseball and his avid love for his home state’s ball team.

“I think the fact that I am a big fan probably showed during the interview,” he said, with a smirk.

Grabau — an accounting and sports management major — discovered he had gotten the internship in December. “I was really excited,” he said. “I wanted it really bad.”

The avid sports fan explained that he played football, baseball and basketball throughout high school. And he and his family have been attending Twins spring training frequently, starting when Grabau was in elementary school. So, when he started taking sports management classes at Saint Mary’s, he quickly knew it was a career he would thoroughly enjoy.

Grabau has been traveling to Target Field in the Twin Cities two, sometimes three days per week, putting in between 16 and 24 hours per week during the spring semester. His internship will continue throughout the season, until the end of September (or October, if the Twins do well).

But, he quickly adds, the extra gas mileage is worth it. The Wabasha native has enjoyed seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes. “I have learned a lot about the operations of a major league baseball organization and the amount of work that takes place months before the team takes the field in early April, especially regarding ticket operations,” he said.

As a ticket office intern, he prints a batch report of 50 to 100 ticket orders, as well as tickets, receipts and corresponding envelopes. He must carefully fact-check the team, date, section, row and seat number as well as keep the various ticket sales straight: single game spring training orders, spring training season tickets, spring training group sales, regular season tickets and regular season opening day tickets.

He’s assisted people over the phone, as well as face to face. Every ticket sale is like sharing a piece of the excitement.

Besides the many aspects of ticket sales and distribution, he is assisting with the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, TwinsFest and other events at Target Field.

Grabau hopes his internship garners enough connections to earn him a spot in the big leagues — a full-time job.

He’s discovered many members of the full-time staff started their careers as interns. “I’ve always wanted to work for one of Minnesota’s professional sports organizations, especially the Minnesota Twins,” he said.

This article, written by Deb Nahrgang, was previously published in the Spring 2014 Saint Mary’s Magazine.

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