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Minor league baseball and me

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Splash! My last-ever day of work at the Spinners. {via}

Fan Friday came at a really convenient time for me. Tonight, I’m going to my first Lowell Spinners game as a fan in eight years. Yeah. Saying I’m excited for it would be an understatement. Here’s why:

I was five years old when the Spinners came to town. I still remember my first game with my parents and the old Caligator prints that were painted on sidewalks downtown to promote the team. I was instantly hooked. A life-long love of baseball was formed. In the years that came, my family got season tickets, and I went to countless games, eating countless hot dogs, begging for baseballs off the players, and yelling so loud that my voice would go hoarse. It was my favorite part of summer for years.

Somewhere along the way, little kid me got it in her head that working at the Spinners was her dream job. So, when I was 14 I applied. And I got the job. That’s right…I realized my life goal at 14. Whoops. I would later go on to write my college admissions essay about this, but I digress.

I worked in souvenirs at the ballpark for two summers and it was pretty fun, but I definitely wasn’t living the dream. Then, right before my third summer was about to start, I got a call from my boss asking me if I wanted to do on-field promotions. Um….that actually was my dream job as a kid. So, of course my answer was YES! I then proceeded to dance around the house for 5 or so minutes. So, my job for the next five years was basically to do the chicken dance and Cotton Eyed Joe with little kids every night. It was a blast. I also got to flirt with cute ballplayers, which to 16, 17, 18, and 19-year-old Karoline was probably the best job perk imaginable. Working at the Spinners was always a highlight of my summer, and it was rare that I came home from work unhappy. I truly loved what I did.

Maybe little-kid me was actually onto something: working at the Spinners helped make me realize that I want to work in sports as an adult. I don’t really have a “dream job” anymore per se, but I don’t think the goal has strayed that far off.

Aside from giving me the best dream job that I could ever dream up, the Spinners gave me a life-long love of sports. I loved minor league baseball so much that during my junior year of college, I wrote for SoxProspects.com, a site that specializes in the Red Sox farm system. Fun fact: I might not be with Matt if not for my love of the Spinners–on the night we met, I hooked him in conversation with my dazzling knowledge of baseball. True story.

This is my first summer that I’m not working there. And it is going to be so weird walking into that ballpark tonight as a fan. I think it’s hard to make that adjustment, but I’m excited to just relax and enjoy the show, too. I’m taking my dad as a belated Father’s Day gift, cause we haven’t been to a game just him and me since I was a really young. I think that the same summer magic that was there when I was a kid will still be around. I can’t wait to feel it.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Does anyone have any awesome plans?

Oh, and HAPPY SUMMER!!!!

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Today I’m linking up with Sarah for Fan Friday!

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Some Instagram shots from the week

Here are some of my favorite pictures that I took and shared on Instagram this week! (follow me: @karolinez!)

My Aunt Mary and Uncle Dean are currently on vacation in Italy, and they’ve been sending me postcards from all the cities they’re visiting! These are from Venice and Rome, but they sent me some from Florence too!

On Friday, my mom and I went to see Michael J. Fox speak at Middlesex Community College. He was a great speaker, really funny and inspiring. One really cool thing was that the Delorean from Back to the Future was outside the auditorium so that people could take pictures!

This week was super warm and sunny here in Lowell, so that meant one thing…sunbathing!

On Thursday night, the Lowell Spinners had their Media Day to meet the players before the season starts on Monday. It was so cool, and they gave me a press pass! I’m so excited!

I got back from a weekend on the cape Monday evening, and I was sad to leave. This is my train ticket to head home sitting on top of my suitcase.

Have you taken any cool Instagram shots lately? Share in the comments!

xoxo, Karoline

Opening day! It’s HERE!

Oh, you know...just hanging in the Red Sox dugout. NDB.

Drumroll please…

It’s finally Red Sox opening day!! I posted about it a bit on The Prep Crew yesterday, but I really am so excited for baseball season.  I’m super passionate about the game and especially the Red Sox.

The beginning of Red Sox season means several things.  For one, it means that there’s something to watch on TV every evening.  Also, it means that NESN will be covering my two favorite things: the Red Sox and the Bruins.  Basically dream programming.  And three: it gives me something to look forward to: I have tickets to the Sox game on the 15th…that’s home-opener weekend!

I’m also looking forward to fantasy baseball.  I’ve played since high school, and this year I’m in two separate leagues–one from school and one from work.  It’ll be interesting to see how I finish and how competitive everyone gets!

I’ve been a lifelong fan thanks to my parents bringing me and my siblings to literally hundreds of Lowell Spinners games throughout the years.  Since then, I’ve worked for the Spinners for the last seven summers, and this year, I even get to write about them with my news writing for SoxProspects.com.  It’s going to be fun.

Are you as excited for Opening Day as I am? Leave it in the comments!

xoxo, Karoline

Exclusive Interview with Patriots’ QB, Brian Hoyer

On July 15th, the Lowell Spinners celebrated New England Patriots night at the ballpark. They had two Patriots players, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and quarterback Brian Hoyer there to kick and throw autographed footballs in the stands.

Brian Hoyer and Stephen Gostowski throwing out the 1st pitch.

Hoyer was nice enough to agree to an interview with me. Remember how I said I had a surprise for you all? This is it! My exclusive interview with Brian Hoyer, quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Karoline Zacharer: Unless the NFL really does come to an agreement next week, you’ll be starting the season off with a lockout. What are the attitudes of you and your teammates heading into it?

Brian Hoyer: We’re just hoping that something gets done and just making sure we’re prepared, and that any moment they tell us, you know, the lockout’s over that we can get ready to go back and get into things.

KZ: So, you guys are all practicing and getting ready none the less?

BH: People are kind of all over the place, they’re kinda working on their own, there’s not much practicing going on. But, you know, a few guys are up here so I’m able to throw with some of those guys; and obviously just workout running, lifting, all that stuff.

KZ: Brian, you’re currently the back-up quarterback for Tom Brady, what’s it like working so closely with such a legend?

BH: It’s great. I’ve learned a lot from the last two years and I can learn a lot just by watching him. He’s very approachable any time I have a question, I don’t hesitate to ask. And we also have a very good quarterback coach in Bill O’Brien, too, so between those two I[‘ve] learned a tremendous amount about football.

KZ: You just finished your second year in the Pat’s organization after being drafted in 2009, do you like playing in New England?

BH: I love it. I don’t think I could have come to a better place. You just mentioned playing behind Tom, I learn from him, Coach Belichik. Growing up in Cleveland, he was coaching there so it’s kinda surreal for me to now play for him. But, you know, I couldn’t ask for a better situation.

KZ: And I mean, you do say all of that, but could you see yourself moving to a different team where you may get more playing time? Kind of like Matt Cassel’s move to the Chiefs?

BH: Obviously every athlete wants to be “the guy” and to play, so you know, whatever happens, happens. I’m just here to do my job, and that’s to be ready at a moment’s notice and, you know, learn in the process and we’ll see what happens.

Brian also stopped for a photo-op with me!

Overall, it was a great night. Hoyer was very gracious, and was completely comfortable answering the questions I threw at him. I see big things for his future, and I wish him the best of luck! Also, like all the other football fans out there, I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that there won’t be a lockout!

xoxo, Karoline

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