Lifelong dream fulfilled through IronPigs internship
Chaperoning the first pitch ceremony. Showing off the arm in a mid-inning koozie toss. Assisting with an on-the-field hula hoop game. Dawning a costume for the late-game pork race.
And that’s just one shift.
Each night was something different for Kraig Koehnlein '22, a soon-to-be Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg communication studies graduate. Each game brought on a new challenge. In fact, each inning seemingly provided a new adventure.
Fifty games in four months. It was a summer Koehnlein will never forget.
“My whole life I’ve had a passion for baseball,” said Koehnlein, who spent the summer interning with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in its front office. “Anything baseball related I spent hours on … whether it was practicing, watching highlights, researching stats, or playing when I was younger, and now volunteering for the Miracle League. I can’t get enough!”
So, a game day operations internship with the IronPigs — a Philadelphia Phillies minor league affiliate — was an easy and fitting choice for Koehnlein to put the final touches on his bachelor’s degree requirements and close out his college journey.
“Since I was born, I’ve loved the Phillies, the IronPigs, and playing baseball,” Koehnlein said. “When I was looking for a summer internship, I thought of no better place to intern than one of the organizations that helped me find my passion.”
The IronPigs’ Game Day Internship Program enabled Koehnlein to explore different sports career options through numerous game day roles while working alongside the team’s front office staff. Among those opportunities included:
- assisting in general game day setup such as giveaways, programs, and sponsor tables
- assisting promo crew with on-field entertainment and escorting mascots
- leading promotional sales throughout games
- assisting catering with suites and hospitality areas
- assisting promo crew in handing out giveaways and exit distributions
“The goal of the IronPigs from day one has been selling a positive fan experience, no matter who the customer is,” Koehnlein said. “There’s something for everyone at Coca-Cola Park. This is a great organization that’s well respected throughout the Lehigh Valley. To have this on my resume and as a reference, gives me an edge when applying to future jobs.”
According to Koehnlein, not only did the internship further his interest in the sports industry it’ll serve as launching pad for a potential career.
“Besides being a strong resume builder, I learned a lot about sales with the IronPigs,” Koehnlein said. “I also learned the importance of being able to sell yourself and how you can be an asset for your company, as well as the importance for your personal life.”
An added perk this summer, according to Koehnlein, was of course the up-close, front seat view of many memorable baseball highlights, including Bryce Harper’s unforgettable September rehab assignment.
“I was in the dugout when (he) hit a walk-off double,” Koehnlein said. “Getting to see the energy of that moment from on the field — with the players high-fiving one another and the team jumping all over Harper — is something I’ll never forget.”
And of course, Koehnlein says Bacon will forever hold a special place in his heart.
“I would say the most enjoyable part (of the internship) was whenever I worked on the Promo Team,” Koehnlein said. “This position allowed me to run in the Provident Bank Pork Race, where some of the mascots including Hambone, Chris P. Bacon, Ribbie, and Barbie Q, and Diggity run from left field all the way to home. Each night the best meat would win. The best part was hearing the roar of the crowd as I flew by them dressed as Bacon.”