Scrappers identify Heather Sahli as new GM | News, Sports, Jobs
NILES — When Heather Sahli first started working for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2001, she by no means envisioned it to be a long-term stint.
Sahli had gone to highschool for enterprise, advertising and marketing, and administration. Professional baseball wasn’t on the prime of her want checklist when it comes to future endeavors.
“People tend to float around at this level,” Sahli stated. “I didn’t even have a background in sports. I didn’t do any sports-related internships. Today, it would be hard to even get your foot in the door without that type of background.”
However, Sahli discovered the Scrappers to be an ideal match – and vice versa – and immediately she will’t think about being wherever however Eastwood Field.
On Tuesday, 22 years after first serving as an Account Executive for the franchise, Sahli was named General Manager of the Scrappers.
Sahli replaces Jordan Taylor, who served in the identical capability since 2011.
Taylor will stay with the Scrappers in his function as Executive Vice President of HWS Baseball. HWS Group is a sports activities administration agency that owns and operates skilled sports activities franchises, together with the Scrappers.
“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to continuing the great bond that the Scrappers have built with our community,” Sahli stated. “This group has all the time prided itself on providing family-friendly leisure. Jordan and the others earlier than him have accomplished a fantastic job of constructing one thing really particular.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to maintain our success and build on future goals.”
Sahli most lately served because the Scrappers’ Assistant General Manager, a job she held for the previous 12 years. Previous duties included Box Office Manager, Client Service Manager, and Director of Marketing and Promotions.
“You never really have just one title or one role at this level,” Sahli stated. “So, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to learn pretty much all the aspects of running the day-to-day operations.”
Sahli, a Struthers native, joined the Scrappers group in its third yr in Niles. At the time, the franchise was a member of the New York-Penn League and an affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians.
The Scrappers remained a Class A brief-season minor league franchise till 2020 when Major League Baseball restructured its minor league system and eradicated roughly 40 associates.
The 2020 season was fully shut down because of COVID, then in 2021 the Scrappers turned a founding member of the MLB Draft League – a collegiate summer time baseball league designed to showcase prime draft-eligible prospects.
The MLB Draft League expanded in 2022 to incorporate skilled gamers who’ve used up all of their collegiate eligibility.
“Those were crazy times, for two years we were hit with the unexpected,” Sahli stated. “We simply took this ‘Whatever it takes’ angle and ran with it. We did no matter we would have liked to do to maintain issues going. We had constructed up a fantastic relationship with the neighborhood and we wished to take care of our momentum.
“There was a sense of pride in our ability to promote and maintain all of the traditions and memories of the Scrappers and of Eastwood Field coming out of our time of transition.”
Sahli believes that Mahoning Valley residents and enterprise house owners deserve a substantial amount of credit score for the Scrappers’ capability to take care of its place as a fixture in Niles.
This summer time the Scrappers will start their twenty fifth season of play at Eastwood Field.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have great support from our fans, the community, and corporate partners,” Sahli stated. “We’ve been capable of proceed with a few of our hottest promotions. Our ticket costs have all the time been extraordinarily reasonably priced. We’ve all the time been capable of present nice household leisure on a nightly foundation.
“We’ve been able to stay true to the core of our mission, which is to provide affordable family entertainment. None of that happens without the support of our community.”
Sahli turns into simply the fourth basic supervisor in franchise historical past. She can be in choose firm in terms of females holding such a job within the sports activities business.
Sahli famous that a number of years in the past when she attended the baseball winter conferences, roughly 80 p.c of the executives have been males.
“It’s pretty rare, so I’m proud to get to this level,” Sahli stated. “I do see the numbers starting to expand. West Virginia also has a female GM (Leighann Sainato) and that was also the case at Staten Island when we were in the New York-Penn League.”
Taylor is assured the Scrappers are in good arms underneath Sahli’s watch.
“Heather is very deserving of being promoted to General Manager,” Taylor stated. “I have worked with her for over 20 years and her dedication and passion for the Scrappers and community make her a perfect fit for the position.”
The Scrappers open their season June 1 at house in opposition to West Virginia. The night time will characteristic a pair of fan favorites – Buck Night and post-game fireworks.
“We can’t wait to bring back all of the summer fun that has been fan favorites,” Sahli stated. “I can’t wait. To me, Eastwood Field within the summertime is house. It’s been a giant a part of house for my complete household.
“I think that no matter whether you’re at the ballpark with family, friends, or co-workers, you feel at home. The sites, the smells, the music, it all relates to a good time.”
The 2023 Scrappers season consists of 40 house video games and runs via Sept. 2.