(January 16, 2020) Staying in touch with co-workers from his first baseball job six years ago has led Jason Kempf to his newest opportunity. An STAA member, Kempf is the new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Charleston RiverDogs.
“I began my career with an internship with the St. Paul Saints and have always stayed in touch with a number of people from the organization,” Kempf says. “When I saw Charleston (under the same ownership group) had come open, I reached out to [my friends in St. Paul] and they were able to steer me in the right direction.”
The remaining pieces fell into place for Kempf last month at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. “I was able to meet with a couple of the front office members in person,” he says.
Kempf moves to Charleston after spending the past two summers with Quad Cities. His resume also includes the Dayton Dragons and Wichita Wingnuts. However, Charleston is Kempf’s first full-time opportunity, which is why it was worth moving from one Class-A team to another.
“I have been searching for a full-time opportunity in baseball for the last few years,” he says. “My last two jobs had been seasonal and the stress of trying to find other work in the offseason was getting old. This job allows me the opportunity to work for a team for all 12 months and start to develop relationships in the community through sales and marketing in addition to calling games.”
Kempf is also eager to again work for the Goldklang Group. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way things are done within the Goldklang Group and can’t wait to work for a second team in that family.”
Besides staying in touch, patience is another of Kempf’s recommendations for baseball job seekers. “I think everyone gets stressed when they are applying for jobs and haven’t heard anything back on many of them, but sometimes you just have to sit back, trust your work and let the process play out,” he says.
The grind of a Minor League Baseball season is tremendous, yet Kempf’s passion for the industry is unwavering. “The thing about working in baseball is that you do this almost every day for six months out of the year, but no day ever is the same,” he says. “Something weird, historical, hilarious or surprising pops up every night without fail. Also, there is something special about filling out a scorebook while music blares in an empty stadium during batting practice and then again when the gates open and the lights turn on. It gives me the same rush every time.”
Kempf’s odyssey through Minor League Baseball the past six years has paralleled his time as an STAA member. “Thank you for continuing to provide such a fantastic service for broadcasters all over the country! I have been with STAA since I graduated college and it has been extremely helpful ever since,” he says. “I still get a little tinge of excitement every time an email pops up from Jon with job leads. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, it is fun to see what is out there. There are also a tremendous amount of resources included that can help you no matter what sport or sports you call.”
Kempf’s advice to other STAA members is to use all of the resources that come with a membership. “That means tools (spotting charts etc.) and people,” he recommends. “If you have a question related to the world of broadcasting, there is more than likely going to be someone or something within STAA then can answer that question for you.
“Also, get to know as many broadcasters as you can. The best resource in this field is all of the other people who are doing the same thing.”