Whether it’s the athletes, coaches, front office staff, athletic directors or training staff, it takes a small community to build a winning atmosphere, no matter the level of the sport.
Away From the Game profiles movers and shakers in the world of Wyoming Valley athletics. This week features Adam Marco, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders director of broadcast and media relations.
After joining the front-office staff in November, Marco will step behind the microphone when play begins in April as the new voice of the RailRiders.
Originally from western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, he is a Mercyhurst College graduate and has worked in media relations and broadcasting with the Williamsport Crosscutters, Oklahoma City RedHawks and, most recently, the West Virginia Power.
DJ EBERLE: You’ve been here for a week or two now. How’s the transition been? How have you been acclimating to northeastern Pennsylvania, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area?
ADAM MARCO: Well waking up (Monday) morning to snow was phenomenal. I’m no stranger to any of this, but it is good to be back in Pennsylvania. Roots in this state. My oldest sister went to Penn State. I was there for the original LaVar (Arrington) Leap at Beaver Stadium. So I have some ties certainly to Pennsylvania, but plenty of new roots here, in northeast PA, after a great run in Charleston, West Virginia, with a good staff. Excited to get back to the Triple-A level.
What’s the most excitement you have toward the job, the most intriguing part about it?
First of all, the Pittsburgh Pirates are a phenomenal franchise and that’s who the Power had been with for the eight years I was there. Before that I had worked in Texas’ system and the Phillies, with Williamsport, but it really hits you hard that this is a global brand — this is baseball’s brand — when it comes to our parent club with the Yankees. That’s very exciting and also a little nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s more of a spotlight than baseball has been in my life — this organization, this team — compared to the other places I’ve been. Last week we had a call with the YES Network and I’m excited about some of the things they’ve done in the past that we’re going to build on — that Homegrown series — to some other possibilities of things we can do with them. Just incorporating my role here with how that all plays out in New York and being defacto part of the New York media to a certain extent is kind of intriguing, fascinating and nerve-wracking all at the same time.
How exciting is that, that the talent level you’re going to see considering the last couple years this team has had?
I’ve seen some of the talent headed this way. When I was in Charleston, West Virginia, we played the Charleston RiverDogs. So I know this pipeline. I’ve seen this pipeline and you mix that with guys that are trying to get back to the Major Leagues, guys that are hanging on or looking to continue this as a career and still have that chance. Whether it is a guy who’s been there, a guy who’s trying to get there or a guy that’s a prototypical Four-A player that’s never cracked a Major League roster, you have such an intriguing level of talent at this level that it’s exciting.
So part of these interviews is about the stuff away from the game as well. Like you said, you’re from Pennsylvania. Just from an off-the-field aspect, what intrigued you to move out to northeastern Pennsylvania, sort of close to Williamsport?
It is. In fact I stop there on my way out for the interview and checked out their renovations. It’s a ballpark that I didn’t recognize and I was there a decade ago. Intriguing side of this for me is obviously the chance to call Triple-A baseball, to work in the Yankees organization. This is — in my brief time here — a very energetic staff. It starts with (president and general manager) Josh (Olerud) at the top, and everybody is invested in seeing this team succeed, and I’m not saying that it’s not that way elsewhere, but I had been in Charleston for eight years and had gotten to the point where I wasn’t going to rise anymore in that organization. I was the director of marketing and recently promoted to assistant general manager. So it was really that diverse skill set that landed me an interview here. Now I have the ability to almost step back from a few things and help this team in a few areas. I ran the team website in West Virginia. I can help with that here. I can help with the sales and really utilize my skill set in a couple areas. I’m really excited to work with a number of people on this staff and help see this organization grow.
When people always talk about this area it’s a big outdoors area. Are you a big outdoors guy — hunting, fishing? Golf is pretty big if you ask the guys in the clubhouse.
I love to golf and my big winter sport is — I love to ski. Being right next to the mountain, I’m thinking I get off of work at 5 p.m., I have my skies in the back and go up and get a few runs in. So I’m excited about that. But from an outdoors perspective, skiing, golf and I love soccer. I’m a soccer player even at age 38. Two weeks ago I had an outdoor playoff game back in Charleston. The game was at 5 p.m., we went to overtime and then penalties and then I had a seven-hour drive that started at 7:30 p.m.
That’s dedication right there.
It could have been the last game. Ultimately we lost 3-2 in penalties. It was the last game, so I didn’t want to miss it. I’m looking to find a team here. I haven’t done it recently — I had ankle surgery over the summer — but I like to run. I’m planning on doing the Scranton half, which is the day after opening day, and I also have an entry in the New York City half, which is earlier in March. So I think I’m going to do those.
Obviously Minor League Baseball is a grinding environment and career path to choose. Was baseball always a passion of your’s? How did you get involved?
After I learned what the baseball winter meetings were and that they were a thing and you could work in baseball, I went to the 2005 meetings. Had some interviews, including with Mike Vander Woude — who used to be the broadcaster here — while he was still in Dayton. I didn’t get a job out of it, but I made some contacts. That was a lot to take in that first time, but second time through it was in Orlando and I met Gabe Sinicropi, who was with Williamsport. Gabe, to this day, is one of my best friends in the industry and he took a chance on a 27-year-old, $500-a-month intern. My then-girlfriend, now-wife, and parents were very supportive that I was not going to make any money anytime soon and allowed me the chance to come out to Williamsport. Then my wife moved us to Charleston, and I went to Oklahoma City, then she moved us to Richmond and I moved us to Charleston, but she’s excited about this move as well. I couldn’t do this without her.
What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve with this new job, with this new role with the Yankees organization, with the RailRiders?
From the short-term perspective, we want to get this brand out there. When you think “Yankees baseball” we want to be thought of in the same thought process. Maybe not the same breath, but in that same thought process, especially here in northeast PA. Personally, I had a great run in Charleston and I will miss all of my coworkers — it was a great staff down there. Finding my way and fitting in quickly is my first goal. To be a part of this staff and to be valued to what we do here. The broadcasting will come, if only because we don’t have a game until April 6th. So I have time to get settled, to find my niche in this office and see where I fit, where I can help out.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle