Unflappable staff bring life to stadium

Quackerjack is a fan favorite at Long Island Ducks Games. Here he poses with fans for the Long Island Ducks vs. New Britain Bees game on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Photo by Amanda Mitchell.
Quackerjack is a fan favorite at Ducks Games. Here, he poses with fans at the Long Island Ducks vs. New Britain Bees game on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Photo by Amanda Mitchell.)

The sun is shining brightly and the wind is blowing gently at Bethpage Ballpark as workers flip burgers on the grill, fill ice-cold sodas, offer cotton candy for sale, and usher fans to their seats. The crowd cheers in unison as they watch the Ducks play baseball, game in and game out.

However, it’s not only the Ducks who are dedicated to the game.

The staff is recognized by fans as a dedicated group of people who make the environment exciting and comforting, starting from the moment they walk in.

“The workers seem very friendly and everybody seems upbeat,” said Kevin Bryan, who has attended several Ducks games. “Everyone seems like they’re in a good mood.”

Mandy Turmine of Center Moriches, who sang the National Anthem at the game, called the staff “really comforting and welcoming.”

“Everyone was really nice; they helped me to relax and made me less nervous,” she said after she finished singing. “I really appreciated that they helped me in that way.”

Danielle Burgh, also of Center Moriches, agreed with Bryan.

“I think the environment is really energetic and nice,” she said. “It’s very family-friendly as well. The staff is really important because they make sure everything is going smoothly. They do a good job of transferring positive energy to the fans.”

Staff at Bethpage Ballpark always work to make fans feel welcome. Here a ticket taker welcomes fans for the Long Island Ducks vs. New Britain Bees game on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Photo by Amanda Mitchell.
The staff at Bethpage Ballpark always work to make fans feel welcome. Here a ticket taker welcomes fans for the Long Island Ducks vs. New Britain Bees game on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Photo by Amanda Mitchell.)

Ducks Director of Media and Broadcasting, Michael Polak, agreed with them about the commitment of the workers. He also said the Ducks are strict when it comes to hiring. Employees should have a certain number of personality traits to get the job, he said.

“We want to see them smiling all the time,” Polak said. “We want to make sure they are punctual and willing to work as much as possible.”

One of the most important qualities is that employees be cheerful and polite to the fans to make their experience the best it could be, according to Polak.

He also said the staff is devoted not only to their work, but also to the Ducks team itself. Many are very knowledgeable about the history of the team, especially the players.

“I haven’t seen one employee who’s not a Ducks fan,” Polak said. “In a game that we rescheduled, everybody was cleaning the ballpark, and every time the ‘Let’s Go Ducks’ chant started, the workers were cheering along while they were picking up dirt from the ground.”

It is clear from Polak’s perspective, as well as fans’ opinions, that employees play an important role before, during, and after the game.

“The workers are very helpful, especially when you ask them questions about where you are going,” Maria Ciccione of Center Moriches said. “They are always welcoming fans with a smile.”

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