One name down, two to go.
Owner John McLean of the Victoria Baseball Club introduced Holly Jones as the team’s first general manager at Royal Athletic Park, the team’s home park, on Tuesday.
Jones is originally from Oregon but comes with a decorated sales and marketing resumé, including time spent at the National Basketball Association’s head office in New York. She also brings three years experience as the assistant general manager of the Corvalis Knights (Ore.), recent winners of the West Coast League.
“This is meant to be an exciting league with promotions and giveaways every night and ideally that’s what we’ll have,” Jones said.
As GM she’ll handle the day-to-day business side of the franchise and was already five days in, she said.
First up is the next two names to be added to the club. One is the head coach, more commonly known around baseball as the field manager, who is responsible for the on-field product. The other is selecting the team’s official nickname, which is underway through a name-the-team contest.
“We’ll have the name and logo ready for the end of September. Right now we want everyone to pitch their best ideas at Victoria Baseball Club dot com.”
Mayor Dean Fortin was also on hand to welcome Jones, saying it didn’t take her a week to settle in as a true Victoria resident.
“She got a house in Oak Bay, has family in Langford and works downtown.”
Fortin, McLean and Jones each wore a black baseball hat bearing a white V that resembled the logo of the Stanley Cup-winning Victoria Cougars of 1925. But the hat is just a placeholder, same as the Victoria Baseball Club name, McLean said.
Prior to the press conference McLean also clarified any confusion around the role of the GM, which in the big leagues is related to the roster. But there is no trading in the short, 54-game WCL season. The field manager does the recruiting and players sign a new contract every year, as long as they are NCAA eligible, which means they cannot be under contract to an MLB team.
As for the stadium, Jones said she’s looking forward to using the Daktronics video board, which was installed and is owned by Darren Parker, owner of the now-defunct Victoria Seals (2009 to 2010).
“I’m not entirely up to speed on the (agreement of use) for the scoreboard but we’ll do some digging to figure it out.”
Victoria will enter the West Coast League for June of 2013 and play 27 home games. Prior to June the baseball diamond of RAP will be refit to NCAA standards.