Last summer, Brad Star’19 ended a four-year stint working as a writer and press box aficionado for the Beloit Snappers, Minor League Baseball’s Class A affiliate with the Oakland A’s. As a student, the recent Beloit graduate and Wisconsin native was co-editor-in-chief of the Round Table, Beloit’s student-run newspaper, and he majored in business economics with a minor in journalism. In July, he started working for the Appleton Post Crescent newspaper in Appleton, Wis.
What was your Snappers internship like?
I started in June of 2015, right before my first year at Beloit, as an intern doing writing primarily, like writing game recaps for their website. From there, it evolved into a part-time job, doing other press box stuff like official score-keeping and statistics stringing, which is sort of like keeping score online and relaying scoring decisions to Minor League Baseball offices in New York. Then at the beginning of this year, I got promoted and joined the front office as Press Box and Media Manager. I’m still doing a lot of the same things I did previously, but it’s sort of a leadership position. I’m running the press box, I help the radio guys get set up before games, making sure things are running smoothly before and during games.
How did you get the internship?
After I committed to Beloit College at the end of my senior year of high school, I started looking at potential internship or job opportunities in the area. I wanted to get into journalism or sports management, so the Snappers stood out. I shot their media guy at the time an email. I was lucky that they needed help with writing and other press box duties, so they invited me to be an intern. From there I tried to work my way up. I’m really lucky for how it happened.
What’s been your favorite part of the job?
I think for me it’s been the opportunity to do a lot of writing. I’ve done game recaps, I’ve had the chance to interview some minor league players, some of whom have gone on to the majors, which is really cool. I’ve written general news and other stories surrounding the team. I think that’s the best part for me because I was trying to go into journalism.
You saw players go through the Snappers and make it big?
There was one guy that I interviewed in 2017 named Brandon Bailey. He’s a pitcher. He’s not in the majors at the moment. I think he made it to the majors at the very end of last year for the first time. Another cool interview I did was with the president of Minor League Baseball, when he came to talk to the Snappers in 2017 about their stadium situation—the Snappers need a new stadium in the next two years. That was a cool article that I got to do.
What is the new job?
It’s at a newspaper called the Appleton Post Crescent, which is a Gannett Wisconsin Media-run newspaper. I’m a digital producer, so helping run all of the websites that Gannett has in Wisconsin [including 10 local online and print publications].
What was the job application process like?
At the end of my senior year, I just started shooting my résumé everywhere: to newspapers in this area, around Wisconsin, and also to some newspapers across the country. I was just trying to see if I would get any replies, and I didn’t really. After that, I accepted the job officially with the Snappers—the front office job—in February. Then I finally got a reply from the editor-in-chief of the Appleton paper saying, “If you’re still in the job market, we have some job openings.” So I applied for a couple of the jobs—one of them was this digital producer position.
Are you hoping to write about local sports in the future?
Definitely. Sports writing is what got me into journalism in the first place, and I would say that it’s my favorite thing to do in journalism. I realized, writing for the Round Table for these past few years, that I’m also interested in a bunch of other kinds of writing too, but sports journalism is probably my strength.