Beer, sweaty people yelling at men in tights, and a bright green field — there’s nothing quite like baseball. For some, working in a tight-knit athletics community is a nice dream, but for a MacEwan Journalism student Gerard Murray, it’s a reality.
Last summer, Murray had the opportunity to work for the Edmonton Riverhawks, the first West Coast League team from Alberta. People in Murray’s life have always expected him to have a career in sports since he’s a big sports enthusiast. So, when he was looking for a student placement position to complete his journalism degree he purposely avoided anything related to the field. The irony.
Even though he had to take on many roles such as, dressing up as River the Hawk, one of the Riverhawks’s iconic mascots, he gladly took on the challenge which, in turn, landed him a position with the organization.
Murray helped the Riverhawks elevate their social media presence with his video production skills. He made several videos which can be seen on their Instagram. These videos received praise from the Edmonton Riverhawks’s general manager, Steve Hogle, and from their audience.
“[Murray] is always there before everybody else and leaves after everyone. He’s so diligent with his work which is awesome… He fits in, he’s so talented in videography, and we needed that,” says Maddie Murdoch, the Riverhawks’s game day producer.
The Edmonton Riverhawks were established in 2020 but debuted in 2022, making them a fairly new organization. The team is a summer collegiate team that plays in the West Coast League, which is basically made up of post-secondary students and acts as a pre-professional summer league as well as a scouting league for the MLB.
Baseball isn’t the most popular sport in Edmonton and the Riverhawks know that not many people want to participate, but they still want their audience to feel the games are a fun experience. It’s not just sitting and watching baseball for three hours; they try to make the games engaging for a bigger variety of people rather than just baseball fans. With 27 home games per season, the organization comes up with different themes for each game. It’s definitely an experience people should take part in at least once!