PRESS RELEASE – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees continue the process of returning to Northeast Pennsylvania and to the reconstructed PNC Field for the 2013 season and are announcing the new leadership team for the franchise introducing Rob Crain as the new President and General Manager for the organization.
Crain joins the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees from the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals where he served as assistant general manager for the past four years. As AGM, he helped the Triple-A club set sales records for five consecutive years in advertising and group sales along with the highest attendance since the 2000 season. His role also included overseeing the team’s external marketing campaigns a number of which have won various local and national advertising awards. As a member of the club’s leadership team, Rob played an integral part in the design and construction of Werner Park as well as leading the club’s re-brand from the Omaha Royals to the Omaha Storm Chasers.
“I am extremely excited that we were able to attract a leader of Rob Crain’s caliber to become the president and GM of the SWB Yankees,” said Mandalay Baseball Properties CEO Art Matin. “Rob is a well-respected baseball executive and his most recent experiences in Omaha fit perfectly with our opportunity and commitment to provide an outstanding experience for all our fans and stakeholders.”
Lonn Trost, New York Yankees Chief Operating Officer, commented, “Rob’s accomplishments in Omaha are impressive and the Yankees are excited to have him leading our staff in Scranton Wilkes Barre. We’re enthusiastic about the direction of the franchise and welcome Rob, and Jeremy Ruby, to the extended Yankees family.”
Crain has worked in a number of positions in his career in professional baseball beginning as a group sales representative with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. Following his first season, Rob was promoted to Corporate Sales Executive. In addition to sales, Rob also the coordinated the in-game promotions and managed the promotional team and game day staff. In September of 2006, Rob moved to Omaha, Nebraska to work for the Omaha Royals, eventually earning a promotion in 2009 to Assistant General Manager.
“Rob Crain is ready for his new opportunity,” said Martie Cordaro, Omaha Storm Chasers President & General Manager. “His passion and enthusiasm for his job and the community are incredible. He is totally dedicated to being the best and, through his leadership, I am sure that Rob will make the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization one of the very best in MiLB. In our business, the successful people are those who understand that our daily mission is about the fan experience and community engagement. Rob Crain ‘gets it’.”
Crain is a native of Burlington, Massachusetts and graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a double major of Sport Management and Business Management with a concentration in Marketing.
“I am very thankful to Mandalay Baseball and the New York Yankees for giving me this once in a career opportunity,” said Crain. “I believe that my past experience along with my enthusiasm to provide a memorable fan experience will enhance an already very talented staff. My wife and I are excited to call Northeast Pennsylvania home for many years to come.”
The Yankees are also pleased to announce the return of Jeremy Ruby to the organization as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. Jeremy returns to Triple-A baseball and the SWB family after two seasons away from the game. He joined the franchise in 1998 with the former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons as a baseball operations intern. Ruby quickly rose through the ranks serving as the club’s Operations Manager from 1999 through 2004 before being named the fourth general manager in franchise history in 2005. He continued in the General Manager capacity for two seasons with the Red Barons before becoming the Executive Vice President/General Manager after the affiliation switched to the New York Yankees.
“We are delighted that Jeremy had a high degree of interest in rejoining our organization. When Jeremy conveyed just how much he missed being directly involved with professional baseball and, more importantly, his enthusiasm for the direction we’re taking with the franchise, it was an easy decision to embrace his return to the team,” said Matin. “I believe we have assembled a very talented and committed leadership team. They represent a diverse set of experiences and there’s an excellent blend of long-term NEPA residents with leaders who’ve had the experience of working for other organizations in varying parts of the country. Everyone is focused on delighting our fans and a high level of community involvement.”
Ruby is a 1994 graduate of Valley View High School in Archbald, Pennsylvania, where he played baseball, basketball and football. Following his senior baseball season, he was drafted by the California Angels in the 38th round of the June 1994 amateur draft. In 1998, he graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelors degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism management. He is the great-grandson of long-time major league umpire Joseph Paparella, and is the son of current Houston Astros Double-A pitching coach Gary Ruby.
In addition to Crain and Ruby, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees leadership team as the organization moves forward to the 2013 season at the reconstructed PNC Field brings numerous years of professional sports and business experience to move the franchise into the future.
I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with such a talented staff who shares the passion I have to provide the best in affordable, fun, family entertainment,” Crain said.
The additional members of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees leadership team include: Paul Chilek, Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Doug Augis, Vice President of Ticketing, Katie Beekman, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Services, Curt Camoni, Vice President of Stadium Operations, Mike Trudnak, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Joe Villano, Director of Facility Operations.