Baseball is in full swing in the summer. For a lot of students, the season is also the perfect time to complete Colby-Sawyer’s required internship. Chris Hood '18, a sport management major from Goffstown, N.H., paired the classic summer activities as an intern with the Upper Valley Nighthawks in White River Junction, Vt. Baseball is America’s pastime, and it was Hood’s job to make it the pastime of the Upper Valley, too.
As a game day operations intern for a collegiate summer baseball team, Hood had a variety of responsibilities, including pre-game promotion and preparation as well as hospitality service. Hood also became the voice of the games. When the Nighthawks needed someone to call the games, Hood stepped up to the plate and volunteered despite his initial fear of public speaking.
Hood knows the game — he’s a pitcher and first baseman for the Colby-Sawyer Chargers, and that background came in handy as he was required to have an excellent knowledge of NCAA rules and regulations. He also relied upon his solid understanding of the sports industry developed in courses such as sports marketing and business management to be successful at his internship.
An important facet of Hood’s internship was marketing the team to the local community. The Nighthawks, founded in 2015, is the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s newest franchise. When General Manager Noah Crane revealed the team name and logo, he hoped the Nighthawks would connect a community that had been without a baseball presence. Hood saw that goal realized.
“This team has brought the community together,” said Hood. “The Nighthawks are capturing the baseball spirit in the Upper Valley.”
Hood saw the unifying power of baseball every day while working at the Maxfield Sports Complex. “I connected with the fans and players while watching the sport I grew up playing,” he said. Hood even helped a young Nighthawks fan get his baseball signed by his favorite player. The way the boy’s face lit up made Hood’s day.
Colby-Sawyer alumni have helped cultivate the experiential learning opportunities that led Hood to that moment. In January 2016, Hood spent a week shadowing Ethan Casson '96, then chief operating officer for the San Francisco 49ers and now chief executive officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The college also awarded him a grant funded by a donation from Jean Ingwersen '54 to defray transportation and living costs during the unpaid internship.
Turning his beloved game into work only reaffirmed Hood’s love of sports. He hopes to find a career in sponsorships or marketing, but he’s keeping his options wide open when it comes to which sport he’d promote.
As his internship wound down, the Nighthawks were headed to the playoffs and still needed Hood to give it his all before letting him return to campus with everything he learned.
It was a win-win-win.