Play Ball

Like so many others on the night of Game Seven of the 2016 World Series, Jacob Helmus, a sports marketing and management major from Indiana University, was on the edge of his seat.  He could witness history and the 100+ year drought may finally come to an end.

Helmus first picked up the game of baseball at age four.

As the ball was tapped ever so slightly to Kris Bryant at third base, all of Cub nation, including Helmus, held its breath.  A straight shot across the infield into Anthony Rizzo’s glove and there it was.  History.

Helmus remembers this moment as one his fondest memories with the sport of baseball, a moment that he would always have with his family who introduced him to the rich tradition housed in the Friendly Confines.

Baseball for Helmus is more than just a game, it is a way of life.

“I played baseball my entire life, from age four all the way up until my senior year of high school,” said Helmus.  “Some people have a passion to become a doctor or a lawyer, but I never really had that.  So being in sports and in baseball was my ultimate goal.”

When Helmus was then offered a position with the  Indianapolis Indians, Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was a no-brainer.

Helmus serves as a full-time ticket services assistant for the Indians, part of the 2017 intern class.  Interns range in specialties from ticket services to communications, but all play a hand in maintaining one of the best experiences in minor league baseball.

On a day-to-day basis, Helmus is responsible for putting bodies into seats, but it doesn’t end there.

“I’m a ticket service intern, so I’m excited about the sales aspect of course,” said Helmus, “But I’m really just excited about learning and experiencing being part of a front office for a high-level organization.”

As one could imagine, the life of a minor league baseball intern is anything but ordinary.  In addition to his daily responsibilities of selling tickets and group deals, Helmus and the rest of the interns are honorary grounds crew members in charge of pulling tarp when weather threatens.

But for the Indianapolis native, just the chance to work in baseball and at the field where he played in the Marion county championship negates the long, grueling hours.

“With this internship, it’s going to open doors not only in Indianapolis,” said Helmus.  “The Indians are one of the most respected organizations in Minor League Baseball so anybody in the sports industry probably knows about them and how great their internship program is so hopefully that will open other sales jobs or anywhere else in the front office.”

Helmus (second from right) attributes much of his success to lessons learned through Lambda Chi.

Not only will Helmus be able to spend more quality time with his family while working in the throes of Victory Field, he also has the chance to demonstrate the values he holds dear through Lambda Chi.

“Lambda Chi really taught me how to bring the attributes that I have used to gain my experience so far,” said Helmus.  “I can attribute that to being an associate member in Lambda Chi and all of the lessons I have learned through them.”

Though Helmus is the youngest in his intern class, he is confident he has what it takes to tackle the demands of working in his beloved sport.  After all, this is only the first step in Helmus’s story on the road to a rich history, just like his cherished Cubs.