Reading's Heim brings lacrosse to the ballpark
|Reading gameday operations intern Pat Heim, left, hands bread to Reading Phillies fans as part of a post-game promotion. Heim was the top choice in this year's Major League Lacrosse draft.
By Chuck King
READING, Penn – Midway through the season and much to their surprise the Reading Phillies learned they had an additional first-round draft choice in their organization.
The only problem for Reading is that Pat Heim will never take the field.
In May Heim, an intern who joined Reading in May to complete the final credits from his degree Penn State, became the first overall draft choice in the Major League Lacrosse draft.
For the next two months, Heim spent the early part of the week helping Reading around the ballpark, then jetting to join his Chicago Machine teammates for their weekend game.
“It’s interesting,” Heim said. “It’s fun to see everything behind the scenes as far as game day operations - how all that accumulates for one ballgame. It’s kind of interesting to see that behind the scenes stuff and know how much work goes into setting up for a ballpark.”
Heim was a late arrival in Reading, sliding into the job with the help of the Reading team doctor.
“To tell you the truth, when he emailed me I was like, great, another person who’s going to just come here and sit here and want credits, and I have to fill out a form for him,” said Reading client relations manager Lindsay Krupp. “He ended up being great. He’s very responsible.
Most of the Phillies never knew about Heim’s lacrosse prowess.
“He came to me one day and said, I think I’m going to tryout for this team,” Krupp recalls. “He kind of downplayed it and I was like alright, sure Pat, go get ‘em. Good luck.”
Krupp often asks Heim to help with data entry, set up games and man the information and ticket booths. His favorite ballpark job, however has been working the miniature golf game.
Heim is adamant about finishing his internship and earning his degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management.
When the weekend rolls around, he rejoins his Machine teammates, where he’s tied for fourth on the squad with 24 points. He estimates that 95 percent of the players in the league have second jobs.
“You can’t really make a living of it,” Heim said. “I don’t mind if I was playing for peanuts or making some money. I love it. It’s a fun sport.”
Following his draft, Reading honored Heim before a game. Heim, in turn, put together Reading’s Lacrosse Day on August 14, the final day of his internship.
“It’s kind of a going away project for me,” said Heim, who played baseball until about the seventh grade, then followed his older brother into lacrosse.
Heim says the craziest thing he’s seen during his time in baseball are the antics of his co-workers.
“One of the guys dresses up as the Ostrich Man and throws hot dogs into the stands,” Heim laughs. “I think that’s the funniest thing in the world. You meet the guy in the office and he’s a great guy. The next thing you know he’s out here going crazy.”
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