University of Mount Olive (UMO) senior Maxwell Quinn is having the time of his life interning with the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Massachusetts. For Quinn, the chance to work at Fenway Park every day is a “dream come true.”
“On my first day, I got chill bumps when I walked out on the field,” Quinn recalled. “It reminded me of the same feeling I got as a kid when I went to my first ballgame at the stadium more than a decade ago.”
As part of the Red Sox ground crew, Quinn’s job responsibilities include patching the mound, plate and bullpens. He scrapes, drags and rolls the infield dirt, known as the skin, to get it ready for new turface. He sets up for batting practice, covers and removes nets and tarps, and waters the infield, among other responsibilities.
“We work hard to make sure the field is as perfect as possible to decrease the chances of a bad hop or injury to the players,” Quinn said.
Quinn admits that the 12 to 16 hour days can be long and temperatures soaring over 100 degrees can be hot, but he is enjoying every minute.
“Like most people who go to a ball game and look at the great looking field, I never really thought about all of the behind-the-scenes work involved,” he said. “Now, I look out and take pride in knowing that I am helping to make it all happen. It is especially exciting to unroll the tarp on game day with 50,000 fans cheering in the stands.”
Getting to meet the players and experiencing all of the game-day fanfare is an added benefit of the 12-week internship. Quinn has gotten the opportunity to meet some of his childhood idols like Red Sox Coach Jason Varitek and Commentator Kevin Youkilis.
“It has been so cool getting to meet the players as well,” he said. “It is an awesome thing being around them.”
Quinn’s favorite encounter thus far has been with Bruce Zimmermann, pitcher for the Baltimore Oriels.
“Bruce attended the University of Mount Olive like me,” Quinn said. “So, when we met, we talked about our college days, various professors, and how much the University has grown in the past few years.”
For Quinn, who never imagined himself even going to college prior to earning a spot on the Trojan Men’s Lacrosse team, the internship has been surreal. Some 720 miles from his hometown of Fuquay Varina, Quinn is experiencing new opportunities and situations daily that are opening his eyes to the world around him.
“There has been a bit of a cultural adjustment,” he observed. “Prices on everything from food to rent are much higher in Boston, and traffic is crazy. It can take an hour just to go seven miles. Needless to say, I walk a lot and use public transportation. Both on and off the job, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I am so grateful to UMO and to the Boston Red Sox for this amazing opportunity.”
Quinn is on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in sports management in August of this year. He will be the first in his family to earn a four-year degree.
“UMO has not only taught me all of the ins and outs of sports management, it has also reinforced many of my own life values, like showing respect to others in all situations. I am grateful for all of the people who have supported me during my time at UMO. It is a small-knit community that has always encouraged me to dream and to follow my dreams.”
After college, Quinn would like to continue working with the Boston Red Sox, which has already offered him a job.
“I am getting to use my degree in sports management and still be outside,” he said. “I am not a behind-the-desk kind of guy. This internship has opened my eyes to the potential of a career that I could see myself enjoying for years to come.”