The unsung heroes of Oregon baseball

So what does it take to run a baseball program? A lot more than you think. Here’s an inside look at the UO managers that keep the team functioning to its fullest potential.

Posted: May 28, 2019 8:22 PM

Some people go to work and sit in an office. But for Jake Stern and Stanley Basin, their office happens to be a baseball field. Instead of crunching numbers and making phones calls, they’re logging pitch counts and getting the diamond ready for the Oregon Ducks, as team managers.

“It’s been probably the best three years of my life and it’s given me one of the best college experiences I could’ve ever asked for,” said Stanley. “I’ve gone from standing there and feeding a machine during my first year to being one of coach’s right hand guys.”

Jake and Stanley have a combined seven years of experience as team managers for the UO baseball program. They do anything from laundry, to field preparation, to even charting pitch types and velocities.

“You know being able to tell them the exit velocity on a hit or the spin rate on their curveball is very fulfilling,” said Jake. “They’re always very interested by it and being able to give them that information is very rewarding.”

“I’m the one getting credit but they’re the ones really helping me with video, looking at my swing, and knowing what pitches guys throw in certain counts,” said Oregon infielder Spencer Steer. “That’s been a huge deal for me in college and that’s a big reason on why I’ve been able to have success.”

Jake and Stanley are no strangers the game of baseball. They both played little league all the way up to the varsity level in high school. But when they’re playing careers came to an end, they weren’t ready to give up the sport altogether. Now they’re a part of the Ducks organization, making vital contributions in different ways.

And what a lot of people don’t realize is that the team managers put in more hours than the actual players do. But they say they do it for the love of the game.

“You’re never going to be able to do this at a high level like we are here,” said Stanley. “And being around coach? I mean he’s a legendary coach. He’s got over 1,000 wins in his career and is a future hall of famer. So just being able to learn from him and take the things that he’s said, it’s something you don't get anywhere else.”

The most fulfilling part of the job is the relationships these two have developed with the players.

“I’ve known those guys for three years now and they’re one of my teammates. I love them like brothers,” said Steer.

Their experience of being managers is something that Stanley and Jake will keep for the rest of their lives.

“I’m working in finance and the fact that I have experience with data analytics and statistics is actually was what helped me the most get this job,” said Jake. “My employer asked is this like moneyball? And I said yeah in a way it is. You see little things that other people don’t see visually on the field and being able to tell a story through numbers is what you can do with that.”

Coach Horton says the managers are the glue that holds this team together. Jake and Stanley’s time with the Oregon baseball program has come to an end, with the Ducks not making the postseason. But they’re going to use everything they’ve learned on this field and apply it to their professional careers.

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