BY NICK ROBINSON
DENVER – If you would have asked Amanda Kubec when she was a freshman in college about where her life would head, owning a baseball league would be near the bottom of the list.
“I never in a million years, starting out as an art major (at Metropolitan State), would have guessed I would own a baseball league,” Kubec said. “Taking a sports management class as a hospitality major helped me spark my love and a realization, I could actually make a career of this.”
Baseball wasn’t too big in Kubec’s life growing up, but her grandfather’s passion for the New York Yankees kept the game relevant.
“I played soccer and grew up as a gymnast,” she said. “It wasn’t a huge part of my life. I’m not sure why baseball stuck out to me. My grandpa was a giant New York Yankees fan and I think that played a huge part into it.”
So, how’d the owner of a baseball league find the passion she has now?
“The game grew on me,” Kubec said. “From a sports standpoint, I love the emotion and competition. There is nothing I love more than being at sporting events.
I ended up getting Colorado Rockies season tickets and I fell in love with it. It just happened that it was the sport that just took over. I struggle enjoying in the moment, so baseball is a game that you can sit down and enjoy it.”
After graduating college, she had her eyes locked into an internship with the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I went to the College World Series for three or four years in a row (as a fan),” Kubec said. “That experience was great, and they have an internship program I worked very hard for but didn’t get it. So, I saw an email from the ‘Mile High Collegiate Baseball League’ – and I had a bad attitude about it, because I wanted to be in Omaha.”
Kubec’s attitude switched immediately when she met former league owner Kent Gregory for a dialogue about her role.
“We set up an interview and was connected with Kent (Gregory) for about four hours,” she explained. “And he made sure to find out if I really wanted to do this. That changed my mentality on the whole process.”
Gregory helped her grow throughout her two seasons as an intern, which she said helped groom her as owner.
“There were so many games where he wasn’t on time,” Kubec said. “I had to figure things out on my own and it helped build confidence in me.
In between the second and third season of my involvement, Kent (Gregory) explained how he couldn’t run the league anymore. He trusted me and Jason (Hirsh) with it and we needed to make sure he felt fully safe with it.”
No matter how many hours Kubec spends planning and executing, being completely equipped usually doesn’t happens.
“You’ll never be fully prepared for something and if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken from being an owner so far.”
The annual All-Star game and trip to Wichita stick out to her as favorite memories with the league.
“The All-Star games are always a big moment for me, because it takes so much planning,” Kubec said. “Seeing it come together is so rewarding. Also, going to Wichita and playing the Colorado Cyclones was awesome. We played the Kansas Stars, which is former MLB players, like Chipper Jones, Roy Halliday. That interaction with the players come together with the players was so meaningful.”
For the future of the MHCBL?
“Every year you have to make progress,” Kubec said. “We need to put ourselves on the map, and Colorado on the map. There’s no reason we can’t be like the Cape Cod League, or the Northwoods League.
I realized my true passion for the league. I don’t think twice about it, when I am dealing with rain-outs, or updates to the website. Knowing I get to be a part of the league, having a say in what goes down, and helping out these teams drives me.”
Follow @milehighcbl and @nrob605 on Twitter.