BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Buck Rogers will be the face of Biloxi baseball. On Tuesday, team officials announced the current general manager of the Huntsville Stars has been hired to be the GM when the Stars move to Biloxi.
The Biloxi Baseball Club did a lot of interviews while looking for a general manager. Owners said the most important qualities were credibility and knowledge. They said it was that, along with Buck Rogers' passion and enthusiasm, that won him the top job in Biloxi baseball.
Building Biloxi as a market for minor league baseball is about more than the bricks and mortar of a new stadium. Those in the business say to be successful, it also takes a general manager who knows how to lead.
"Anything to do with ticket sales and promotions, concessions, advertising and marketing, he oversees all of those areas and basically operates the franchise for the ownership group," former MLB player Barry Lyons said of Rogers. "He is the man in charge. So he has a lot of responsibility. His days are pretty long, especially during the season. But when you have a good general manager in place, it shows."
General Manager Buck Rogers has many years of experience in entertaining fans, but he said coming to Biloxi will be a whole new ballgame.
"From a general manager's point of view, to go into a new market, with a new stadium, with a new name, with a new logo, with new excitement is - imagine being 10 years old with Christmas, birthday, New Year's and Fourth of July all rolled in to one," said Rogers. "That's what it equates to opening up a new ballpark."
Rogers said he'll be able to juggle his job as the new Biloxi GM while still in that role in Huntsville because of the support he has in Alabama.
"The staff. You've got to have some great baseball experience," Rogers said. "There's a lot of people who want to work in baseball who don't know what they're getting into. The long days. Ten days at a time without a day off. Sometimes going in at seven in the morning and not leaving until one in the morning. You're off six hours and you're back. So you've got to shower, sleep and get back to work."
Now that a GM has been selected, the Biloxi baseball club said the next step will be naming the team and its mascot. In a few months, people will be asked to submit ideas online. Those will be narrowed down to the top five, and South Mississippians can vote on their favorite.
"Certainly something that reflects the area is very important," Biloxi Baseball Club President Ken Young said. "The other thing is that we also need something that will be fun for the fans."
"It's going to be something that's unique to Biloxi and the Gulf Coast and it will be something that the people will embrace," said Rogers. "They'll love wearing the logo. We've got a design team that's above reproach and when the time comes and we put it all together, it will market itself. You watch and see."
Rogers said more than 900 people have signed up for information about season tickets. He said that shows Biloxi baseball already has a large amount of support.