The Post and Courier has a pretty lengthy profile on Dave Echols, the general manager of the Charleston RiverDogs, who probably has one of the best jobs in the world. Echols, who grew up in Ohio, has been GM of the RiverDogs since 2004, though he also served as assistant GM from 1998 to 2001 before spending a few years in Massachusetts.
A few highlights from the P&C article:
On his typical workday:
It's not unusual for Echols to work 12 or 14 hours a day at the ballpark on days the team has home games. And sometimes, those home stretches last eight days.
When the team is away, though, he gets a little bit of a break, working more of a typical 9-to-5 business day.
"That gives us a chance to have a little personal time, a life outside of baseball," he says.
On being with the Goldklang Group:
Echols quickly learned that working for the Goldklang Group, which owns the RiverDogs and a handful of other teams, is different from working for just about anyone else.
"It was a different mentality," he says. "I was used to crunching numbers and no laughing, no feet up on the desk, no horseplay. Just count the money at the end of the night and that's it. I was enjoying it because I didn't know better, but this job burns people out. Then I came here, and working for Mike was a 180 from what I was used to."
On becoming more of a public figure:
"People love to see me walking around, and I love being out there," he says. "Unfortunately, I don't get to watch much of the game."
He often is stopped by fans who want to talk. While most comments are positive, not all are.
"If fans are happy, I want to know it. If not, I still want to know," he says. "With 4,500 fans a night, somebody's going to be unhappy about something. I don't dodge questions or complaints."
It's a great story, whether you're very interested in baseball or not. Oftentimes, going to the RiverDogs is much less about baseball than it is about the sense of community and just having a fun time in a festival-like atmosphere. And one of the reasons why it's so much fun is Mr. Echols.
Hopefully he won't "go back to Ohio" anytime soon ...