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Lugnuts hire new GM

January 17, 2001

Despite his promotion from assistant general manager of operations to general manager on Dec. 19, 2000, Greg Rauch has been actively involved in all facets of Lansing Lugnut operations.

“When (Greg) first came here he was responsible for all of our ticketing operations; he then picked up all stadium operations; last year he picked up the marketing operations; now he will be the person responsible for running the entire organization,” said Tom Dickson, president and co-owner of the Lansing Lugnuts.

Rauch began with the Lugnuts in 1996 as ticket director, coming over from the Oklahoma 89ers, where he began as an intern.

“The general manager at the time, who was the previous general manager of the Oklahoma 89ers, hired me as an intern right out of college,” Rauch said. “He remembered me and basically gave me the opportunity to come to the Lansing area and help open the ballpark.”

In January 1998, Rauch was promoted to director of operations and in November 1999 to assistant general manager of operations.

“I’ve been here with the organization going on six seasons so I’ve been able to cross-train myself,” Rauch said.

Since his promotion, Rauch has been placed in charge of overseeing the box office, stadium and grounds, information systems and baseball operations with the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s been more of a subtle change because I’ve already been doing the duties for the past year,” Rauch said. “The major change has been concessions, that and the marketing end as well - development of our in-game promotions, development of our ticket packages, media buys, promotions, how we’re going to entertain our fans.”

But Rauch will not do it alone. Dickson said many of the decisions will be made in conjunction with the Lugnuts’ marketing department.

“His job is to lead the organization,” Dickson said. “It’s not that Greg is going to make those decisions on his own, he’s going to work with our marketing department to make those decisions.”

Darla Bowen, Lugnuts’ director of marketing, said she is happy that Rauch is at the helm.

“Absolutely (he’s deserving), because of his leadership opportunity, his ability to think outside of the box - to do things differently than we’ve done them in the past,” Bowen said.

One task not on Rauch’s to do list is the job of recruiting players. As a farm team of the Chicago Cubs, the Lugnuts are assigned players who use their time in Lansing to better their skills. The 2001 season will be the Lugnuts’ third year as the Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

“We really don’t have to worry about recruiting players,” Rauch said. “They basically tell us who we’re getting and we try to make them happy.

“They use us as their farm system for their draft picks.”

Aside from dubbing him a terrific guy who is ready for the job, Dickson said that Rauch was chosen for the promotion because of his service to the organization.

“Greg has been with us from the very beginning,” Dickson said. “He started as our ticket man and has taken on a different responsibility each year.”

While Dickson does not have a list of expectations for Rauch, he does hope that Rauch can bring fans back to the ballpark.

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