Atmosphere, community drew Parsons to Cards

Douglas Fritz • Jul 1, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Seeing something that may have gone unnoticed to some people, Tyler Parsons dove headfirst into minor league baseball.

“I loved the allure of what you can do in minor-league baseball,” said the 26-year-old first-year general manager of the Johnson City Cardinals. “You can have creative ideas, and there’s not as much red tape. I fell in love with that.

“It’s the atmosphere you can present to people. That’s what drew me to it, bringing people together for three or four hours and having a great time.”

Things have certainly be fun so far for Cardinals’ fans. Johnson City entered Tuesday night’s game against Elizabethton with first place in the West Division of Appalachian League on the line.

A native of Dansville, a small Michigan town located about 20 miles south of Lansing, Parsons made a name for himself last year as general manager of the Martinsville (Va.) Mustangs, a collegiate summer league team. He said attendance averaged over 1,600 per game last season.

“We would have led the Appy League in attendance,” said Parsons.

When the Johnson City position came open, Parsons said his attention was captured.

“I loved the area, and another thing it was a non-profit organization,” said Parsons. “It’s a chance to give back to the community. I love the Johnson City Sports Foundation, and working with the city, too.

“This is a first-class organization. I can see myself staying here for a long time.”

Getting people more interested in the Cardinals is one of Parsons’ main goals.

“Our biggest thing is getting butts in the seats,” said Parsons. “We want to be great as a community asset.”

Also, personally being an asset to the team is important, said Parsons.

“Every one of these guys wants to make it to the big leagues,” said Parsons. “We want to put them in the best possible position to move in that direction.”

And, of course, Parsons wants to see the final product be a successful one.

“You always want to win a championship,” said Parsons. “You want to give the fans the best possible product. I think we’ve been fortunate because winning comes with the name. The Cardinals have a strong tradition, and they’ve consistently sent us great teams.”

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