Three Pelicans employees mark 20th year on the job

Baseball is more than America’s pastime for a trio of Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ employees. It’s also part of their American dream jobs at the ol’ ballpark.

Just as the Pelicans are celebrating their 20th anniversary, their three longest-tenured workers are starting their 20th year with the team. Although their positions are far removed from the action on the diamond, they share the same love for the game, and the Pelicans couldn’t put on the same show without them.

Perched high above the ballpark behind home plate, scoreboard operator Ray Wurm has had the best seat in the house for two decades. Monitoring balls and strikes, hits and errors, runs and replays, the 87-year-old Wurm is a grandfatherly figure among co-workers who seem to get younger every season. He had an impressive consecutive-games streak that spanned 15 seasons and more than 1,000 games, and yet those figures are only a fraction of the time he has spent in the sport.

“I grew up playing baseball, coaching softball and baseball, being a Yankees fan, so it’s been a full life,” said Wurm, a New York native and longtime Grand Strand resident. “It’s been nice to be able to stay involved in baseball, not just for the love of the game, but also for all the great people I’ve met.”

Wurm has seen it all, from great games to unforgettable foibles, and he can still spin yarns like they happened yesterday: The time an overzealous fan celebrated a long winning streak by streaking across the diamond; or when a police chase resulted in a car crashing through the outfield wall; or the time a stray but friendly dog chased a frightened outfielder into his dugout. “Here’s this big guy in full sprint and this little dog bouncing after him,” he laughs.

Wurm’s job couldn’t be more different than co-worker John Glover’s, who rarely sees a pitch but never misses a chance to interact with fans. In his 20 years with the team, Glover has worn just about every hat at the ballpark – ticket-taker, program salesman, usher, playground attendant – and now the most popular man among fans at the customer service desk.

“I love the people. That’s why I keep coming back every year,” Glover says. “Every September I say I’m done with it. That lasts until about January and then I start getting the urge to go back to the ballpark.”

While Glover and Wurm have turned their part-time positions with the Pelicans into fun jobs in retirement (both say they play to step down after this season), Anne Frost has made a career with the club. The senior director of finance was looking for a fresh start 20 years ago when the new team came to town 20 years ago, and she found a whole lot more.

“I don’t have a baseball background. My background is in finance, accounting and banking,” Frost said. “I was working at the credit union when I heard they were building the ballpark and I thought ‘That sounds like so much more fun.’ “

During a chance encounter with the former Pelicans staffer Melissa McGrath at the 1999 MyrtleGras Festival, Frost innocently inquired and was quickly hired. “I asked if they needed any help with accounting and she almost tackled me.”

Frost found more than a new and exciting career at the ballpark. She met former Pelicans’ on-field emcee David “Frosty” Frost during the inaugural season and was soon married. Her two sons have practically grown up at the ballpark, and she has also met a long list of co-workers over the years who feel like family.

“Being in the front office I don’t get out there as much now, but I’ve been out there in the trenches, pulling tarp and everything else,” she recalled. “It has turned out to be so much fun. The boys loved it; it’s like their home.”

And that’s exactly how it feels for the Pelicans’ three 20-year employees.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews.com

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