Barry McNamara  |  Published August 16, 2022

Scherpe Makes ‘The Show’

Monmouth grad is now in the big leagues with the Houston Astros.

CAROLYN SCHERPE: After a few years paying her dues in the minor leagues, the 2017 Monmouth gradua... CAROLYN SCHERPE: After a few years paying her dues in the minor leagues, the 2017 Monmouth graduate was called up to the majors earlier this year.MONMOUTH, Ill.
Carolyn Scherpe has made it to “The Show.”

And as any major leaguer who’s progressed through a ballclub’s farm system can tell you, that type of journey isn’t easy. It’s especially hard, as Scherpe learned, when the minor leagues disappear altogether, as they did in 2020 due to the pandemic.

But Scherpe persevered. She’s now the promotions and events senior coordinator with the Houston Astros.

“The only advice I would give is to find what you are passionate about, take every opportunity that comes your way, and keep grinding until you get where you want to be,” said Scherpe.

With the Astros, Scherpe helps manage all of the giveaways, theme nights and on-field pregame ceremonies, as well as the team’s commemorative bricks program and kid’s club.

Before the call of “Play ball!” at Minute Maid Park, Scherpe has already had quite an active day, coordinating the performance of the national anthem and the ceremonial first pitch, as well as other duties.

“The only advice I would give is to find what you are passionate about, take every opportunity that comes your way, and keep grinding until you get where you want to be.” Carolyn Scherpe

“On game days, I definitely get more steps in,” she said. “I also help set up the concourse if we have any promotional activities and I manage our ticket pack redemption booth. When the team is away, I have more regular office hours, which involves prepping for the next homestand.”

An internship helped pave the way

The back of Scherpe’s baseball card may read “2022 – Houston Astros,” but there have been plenty of other stops on her journey, starting with an internship with the Chicago Bandits professional softball team while she was still a Monmouth student.

“I realized I wanted to work in professional baseball pretty early on,” she said. “I grew up in a baseball family cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ve spent every summer on a ballfield for as long as I can remember. I am happiest when I’m at the ballpark, so it only made sense to make a career out of it.”

Following her Bandits experience, Scherpe took some intentional steps toward a career in baseball with her decision to attend graduate school at Florida Atlantic University and pursue an MBA in sports management.

While earning her degree, she worked several jobs, serving as student manager for the FAU baseball team and assisting with the Delray Beach Open pro tennis tournament.

But, in addition to a position with the Miami Dolphins, Scherpe also began to see a path toward professional baseball. Both the Astros and the Washington Nationals spend spring training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Scherpe, after serving on the Astros’ promotional team and as a scorekeeper for a Nationals rookie-ball team, was hired as the marketing and game entertainment assistant at the facility.

Scherpe could be found there in March of 2020 at the height of spring training until, suddenly, the COVID pandemic caused the sporting world to come to a screeching halt.

Bad news, good news

When baseball resumed months later, Scherpe found herself with new job duties and then, eventually, a new address on the opposite coast.

“I was asked to return once baseball came back and take on more responsibility,” she said. “Then I moved to California to work as the promotions and production senior coordinator for the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. After a year in the minors there, I finally made it to the show.”

Scherpe was a “mid-season call up,” and she explained how that came about.

“It was a quick process,” she said. “I had a video interview in early May, then they flew me out to Houston to meet the team in late May. By the end of the week, I was offered the job. I think I actually did a happy dance and then immediately called my family and friends to celebrate. All of my hard work finally paid off.”

Scherpe’s first day was two weeks later, but since she didn’t join the team during a homestand, she still had that first game feeling to anticipate.

“My ‘I made it’ moment came two days later, walking through the tunnels to step onto the field for my first game during pregame,” she said. “It was June 21 versus the New York Mets, and we won 8-2.”

Scherpe is too busy enjoying her rookie season with the big club to worry about what might come next.

“My ‘I made it’ moment came two days later, walking through the tunnels to step onto the field for my first game during pregame. It was June 21 versus the New York Mets, and we won 8-2.” Carolyn Scherpe

“I’m focused on settling into my new role and doing my part to help the ballclub,” she said. “I love what I’m doing and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Her career is already chock full of highlights.

“I’ve been really lucky to experience a lot of unique opportunities so early in my career,” she said. “I worked the All-Star Game in Miami (in 2017) where I attended the Home Run Derby with my dad. I’ve experienced two World Series, including 2019 when both of the teams I worked for faced each other. I also worked the 2021 Olympic trials tournament where fans were storming on top of the dugouts after each home run. But through it all, the best part is the lifelong friendships that I’ve built along the way.”

Some aspiring professionals might’ve made a career U-turn when faced with a dilemma such as the elimination of minor league baseball, but Scherpe leaned on lessons from her upbringing.

“I have to give credit to my parents,” said Scherpe, who grew up in Galesburg, Illinois. “They’ve always encouraged my sisters and me to follow our dreams. They’ve supported me every step of the way, and let me tell you, I haven’t always made it easy on them. But my drive comes from my parents. They made a point to make sure I was always busy growing up and that’s continued through the rest of my life. At Monmouth College, I played softball and tennis and was on the dance team. Those activities prepared me for the many long nights and early mornings that come with the territory when working in sports.”

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