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My article on Dan Mason (Red Wings GM)

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  • My article on Dan Mason (Red Wings GM)

    I didn't know where to put this. So let me first say sorry if I put it in the wrong place. I'm doing this article for my school newspaper. I forgot to ask him how long he has worked for them but other then that I think this is an OK article. Just to bring you all up to speed..I want to go to college for sports journalism. I have a job with a local sports magazine as well. Let me know how you all like this. I'm open to all comments.


    For the many years, Dan Mason's face has been a familar sight if you've been a visitor to Frontier Field. Mason has been the Rochester Red Wings General Manager for the past ___ years. "I started as an unpaid intern and worked my way up the ladder" stated Mason. Throughout his life, Dan wanted to life the dream every kid has and work with sports. During high school and early throughout college he worked with Communications and worked for his college radio station. "I heard a tape of myself on the radio one night and knew that wasn't for me." After realizing that the radio wasn't gonna be his thing, Mason took a hard look at himself and decided that he wanted a job that not only was fun but a job that he could wake up every morning and look forward to.

    Following college, Mason started as an unpaid intern with his hometown team, the Rochester Red Wings. He recalls starting with one of his best friends Russ Brandon. They both worked hard to get where they are today (Russ is now the President of the Buffalo Bills). Since Dan began as an intern, he likes to hire interns to be full-time workers after they have ran their course with the team. He states that it is like a gift for all their hard work that they did as interns. When he explained his job, it definately is a lot more work than it seems. Whenever someone hears "General Manager", they automatically assume that he does the trading and signing of players. To the surprise of some, Mason has no control of that. Minnesota controls everything from the players the Wings get from AA to the free-agents signed to the trades that go down. Dan mostly oversees the Red Wings business operations. "Whether it's overseeing the business side or picking up hot dog wrappers in the stands", Mason says, "I do everything it takes to get the job done." During the offseason, selling advertisements and planning promotions for the upcoming baseball season is mostly what Dan Mason does. His job definately requires long-hours, hardwork and a lot of energy.

    During his tenure as the Wings GM, Dan has often interacted with players and tries to develop strong rapport with the managers. He stated that he's become close with players like Jeff Manto, Howie Clark, PJ Forbes and Brian Roberts. Last season, Tommy Watkins got called up to the Major Leagues for the first time in his career. "He had been in the Minors for about 10 years and finally got his big break. You could do nothing but feel great for him." Another interesting story that was told involves current Twins star, Justin Morneau. The last time Morneau donned a Rochester Red Wings jersey was at the AAA All-Star game in 2004. Dan said that Justin had a flight back to Rochester scheduled. Morneau approached Mason and asked him if he drove to Pawtucket. After Dan answered "yes", Justin asked if he could tag along back to Rochester with him. When they both arrived in Rochester, ex-manager Phil Roof called Justin in his office and told him that he had been called up to Minnesota.

    Not only does Mason interact with the players but he also tries to make sure that they players are a part of the community and that the fans are interested in the team. Whether it's having players make appearances or working with Little League teams, Dan Mason makes it happen. Over his time in Rochester, Dan has made some bets with the fans that have not only fired the players and fans up but also sparked interest in the Red Wings. Back in August of 2002, the Wings were slumping badly. They had lost six games in a row. That night, Mason told all the fans that he would sleep in a tent in the right field bullpen until Rochester could win a game. Four games and six nights later, they finally won and he was relieved of his bet. Another time that he got himself in on the bad end of a bet was when he made a friendly wager with another team. Dan bet that his Red Wings (who were in last place at the time) would beat Scranton (who were in first place at the time). He had said that if the Wings lost, he'd shave his head. Rochester went on to lose the series against Scranton and Mason lived up to his word. "Players from Scranton, people from the stands and even my staff helped shave my head."

    If you could ask any Red Wings fan or anyone that knows Dan Mason, they will tell you that he is a dedicated man. "I've gotten calls from Major League teams wanting to hire me and I've declined everyone of them." Dan stated that he wants to stay in Rochester because not only did he grow up here but his kids are growing up and he doesn't want to uproot his family so he can have a greater job opportunity. In his eyes, working for the Rochester Red Wings is the best job he could have ever asked for.

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