The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

September 14, 2012

Ojanpa: Dobie pitches the game Down Under

— It’s a long way from Amboy to Australia, which suits Kate Dobie just fine because she’s building a career resume that reads like a world geography primer.

She’s interned at a Washington, D.C., research firm, taught school in China, trained clients of a Wisconsin software firm, and now dwells Down Under, where the 27-year-old Maple River High grad has immersed herself in the Perth Heat.

That’s not a reference to the Australia city’s climate; that’s the name of its professional baseball team.

In summing up her employment odyssey since graduating from St. Olaf College in 2008, Dobie goes with a wry understatement:

“This is not a normal or logical career path.”

Dobie works in the front office for the Heat under the auspices of Major League Baseball International, the global brand-building arm of the American big leagues.

She oversees ticketing operations, promotions and international relations for the club in the 3-year-old Australian Baseball League that is partially funded by Major League Baseball.

Former Minnesota Twin and Australia native Luke Hughes will join the Heat when league play begins in November, and league alum and Perth native Liam Hendriks currently pitches for the Twins.

The Heat also draws players from Japan, Korea and China.

 Dobie is fluent in Chinese, which would serve her well if she could land  her next desired job — working in Major League Baseball’s office in Beijing.

“I’ve always been interested in game development and in places where baseball isn’t very prominent.”

There have been rumblings that the major league 2014 season will open with a game in Australia, the significance of that being that 1914 was the last year the nation hosted a big league game when the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants played in Sydney.

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