He's Ringing Up Sales for Cardinals


04/20/2020

As a midseason hire by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019, Rasheed DeBord '18 experienced a "welcome to the big leagues" moment in September, while the Cardinals successfully were making a run for the National League Central Division crown.

During the heat of the playoff race against his boyhood favorites, the Chicago Cubs, the newest member of the Cardinals' ticket-selling staff drew his first chance at a desired assignment-escorting VIP groups onto the field before a game at St. Louis' Busch Stadium.

"Watching batting practice with those fans made me go, ‘Wow. I'm really here,'" DeBord said. "That was my moment reminding me I wasn't back home in Kewanee (Illinois) or at St. Ambrose anymore. I did think about where I was only a year or two before, which reminded me how really fortunate I am."

Only 12 months prior, DeBord completed an internship with minor league baseball's Quad Cities River Bandits. A year-and-a-half before that, he had changed his major for the third time. DeBord ultimately landed on sports management, but said the opportunity to seek and find his fit was an important piece of his SAU education.

"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in college," DeBord said. "The personal relationships with professors at a school like St. Ambrose helped me find my way. I got a lot of advice about my next steps. I also got to try a lot of different things and gain a lot of knowledge and confidence. If I'd gone to a bigger university, I'd just been a number and blended into the background. I wouldn't have a cool job like this, that's for sure."

rasheed

Through SAU's connections, DeBord also received hands-on work experience, first with semi-pro football's QC Raiders and minor league hockey's QC Mallards, before spending a full season with the Bandits.

Through SAU's connections, DeBord also received hands-on work experience, first with semi-pro football's QC Raiders and minor league hockey's QC Mallards, before spending a full season with the Bandits.

"I learned a lot about the industry and myself," DeBord said of the experiential learning built into the St. Ambrose curriculum. "It gave me a lot of confidence that I could see myself doing this work after college."

That confidence has paid swift dividends. In March, DeBord was promoted to account executive for season tickets. DeBord draws daily on his SAU experiences while handling a myriad of tasks. He also credits competing with the Fighting Bees track and field team for helping develop the work ethic necessary to thrive in a career demanding he work nights, holidays and weekends.

During the season, the heaviest workload occurs on game days when DeBord juggles 50 to 100 clients on future sales before serving the needs of fans at night contests, when the best role leads to the field.

"It was hard not to be a bit of a fanboy," DeBord admitted, laughing at his rookie experience. "But I had to remember I had a badge on and a job to do, so I better be cool."

-Steve Tappa '91

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