Former A's front-office staffer joins the Gold Sox
October 6, 2005 - Mae Heitz said she wasn't going to work again unless she could have fun. So when Peter Bavasi offered her a job with the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox, it seemed meant to be.
The former Oakland Athletics marketing coordinator moved to Yuba City this year to escape the pace of Bay Area life.
“People who have lived here their whole lives just don't recognize what a great place it is. I really don't miss (the Bay Area),” she said.
Heitz, 57, is the new director of marketing for the Gold Sox and the third new hire in the past two weeks. She joins Chief Financial Officer Alvin Colston and Game Day Operations Director Dave Rodriguez, who were both hired last month.
“They all bring something wonderful to the Gold Sox team,” said Peter Bavasi, who co-manages the team with his brother Bob.
Heitz began her career in baseball marketing with the A's in 1988. Heitz, who was also a salon owner, said she has always preferred working with businessmen than the artistic types in the salon.
“I can talk to them on their level,” she said.
For Heitz, it was a dream to combine her affinity for business with her love of a cheering crowd and the solid pop of white ash on horsehide.
Heitz comes from a baseball family. Her father, Mel Fagundes, played shortstop for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League.
George Mitterwald, her cousin, was a Major League catcher from 1966 to 1977 and former Oakland A's coach.
Asked how the she felt in the male-dominated world of sports marketing, she said she is perfectly comfortable.
“It's definitely a male-dominated business. I was lucky enough to start with group sales and season tickets. A majority of the people in sales were women,” she said. “I got my foot in the door and worked my way up.”
She said if she were starting in the business today, it would actually be more difficult for her. “It almost seems that, to get into it now, you have to have a degree in sports marketing,” she said.
The Bavasis, in announcing her hiring, said: “Her long association with baseball and her extensive operating experience with the Oakland A's equips Mae perfectly to execute marketing programs that will serve both our Gold Sox business and the baseball fans of Yuba Sutter.”
Heitz worked for the A's when the team was owned by the Haas family.
“The Haas family believed the A's should be managed in the public interest. They looked at the A's as a civic asset, much the way my brother and I see the Gold Sox. So her view of baseball and community is consistent with ours,” Peter Bavasi said Tuesday.
The Gold Sox are a collegiate summer team that plays its home games at All Seasons RV Stadium in Marysville.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Eve Hightower can be reached at 749-4724. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.