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Beacon Alum Travis Hunter works for the Oklahoma City Baseball Club.
Beacon Alum Travis Hunter works for the Oklahoma City Baseball Club.

By Richard Burnett

With a relentless drive, Travis Hunter set out many years ago to make his childhood dream come true: To work on the business side of a professional baseball team. That dream became a reality when he landed a job with a minor league team halfway across the U.S.

Travis Hunter holds the Oklahoma City team's trophy from winning the Pacific Coast League championship last season.Today, the Beacon College graduate is the office administrator for the Oklahoma City Baseball Club, the Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His responsibilities range from coordinating work on IT services, phone systems, and mail operations to compiling historical research and doing other special projects.

It’s been a long journey for the Massachusetts native, known for his work ethic, good-natured camaraderie, and irrepressible sense of humor. In his second year at Beacon in 2002, he secured the first of a half-dozen internships with minor league teams from Connecticut to Oklahoma.

“Beacon played a big part in helping me get my first internship,” said Hunter, 42, who graduated with an associate degree in human services. “At first, I didn’t even know where to start. So, I went to the career development center, and they helped me with everything, like writing a resume, interviewing, and asking the right questions.”

Bolstered by his intern experience in areas such as ticket sales, team logistics, and clubhouse management, Hunter’s final internship became a full-time job in Oklahoma City in 2008. He has created a growing legacy there — with managers, co-workers, players, the organization, and community, said Michael Byrnes, OKC team president and general manager.

“With Travis, you’re always going to see a high level of enthusiasm for every day,” Byrnes said. “He’s eager to pitch in whenever possible. I can always depend on him for two or more check-ins a day, just seeing if he can do anything to help me and the organization. This aptitude, enthusiasm, and willingness to be helpful makes him a joy to be around.”

Majoring in the minors

As a kid growing up in Cape Cod, Hunter immersed himself in big-time sports lore, especially the Red Sox heroes of Boston’s Fenway Park. But he found his true calling in smaller places — like Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and other towns where minor league baseball was king.

The minors captured his imagination, from the colorful promotional events and folksy charm of a community’s team spirit to the players themselves, more human and reachable than their major league counterparts.

Hunter took it all in, sitting in the stands with his dad, cheering on teams like the Pawtucket “Pawsox.” Somehow, he wanted to be part of the professional game — if not on the field (he admits he was never the best athlete), then part of the organization making it happen.

“When I started looking into work in the sports industry, I just thought it would be so cool to work in the front office of a sports organization,” he said.

Beacon as a perfect fit

Step by step, Hunter pursued his dream while working to overcome learning challenges he experienced in school. Early in his life, he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and eventually attended schools designed for neurodiverse students. After high school graduation, Hunter and his family looked to Beacon for the next step:

“We knew I needed some place with a solid program for students with learning issues,” he said. “I really liked the classroom setup at Beacon, with small classes and teachers always taking time to answer your questions and help you understand. I think I would have been lost in the crowd in a big lecture hall.”

Hunter loved the school and bonded with fellow students and his teachers. One of his favorites was Dr. James Fleming — then a first-year teacher, now professor and chair of Beacon’s Department of Business and Technology.

Fleming recalled him as “the type of student who was happy-go-lucky and very positive all the time, both inside and outside the classroom. Everyone seemed to get along with him. He didn’t really belong to any cliques. Everyone seemed to jell with Travis.

“It was always his passion to do something as a professional on the business side of sports,” Fleming added. “It was really something to see how fascinated he was with the business behind the games. I mean, you just don’t see many students with that kind of focus so early in their college years.”

For Hunter, the Beacon experience was a game changer in many ways:

“You meet so many people from different backgrounds and cultures,” he said. “So, you not only learn in the classroom, but socially and culturally about people from other places. I know it expanded my education, changed my life, and made me a better person.”