11/21/2020 : Keeping the Complex secure
Every professional baseball related job was altered in 2020 in some shape or form ... many were even furloughed till further notice. One of the areas that remained a consistent need regardless of the reduction of baseball activities is security at the ballparks and complexes.
At the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater you will notice a small shed located alongside the entranceway. It’s one of the primary areas where the security team maintains a close watch over the training complex. When the Complex entry gates were closed to visitors this past March due to the pandemic the security team took on additional duties to insure the safety of folks working within the fences.
I had a chance recently to interview Gary Kay, the Security Team Lead at Carpenter Complex, to discuss how this season played out from the perspective of safeguarding against the pandemic and also chat about his involvement with Little League Baseball. He’s a really cool fella 👍🤓.
How long have you worked for the Phillies?
Since February 2014
What is your present role?
I’m currently the Security Team Lead at the Carpenter Complex.
What does your job entail?
Ensuring that players, staff and guests have a safe environment when they are at the Complex. Initially we do this by monitoring all entry to the Complex using metal detectors and bag checks for everyone that comes thru the pedestrian gate. We also monitor gates and building entrances within the Complex to ensure they are closed to unauthorized personnel.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
Interfacing with everyone.
How often do you interact with the players, coaches and front office staff ?
Daily in one form or another when they enter or exit the premises to start/end their day. I also see them around the offices, clubhouse and the fields when I’m monitoring inside the complex. Prior to my role at Carpenter Complex I was one of the security team members that worked the Player/Staff parking lot at Spectrum Field where I interacted with the Major League team and staff.
What have been some of the changes that have occurred while operating within this pandemic ?
Logging in and out the players and staff when they report each day. We also take and record their temperatures upon arrival. We have a collection box at the security shed on the days that they take a COVID test. They are required to put their test sample in the box before entering.
How long have you been a baseball fan and what do you enjoy most about the game?
Since I was a little kid, sure wish my old baseball cards didn’t get thrown away! I really got into the game in 1979 when I got involved coaching a Little League Team in Ft Wayne, IN. I enjoy the strategy of the game.
Tell us more about your involvement with little league, the LL World Series and thoughts on the LL classic ?
I got involved in Little League in 1979 when a neighbor boy told me he was on a Little League team but, unless they found someone to coach the team they couldn’t play. I volunteered to help and have been involved ever since, I’ve coached, umpired, served as a League Official, have overseen tournaments,etc.
I was transferred from Ft. Wayne, IN to Largo,FL for my job in 2003. I continued to volunteer in my local district here, the Little League Southern Regional was held in Gulfport,FL at the time. I visited the Little League World Series (was on my bucket list ) in 1993, it was such an exciting event I wanted to be a part of it ... in 1994 I started volunteering as an usher and have been volunteering in Williamsport,PA every year since.
The Little League Classic has been a big hit for both the major leaguers and the little leaguers. The major leaguers get to spend time during the day at the World Series interacting with the kids and that evening the kids get to go to the big league game as their guest. I think the major leaguers enjoy it as much as the youngsters do. Smiles all around!
We thank Gary for taking the time to answer a few questions ... when things get back to normal ... the next time you’re at the Complex be sure to stop and say hello ... he and his crew will be watching regardless 👀.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️