In the aftermath of a hard-fought baseball game between the Blizzard and their opponents, Michael Iverson stands alone in an old dugout, still clicking his camera and taking pictures of the field where memories were made. Players and coaches are talking about adjustments and strategies, while parents are giving out celebratory high-fives to their children. Meanwhile, Michael is flipping through his camera, savoring the day's work like a spectator peering through an aquarium window.
Michael's passion for storytelling, combined with his exceptional skills in photography, story recaps, and statistical analysis, has earned him the nickname "The Storyteller" among Blizzard coaches and staff. As a result, he has been brought on as a contributor to the Blizzard program, where he will work with Bryan Sanchez, the Marketing Director, to communicate upcoming tournament information, tournament previews and recaps, share statistics, highlight Blizzard events, share photographs and of course ... tell stories.
"I'm really excited about Michael coming on as the Storyteller," Blizzard owner Adam Barta said. "That is what baseball is. Heck, I think half the reason guys hang on to play after their career is over is just to tell the stories. It's what makes our game great. And to have someone as passionate and creative as Mike sharing his view on the games is pretty cool. He is almost becoming the Blizzard's historian."
Bryan Sanchez, a Blizzard Coach and Marketing Director who came on this past year is really excited to start working with Michael as well.
"Iverson is the epitome of a baseball geek," Sanchez said. "Everyone who reads his updates and see his photos can feel his love for the game. That is why he is so special. He doesn't need to talk about how much he loves the game or the (Blizzard) program, it just radiates off of him and infects everyone else in the most positive way imaginable. He may have a new "title" but he's always been on the team."
Blizzard parents alike are equally excited.
"Mike is dynamic and passionate about baseball," Blizzard mom Adina Connelly said. "His statistical research is unmatched. He captures candid moments of athlete's joy, grit and determination on the field in his photography. Most importantly, he wants success for each athlete and personifies Blizzard Baseball's concept of integrity and family. He is a welcoming face, a friend to all, has great wit and humor and elevates anyone's excitement around him!"
Chris Hart, a Blizzard dad from Mankato said, "Mike is a true sports fan. He always goes all out to give everyone love and friendship, on and off the field."
You can find Michael's work on all of the Minnesota social media pages including our "Blizzard Facebook Photo and Video Vault" that can be found here.
"When I played baseball in high school, college and town ball you always wondered if people noticed the nuances of the game or if they picked up on some of the little things that go into a game," Iverson said. "The opportunity to do investigative work on tournaments, opponents, rules, recap games and discuss the future of players with the players themselves, coaches and parents is something I always dreamed about. I believe this is the hardest game on earth and I want to bring extra recognition to the hard work these young men put into their games."
"The history behind the program and talent that comes through the doors is truly amazing," Iverson said. "It is an honor to be around coaches and families that are so passionate about the game. I always envisioned being intertwined in the game in some capacity since my playing days ended after college. The opportunity to tell stories keeps me involved and I believe all the coaches and players both current and former have always handled themselves with absolute class both on the field and off the field in social environments which made the decision to join Blizzard a no brainer."
Here is to a new chapter of storytelling.