08/17/2020 4:59 PM
Growing up, Rachel Northridge’s life revolved very much around Big Train baseball. The Northridges were regulars at Shirley Povich Field and Rachel and her twin brother, Sam, shared a deep passion for the game.
So did her family, volunteering at Big Train games and eventually in 2002, hosting players for two summers. When Northridge was in high school, her family took a break from hosting players. But she continued volunteering with Big Train and eventually joining a new high school sport management internship program created by then-general manager Alex Thompson.
“It was a no-brainer,” Thompson said. “When she applied, we just knew for sure we wanted her.”
She ended up attending James Madison University after hearing about the school through a fellow Big Train intern. In Harrisonburg, she worked with the JMU baseball team as the team scorekeeper.
While she was in college, her family began hosting players again, including San Jose State infielder Danny Stienstra (Big Train 2008-10), who she has stayed close with ever since.
“If I was selling the Big Train [to other players], it would start with the host families,” Stienstra said. “Being a young kid going across the country, it’s comforting knowing that every aspect of the summer is taken care of.”
After graduating from JMU, Northridge had the opportunity to work at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. But despite her family’s loyalty to the team, she decided to forgo the opportunity and get her master’s degree in sports industry management at Georgetown.
“The Red Sox would’ve been my dream, but I wanted to finish my degree,” Northridge explained. “That was a big choice. That was probably one of the few times my dad disagreed with one of my career choices.”
After working at ESPN 980 AM and the Washington Football Team, she zeroed in on her current job as Senior Manager of Client Services, Suites at Capital One Arena for Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
“It’s a lot,” Northridge said. “Every day is different, but it’s been a thrill. One week, I could be working a concert, Caps playoff game. It just totally runs the gamut.”
That experience makes her a great asset as part of the new Big Train board. It’s come full circle for Northridge, and she’s enjoyed the ride every step of the way.
“If there’s one thing I know inside and out, it’s Bethesda Big Train,” Northridge said. “…I wanna be as helpful to Big Train as much as I can for as long as I can.”
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