Missy Perez waited for the cue to post a photo on Friday, March 1, 2019. Not just any photo, but an official announcement from the Philadelphia Phillies signing one of the biggest name players in organization history, Bryce Harper.
“It was a frenzy, it was huge,” Perez said.
Now, just a little over a year later, she reflects fondly over her best memory with the professional baseball organization to date.
“It was just so much fun, we got to come up with really cool content and it blew up,” she said.
However, entering into her fourth season with the team as a Coordinator for Interactive Media with the Philadelphia Phillies, Perez is no stranger to the game. Best known for her quick wit and passion for Gator sports, the Tampa Bay area native has always had a passion deeply rooted in sports, sometimes even to a fault she claims.
“The Devil Rays came to my area in the late ’90s and my family had season tickets,” she said. As a seven-year-old, her older brother Alex, who was nine years her senior and was in high school at the time, would take her to the ballpark.
” I just fell in love with the game of baseball and fell in love with the Rays,” she said. She even admits she was a huge Rays fan all through college, but after working for multiple organizations and getting to know the players, her allegiances have shifted a bit.
Sports in general for Perez have never been a pastime or hobby, but a passion and infatuation interwoven with family ties. From her first memories at the ballpark with her older brother to her constant updates on the latest sports news with her father, to her mom’s Chicago roots that lead to trips to Wrigley Field have all impacted her love of sports.
Her time spent at the University of Florida only amplified her passion for sports, and confirmed her career field.
I don’t think I would have had the same experiences had I not gone to Florida,” she said. “The experiences at UF are invaluable and there are so many people that are willing to help.”
After shifting her focus from reporting and news her junior year, she began to realize her dream of working for a team. The possibility of being able to tell others’ stories while also maintaining an element of creative freedom enticed her.
“I didn’t see myself as passionate about reporting enough to move to the middle of nowhere to cover high school sports,” she said.
After graduating in May of 2015, the rookie was feverishly searching for her first break into the sports world. Jokingly, Perez complained to her parents that some of her other friends were able to get jobs through connections and relationships in their respective industry because of their parents. With a father who was an emergency room pediatrician and a mom who was a nurse, she didn’t have the same luxury.
” I feel like my mom over-compensated for it and started asking our neighbors and random people in the grocery store if they knew anyone in sports,” she said.
After some luck and even some connections from her medical field focused family, she started her first internship out of college in the Marketing Department for her hometown team, the Tampa Bay Rays.
From thereafter one season, she jumped to Cleveland, Ohio to her second internship with the Cleveland Indians. Casually, in her first full season of the MLB the rookie experienced a playoff run and seven games of the World Series. Switching more into social media and digital coverage of baseball, Perez found her niche and home in the world of baseball.
Following her season with the Indians, she shifted over the Phillies in 2017 and has been with the organization ever since.
“I wouldn’t trade it, it is a grind for sure, but I love it,” she said.
Currently, the former Florida graduate is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Villanova University with the hopes of becoming a vice president of marketing or a chief marketing officer in sports.
Though she doesn’t know exactly what the future holds, as a leader for women in sports media, Perez is just excited for the next tweet, the next social media campaign, a world series run, or even a professional career-defining moment that could be just around the corner.