Calling the Shots

;

While Greg Colello ’03 grew up in Red Sox Nation, his father, Dan, was a die-hard Yankees fan, and when you visited the Colello’s Easthampton home, Yankees iconography was everywhere. Baseball was the family religion, and Greg’s father took his two sons on annual pilgrimages to the Cooperstown, N.Y., National Baseball Hall of Fame. “My love of the Yankees comes from my father,” Greg Colello said, “and from the bond that baseball and rooting for the Yankees created between him and me.” Meanwhile, Colello’s mother, Julie, worked at Williston as the Head of School’s administrative assistant, and his brother, Chris, graduated in 1999. Greg Colello attended Williston for six years during a stretch when the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was particularly heated and the Curse of the Bambino wasn’t yet broken. “I was essentially the resident Yankees fan in enemy territory,” he said. Colello got the last laugh, however, as the Bronx Bombers brought home three championships during his time as a Wildcat, while the Sox were only about to hit their ascendancy. At Williston, Colello was less an athlete than a scholar. He eschewed baseball for golf and, in addition to serving as sports editor of The Willistonian, he worked for the athletic department, managing teams, operating scoreboards, filming games, and recording game statistics. It was a good preview for his career to come. After graduation, while a student at the Bronx-based Fordham University—chosen, in part, for its proximity to his favorite franchise—Colello would attend Yankees games regularly. “I stood in line at the box office forever to buy playoff tickets once,” he says, “and almost missed a midterm exam.” During his sophomore year, in 2005, he got an internship at Yankee Stadium, and he was hired on full-time in 2007. As a front-office staffer, he has moved up the ranks and now is the director of scoreboard and video production, leading a staff of 14 full-timers, four part-time assistants, and 20 game-day staff, including camera operators, on-air talent, a public address announcer, and an organist. Colello has earned two New York Emmys for video production. His department manages the team’s scoreboard, but its responsibilities don’t end there. The demand for digital content has only increased in his 13 years on the job. His crew is continually planning coverage and gathering footage, from player interviews during spring training to plotting out game-day scripts and riling up the crowd during pivotal plays. “A ton of preproduction time goes into our scoreboard show and Yankees on Demand online video content before the season even starts to have as much content as possible loaded and ready to go,” he says. “We continually update features and create new content, often on a daily basis, during the season to keep things fresh, entertaining, and relevant, and as a result, game days are extremely busy in the lead-up to stadium gates opening. Once the game starts, things actually calm down for us. We execute our show that we have prepared extensively for, and are prepared to adapt to whatever changes or unique situations may be thrown at us.” While the work can be grueling, with long hours and high-stress moments, Colello tries to remind himself that he has his dream job. “Any time I start to get too jaded, something happens to snap me out of it and I remember how lucky I am to be in the position I’m in,” he said. He regularly runs into current players and those from the past that he once idolized. He also scored a diamond-encrusted World Series ring (seriously, it has 119 diamonds!) as a member of the team when the Yankees won their 2009 championship, and got to ride on the Yankees World Series parade float through lower Manhattan. Colello’s love for the team permeates his life in other ways. He married his wife, Jennifer, a loyal Yankees fan, in 2012 at the ballpark. Legendary shortstop Bucky Dent popped over to say hi during the rehearsal dinner, making quite an impression on the Yankees fans in the family. When their son was born in February, the Colellos named him Mickey Arthur, pulling inspiration from slugger Mickey Mantle (and also Mickey Mouse; the Colellos are big Disney fans). As he reflected on his own father’s
influence on him, and, coming full circle, on how fatherhood is impacting his life, Colello, sleep-deprived but full of love for his son, says, “I really just care about doing everything I can to keep him safe in this often-scary world, making sure he is happy, and raising him to be a good and compassionate person. And hopefully watching him walk across the quad in the Williston graduating class of 2036!” That would be a home run, indeed.