Intern Gains Valuable Baseball Experience with Turks

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

Courtney Yarbrough has come a long way since starting to play ball when she “could pick up a bat” at age two or three. Yarbrough, who graduated this past May from James Madison University with a degree in sport and recreation management and a minor in business, is in her second year interning with the Harrisonburg Turks and in her fifth year interning in baseball.

“I have been into the sport ever since I knew what it was,” says Yarbrough. Baseball is a big part of my life and will continue to be a big part of my life.”

Yarbrough grew up in the small, close-knit community of Danville, Virginia, where she attended Braves games with her mom, dad, and older brother. (The Danville Braves are an Advanced rookie-level baseball team in the Appalachian League and have been a farm team of the Atlanta Braves since 1982.) Her family also made the hour-long drive to North Carolina to watch the Triple-A Durham Bulls.

Yarbrough went on to play softball in high school, where she caught and played outfield most of the time. She also interned with the Danville Braves, working at the concession and retail stands, for three summers before coming to JMU. During her junior year, Yarbrough needed to fulfill practicum hours as part of her major, and wanted “to do something in baseball.” She turned to the Turks at the suggestion of a professor.

Yarbrough emailed Teresa Wease, operations manager and wife of head coach Bob Wease, and was called in for an interview. Soon after, Yarbrough was hired as an operation intern, responsible for announcing on-field games, contacting sponsors, and interacting with the national anthem performers. A year later, Yarbrough needed to fulfill internship hours and made her way back to Mrs. Wease, who welcomed her back to the Turks.

Now in her second season as an operations intern with the Turks, Yarbrough has taken on more of a leadership role and also helps with ordering food for the players after the games. “Working with the Turks has meant so much because I have been able to see a different side of baseball, including the budget side of everything,” shares Yarbrough. “I didn’t realize how much it took to operate a college summer league team for two-and-half months and how much planning and preparation it takes the other 10 months of the year.”

Yarbrough says skills and knowledge obtained from her Turks’ internships will help her when she gets into the minor leagues where five or six months are spent playing and the rest in preparing for the upcoming season. “Mrs. Wease has been great, and has exposed me to details that I may not have seen elsewhere,” shares Yarbrough. “Courtney has done an outstanding job,” says Wease, who hires seasonally for the Turks’ five internships including two in operations, one in broadcasting, one in social media, and one in writing.

Yarbrough will get the opportunity to expand on her Turks’ experience starting this September as a ticket sales intern with the Dash, an A-Advanced baseball team in Winston-Salem, N.C. While she hopes to land a full-time position after the six-month internship, Yarbrough says so long as she is in baseball, she will be happy. Best of luck, Courtney!