Indiana woman lands a dream job with sports team - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana woman lands a dream job with sports team

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It's a story as old as America itself: Out of nowhere, a rookie gets called up to the big leagues to live out the dream. That story is playing out in the life of Anderson resident Teddi Mangas-Coon.

Make that "part-time resident."

A member of the family that operated Mangas Cafeteria in Elwood, she ran human resources for Carter Express.

"I wasn't looking for a job," Mangas-Coon said last week. "I'd been with Carter for 14 years and was very happy." Little did the 55-year-old know that her son, Emerson Moser, a lawyer in Cincinnati, had heard through friends about a human resources position with the Cincinnati Reds.

And, like any dutiful son,he secretly submitted her name for consideration.

"He told me, 'You know, I think you're going to be hearing from the Cincinnati Reds,"' Mangas-Coon said. "I said, 'Why?"'

After a series of subsequent interviews, Mangas-Coon was hired in October 2008 as the new director of human resources.

"I went in to tell my prior employer, John Paugh," she said. "He said, 'You know, Teddi, how many people in Anderson, no, how many people in Madison County work for Major League Baseball? I can only think of one person, Carl Erskine. You have to do this. I'm not even going to try to keep you."'

"We were tickled to death for her," Paugh said last week. "I was almost a little jealous, actually, but I was really happy for her. We still miss her. She did a great job."

Of course, first item on her agenda was to discuss the offer with her husband, Ed Coon, who shares their Edgewood home and works at General Motors' metal fabricating plant in Indianapolis.

"I had mixed feelings about it," Ed Coon said. "But I knew it was a great opportunity for her. So I thought, 'Might as well give it a shot."'

Teddi and Ed had worked different shifts anyway, so the adjustment to her new job 2 1/2 hours away was not as stressful.

"I couldn't do this without his assistance," Mangas-Coon said.

"It's worked out, though it's been a different kind of situation," Ed Coon said. "It's probably not right for everybody, but we seem to be making it work."

Emerson Moser said his mother had her own curveball to serve up during the interview process.

"They had a lot of applicants who were baseball fanatics, you know, and more interested in being 'part of baseball,"' Moser said. "And I knew that my mom knew absolutely nothing about baseball. She could go in and focus 100 percent on her job."

In fact, Opening Day 2009, Teddi Mangas-Coon watched the first professional baseball game she had ever seen in person.

"It was very cold, and we wore winter coats," she said.

Rob Butcher, the Reds' director of media relations, helped Mangas-Coon by bringing her to the press box during a regular-season game.

"He talked to me about the nuances of the game and the statistics and what the umpire's signals mean," she said. "That was invaluable, because I had no idea."

The baseball novice also learned a terribly important lesson that day: "There is no cheering in the press box."

Weekends she shares with husband Ed and their Pomeranian, Jingle Bells. During the week, she lives in a high-rise apartment building overlooking the Ohio River, mere yards from her job.

"One of the coolest things that I get to do, is I can walk out of my office into the Great American Ball Park during a game," she said, "and eat my lunch while I'm watching a few innings of a ball game. I mean, it's just incredible."

As she eagerly awaited today and the start of the 2010 Reds season, Mangas-Coon reflected on her good fortune.

"It's really funny, because men will walk up to me and say, 'You're livin' the dream! You're working in Major League Baseball!"' Mangas-Coon said.

"But then, my women friends come over to visit, and they go, 'Oh, Teddi, you're living the dream: a high-rise overlooking the Ohio River, with no responsibilities but to yourself, in a city with museums and great shopping!"'

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