Hinegardner living MLB dream, working with Twins

Brea Hinegardner, at left, photographs Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana, at right, and second baseman Brian Dozier, as the pair take the field this past July. Hinegardner, a 2010 Central High School graduate, is the digital communications specialist for the MInnesota team. Photo by Minnesota Twins team photographer Brace Hemmelgarn.

Brea Hinegardner has always loved baseball.

The 2010 Central graduate and standout softball player decided early in her college days at Bridgewater College that she wanted to have a career in baseball. Now she’s living out her dream on a daily basis.

Hinegardner is the digital communications specialist for the Minnesota Twins.

“I started my position in May and have loved every minute of it so far,” Hinegardner said.

She said that she runs Minnesota’s social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. She also works on the team’s website twinsbaseball.com and helps gather content for fan emails and other corporate communications duties.

Hinegardner said after college that she was able to get an internship in the New Media department with the Washington Nationals, and it was a great experience.

“I learned so much from the Nationals’ organization that essentially got me to where I am today,” Hinegardner said. “I got my first taste of digital communications there, what it meant to run a major organization’s social media and I grasped my first understanding of Major League Baseball Advanced Media and their role with MLB clubs.”

Hinegardner said that a co-worker from the Nationals had a friend in Minnesota’s organization, which led her to applying for the job with the Twins.

The Twins have struggled for a few years, but this season they were on the verge of making the playoffs. They finished with an 83-79 record.

Hinegardner said it was a lot of fun watching the success the Twins had.

“I got my first taste of the Postseason in 2014 with the Nationals, and I was definitely ready to feel some of that excitement in the Twin Cities this year,” Hinegardner said. “It was so much fun to be in the postseason running right up until the end, especially after the Twins were projected to finish at the bottom of the league.”

She said the fans were great, and with the city enjoying success in other sports it was a good time to be in Minneapolis.

“With college football and Vikings football starting, wild hockey in preseason, Lynx basketball competing in their third championship, and us in a postseason race, there was such a great vibe throughout the cities for the hometown teams,” Hinegardner said.

Hinegardner said making the move to Minnesota was tough, but her co-workers made the transition smooth.

She said that one of the best parts of her job is working with the fans and seeing their excitement.

“Our goal is to interact with every fan who interacts with us on our social platforms,” Hinegardner said. “Naturally, I can’t do anything about performance on the field, but I can help get fans excited about baseball and their Twins. So that makes me excited. I want our social media to represent the Twins in a positive, approachable, fun way.”

She said her favorite moment from the season involved working with the fans. Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier was nominated for MLB’s Final Vote for the All-Star game, meaning fans would select which player would make it to the All-Star game. Voting takes place the week before the game.

Dozier didn’t win it, although he did end up making it onto the team. Hinegarder said that week working with the fans and her co-workers was a lot of fun.

“For a week my digital team and I ran a #VoteDozier campaign that consisted of social media contests, player Twitter takeovers, in-game promotions and motivating fans to vote online for Brian,” Hinegardner said. “The fans were amazing and never let up voting online or by Twitter. … It was so much fun working that close with my team for over 15 hours a day all while trying to keep up with our regular game day duties.”

Hinegarder said even though the season is over, they still have plenty to do. She said things are a little less hectic, but she already misses the regular season.

She said that she doesn’t normally travel with the team, but she will be traveling for the Winter Caravan, which has players go to small towns and cities in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin to meet fans and help get them excited about the team.

Hinegardner said that she’s happy being with the Twins and said she hopes to stay there for many years to come. She just wants to keep doing her dream job.

“It has been a dream come true to work for MLB ball clubs,” Hinegardner said. “From the moment I walked into Nationals Park as an intern for the first time to walking into Target Field every morning now, I still can’t believe I get to work in Major League Baseball for a living. I’m so thankful for the Twins to have such a top-notch organization that has made my transition to Minneapolis so easy.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com