Meet Frank Coppenbarger, our Director of Team Travel and Clubhouse Services.
Charter flights, hotels, buses, player tickets, uniforms, gloves, bats, balls, sun flower seeds….all of that comes under his umbrella. Oh, he has others that help carry the umbrella because he’s not that talented.
He doesn’t miss a road trip, doesn’t miss a game. Sometimes TV cameras will find a gray crew-cut fellow in the dugout. Please be assured, he isn’t offering advice to Charlie Manuel.
Like the entire front office, he got to ride in the parade. And, like everyone that did, he was overly touched, “The enormity of the celebration was really mind-boggling and just indescribable.”
OK, Frank, what have you done with your spare time since?
Spare time has been slim. Over the last three weeks, he’s spent much of his time traveling: Toronto to look at a hotel for the team there next year, attend Pat Gillick’s induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame; back home; Las Vegas for a meeting of his counterparts, a convention of suppliers and vendors, checking out hotel needs for the entire organization for the winter meetings that will be held there the week of December 8; St. Louis for a wedding of a counterpart; Cooperstown, NY, to represent the Phillies at the opening of the Hall of Fame’s World Series exhibit and back home again.
His Citizens Bank Park office is located inside the main entrance to the Phillies clubhouse. Anyone entering the clubhouse can see Frank working or sleeping at this desk.
Sleep hasn’t be the case: bills from the postseason (hotels, charter flights, buses), handling transportation for Ruben Amaro Jr.’s various interviews (staff and coaches), finalizing the 2009 spring training schedule, sending out bids to four airlines for charter flights in 2009, hotel contracts and bus schedules for next season and, along with his aides, ordering equipment. In addition, Frank is a consultant for the World Baseball Classic which will have two games at Bright House Field next March.
One stack of postseason bills came to just under $20,000 for services that were never used. All that was in place after Game 5 of the World Series in case the Phillies had to return to St. Petersburg to continue the Fall Classic. “We had six busses standing by and an airplane sitting at the Philadelphia airport. We had hotel reservations in St. Pete. The entire traveling party had to bring their bags the clubhouse in case we had to leave after the game. No one wanted to go back to Florida. We all know the happy ending,” he beamed.
Generally, the front office staff gets some time off after a season. Then, work begins for the following year. We lost a month of time, but believe me, no one is complaining. Kelly Addario DiGiacomo, our receptionist, answers the phone, “World Champion Phillies.” That says it all.