In the storied exhibition spaces of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, one College of Visual and Performing Arts student is helping share the history of America’s beloved summer sport.
Sam Sinykin ’18, a communication and rhetorical studies major in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, was selected for the Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development at the Hall of Fame along with fellow Syracuse University student Zachary J. McDonald ’17. They were two of only 18 students selected from over 500 students across the country who applied.
Sinykin had heard about the National Baseball Hall of Fame but had never been there until a visit with the honors class "Baseball and American Culture," taught by Rick Burton, the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management in Falk College. He decided to apply after hearing about the internship from staff members.
“I always heard how much of an amazing and historic place it was,” says Sinykin, who is minoring in marketing and sport management. “When I got the call from the senior staff of the internship program, I was ecstatic.”
Interns work with staff members in hands-on work in education, digital strategy, membership, multimedia, public relations, research and sales, among other areas. They also attend career seminars on networking, public speaking, community leadership and business etiquette.
Sinykin has been assisting staff with planning for the big Hall of Fame weekend July 22-25, which is expected to draw 45,000 people. The events include the induction ceremony and a parade of baseball stars.
“It’s been pretty fun helping with the planning. I’ll just be excited to be in the atmosphere of the induction ceremony,” Sinykin says.
Sinykin works in the programming department, helping with the special events, including being in charge of the author series and assisting baseball writers who conduct autograph signings, and conducts presentations for visitors in the Plaque Gallery, which shows those inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I had to learn a lot about the history of the Hall of Fame—the Hall of Famers and their backstories, specifics about how the plaques are made and specifics about how Hall of Famers are inducted,” Sinykin says.
Interns are also given the opportunity to research and present to the guests specific artifacts that are in the Hall of Fame collection but not currently on display.
Sinykin highlighted a warm-up jacket worn by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda during the year the team won the World Series and a bat used by all-star Sean Casey, who played for the Cincinnati Reds.
“It was a cool accomplishment to do the research and show the visitors,” Sinykin says.
After graduation, Sinykin hopes to work in the sport industry in the area of intellectual properties, taking part in events and managing sponsorships to allow fans to have different experiences with their favorite sport.
“That would be a dream job and this National Hall of Fame experience—working on programs and event planning and interacting with visitors—will hopefully be a first step to that dream,” says Sinykin, who is grateful for the connections with the staff who quickly got to know the interns and the connections among the interns.