One of my favorite people still associated with the baseball program is without a doubt, Chris Moore. Chris is the "equipment guy" for the Cavalier baseball team (among others) and works his tail off to ensure that the boys have whatever they need to compete at the highest level, and look good doing it. Whether it be new cleats, a hat, a dri-fit, pants, or batting gloves, Chris is there. (It doesn't hurt that he has more swag that he knows what to do with so he hooks me up when I'm in town)
We at STL wanted to give a more in depth look into some of the things that go on behind the scenes of your favorite sports in Charlottesville and since the boys are in Omaha, what better way than to meet the guy behind the jersey!
STL: Some background info, How did you get into the equipment business? What was your major in school? Where did you work before UVa?
CM: I went to Undergrad School at Union College in Kentucky, and received 2 degrees in Sports Management and Business Adm. I then went on to Troy University in Alabama to get my MBA in Sports Adm, but left a semester early to pursue this job here at UVA.
I have interned with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals and Villanova University. Once I knew I couldn't find a job in Professional Sports in the clubhouse... I went to Villanova to get into Collegiate Athletics. From Villanova I decided I wanted to get my MBA, so from there I went to Troy. From Troy to UVA.
STL: Other than the Charlottesville Regional and Super Regional Champion baseball team, what other sports do you handle for the Cavaliers?
CM: I deal directly with Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Rowing, Mens and Women's Track and Field (Including Cross Country) and Women's Soccer.
STL: Having seen you work, I know you work some pretty crazy hours to make sure all the sports are outfitted properly, what's a typical in-season day like for C. Moore?In Season during Baseball is typically about 60 hours a week. For Post-Season Regional and Supers it is close to 80 hours a week.
Planning for a Regional or Super is tough when hosting as your not only taking care of your team but your trying to accommodate the other teams participating as well. I gave our Football EQ manager, MLAX Mgr and our Basketball Mgr the other 3 teams that came in for the Regional weekend. For Supers... I take care of the teams once we know who they are as its just another 1 team weekend.
Packing for Omaha started when we got back from the ACC Tournament, you always have to be prepared. Packing for this has taken me about 20 hours of work. Packing the jerseys, Coaches Tops, getting Polos embroidered with the CWS logo and just packing for a 2 week stay in Omaha.
After the Regional weekend, it really sets in. Rawlings and Nike usually call or email me with all the players sizes, (shoes, batting gloves, polos, T-shirts, Shorts etc). I usually keep my spreadsheets up to date with our current Roster once we know our 35 man NCAA party.
In this field it isn't Rocket Science, but you have to be on top of your game. Not only was I getting ready for a Regional or Super, but also getting Track out the door last week was on my list as they were leaving for Eugene for the Track and Field National Championships. They left on the Sunday of Game 2 of our Charlottesville Regional.
Once we punched our Ticket to Omaha this year, my phone hasn't stopped ringing. Calls and text came in from different vendors, staff and friends wishing us the best of luck and "Hey we need your hotel info and sizes." It's definitely a good problem to have because that means we made it.
STL: While at UVa fulfilling your duites, what has been your most memorable experience? What about outside of your UVa experience (pre-UVa days)?
CM: My favorite memory from UVA as to be seeing the athletes dog pile on the fields. I was fortunate enough to go to the College Cup with our WMNS Soccer team this past year and with Baseball again to Omaha. This goes with any sport, my fondest memories are seeing the players and coaches celebrating.
Last Spring I was approached with the opportunity to travel with Coach Swanson and his team to London for their International tour. This was a tough decision because it was the week of ACC Baseball, but after talking to Coach O'Connor, I couldn't let the opportunity to pass. I was torn, but it was a great experience to spend some time with them and get an International tour under belt. I then flew back a week early to prepare for the Baseball Regional.
STL: This is actually an intervention set up by your lovely wife, UVa Women's Lax trainer, Blair Moore, who says you have a sneaker problem. Estimate for us how many pairs of shoes you have.
CM: Clothing/Shoes, now that is a different story. My wife (newly married) always tells me I have too many shoes. This trips shoe decision was simple, I broke out my bright orange Nikes for the Regionals this year, and I haven't taken them off or changed for games with these, they are now 5-6 in post season play and I hope they can bring some more wins out in Omaha. Stupid yes I know, but its now an ongoing joke. I still think Jared King has me beat on shoes though. Working for 6 sports teams helps, but I like to buy shoes whenever I can. (You really dodged that question, bud.)
STL: I have always wondered who made the uniform decisions for the team, does Oak come up with the uniform combo for the day? Do you have a favorite uniform combination for the baseball team?
CM: Coach and I normally meet at the beginning of the season to discuss our needs. We are very fortunate to have Rawlings and Nike as our vendors. They have been great to us in every aspect. We currently now have 14 Uniform tops, and 3 game pants. That is a lot of combos, but my favorite is the new Orange jerseys I packed for Omaha. No one but the players really know, but in the numbers and Virginia, there are v sabres inside the twill. For Omaha, we are taking out our Traditional White tops, New Orange Tops and our new grey set. Rawlings contacted me after fall ball was over and they wanted to do another Uniform for us and we came up with a Grey set seeing how we never had a grey one other than 2 years ago when Rawlings and I did the Slate grey one for Rawlings' 100 year Anniversary. We are very grateful and fortunate to have Nike and Rawlings.
STL: What has been your favorite piece of equipment/gear you've come across during your time at UVa? (Baseball answers obv preferred, but you can use something different)
CM: My favorite piece of Equipment from Baseball would have to be my Rings. I now have 2 ACC Championship Rings (2009 and 2011) which Coach and I designed and put the CWS Logo on them as we made it to Omaha those years as well.
STL: Since Omaha is upon us, what kindof gear might the boys get from Rawlings, Nike, etc. for getting back to Omaha? I remember in '09 we got hooked up pretty well from Nike with two polos, a CWS shirt, and some Omaha themed cleats, while Rawlings gave us new bats to use and some UVa Omaha shirts for our familes, and who can forget Sundog giving us sunglasses. (I still wear those Sundogs whenever I'm on a softball field or golf course [Sundog, if you read this, yes, STL would love some sunglasses])
CM: For Omaha this year, they players will be getting a lot of different things from Nike and Rawlings. As I stated before those vendors have the kids sizes and we shall see what they get. I can't leak any info on this, as I want it to be a surprise. Last time we went we received Cleats, Shirts, hats and running shoes from Nike, and Rawlings sent out T-Shirts and Polos.
Every year we are not in Omaha I fly out for my yearly Rawlings meetings in Omaha, and let me tell you its a lot better when our team is out here playing.
STL: Can we expect any uniform surprises from the Hoos while in Omaha?
No new Uniform surprises in Omaha as it usually takes about 4 months to create and make Uniforms, and we need to stick with what works.
STL: For our non-baseball obsessed readers (STL's writers Wiley & Leung), can you tell us when the basketball team is going to get orange jerseys?
CM: I have no clue when the Basketball Team will bust out the Orange, but Orange Jerseys look sharp and I am a huge fan of them.
STL: Finally, got a pick for Omaha?
CM: My Pick for Omaha is WAH HOO WAH. People normally see the Mens Baseball Championship as just getting to Omaha, like there is that feeling like we made it, but for this club, it's about winning a National Championship. This team is special in a way in which they never give up and always grind it out. I mean we were 1 game down at the Dav, and this team just kept plugging away and never gave up.
As far as this team and the University, there isn't a day that goes on that I don't think how grateful I am to be apart of this program and University. I could be working a 9-5 office job, but I am doing what I love and love what I do. If it wasn't for the University I wouldn't have met the great people I have worked for or come across, or better yet my wife who works for the WMNS Lacrosse program as their Athletic Trainer. So I feel like I have done pretty well for myself to this point.
Well, we are getting ready to land in Omaha, so I need to go and get the plane unpacked with all the luggage and then get ready for our practice!