Heading to the office every day is part of the routine for Manitowoc native Josh Krowiorz.
It’s just that his office happens to be in the same building that the Milwaukee Brewers call home.
The former standout baseball player at Manitowoc Lincoln and one-time stalwart of the Manitowoc Bandits, has translated his love of baseball into a career with the team he grew up following. But now Krowiorz is at a keyboard and computer screen rather than on the infield somewhere.
Krowiorz is the Baseball Systems Development Manager for the Brewers, a position where he oversees all of the baseball applications, websites, custom development for the club.
“Anything technology that we use on the baseball side, whether it’s scouting, analytics, medical, draft … all parts of baseball operations,” Krowiorz said in a recent phone interview. “When I first joined the Brewers in 2010, I was an applications developer and the only one in the entire Brewer organization, so I was not only involved with baseball, but the business side of things. Now I have the opportunity to just focus on baseball, which is my love.”
A graduate of St. Norbert College, Krowiorz spent roughly 10 years working in the technology field when he discovered the opening with the Brewers.
He received an email from the website teamworkonline.com — a website that lists jobs with professional sports teams that Krowiorz had registered with — about the applications developer position with the club and immediately began to pursue the position.
“I saw a few Brewer jobs before that but nothing that was really up my alley,” said Krowiorz, a 1996 Lincoln graduate. “I knew a couple of guys in the front office who I played baseball with in the past and so they were able to get my résumé to the right person and put in a good word for me.”
Krowiorz admits that one of the most important parts of his résumé was his experience playing the game. That gave him a unique knowledge to draw on since he would be working closely with that area of the franchise.
“It was a big factor in landing the job,” said Krowiorz, the first Manitowoc Bandits player to be elected to the Wisconsin State League Hall of Fame. “(My former boss) mentioned to me that baseball knowledge is a big deal because I am working with baseball operations. You are not expected to be an industry expert by any means, but the familiarity helps with the learning curve in terms of terminology and being able to talk the talk and walk the walk.”
In his position, Krowiorz has regular interaction with Brewers’ General Manager Doug Melvin, especially during times like the amateur draft and around the trading deadline, and has worked on projects with team owner Mark Attanasio.
For the most part, he “just rubs elbows” with the players, but he does occasionally get a close-up view of the field at Miller Park.
“I get the opportunity a few times a summer to throw batting practice to corporate marketing sponsors. A few of us who have played baseball and the reps are comfortable with us throwing strikes to their clients and customers,” Krowiorz said. “I get to step out on the field, just like the guys do for the big club.”
And how does the mound at Miller Park compare to the one at Municipal Field?
“I’d take Miller Park every time,” Krowiorz reluctantly said, “but I have a soft spot in my heart for Municipal Field, that’s for sure.”
Krowiorz, 37, who lives in Menomonee Falls with wife Jessica and their two children, said that in the technology area of professional sports, it is rare for someone to stay with the same franchise for an entire career and admits there could come a time when he moves on.
However, that is a base to steal down the road because he’s certainly content being a part of the Brewers’ organization.
“After I got into baseball, I realized I had kind of been spinning my wheels for 10 years. I hadn’t thought about a job in baseball until I realized that they could use my skills and my tools. I wasn’t aware there was a technology presence,” Krowiorz said.
“I would love to be here the rest of my life, but I’m not going to pigeon-hole myself to that. … If there’s an opportunity to advance in the baseball industry I’d obviously take a look at that, but for right now I’m more than happy with where I’m at and really excited about the things we’re doing in Milwaukee.”
Reach Steve Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter at @skcreno27