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Casey Van Camp

Casey Van Camp, a 2012 Napa High School graduate, is part of “The CORE” Academy, an inaugural class that was launched by the Oakland Athletics on June 5.

Casey Van Camp’s love of baseball began at a very early age.

She remembers going to her first major league game. Van Camp said she was either 4 or 5 at the time, and she traveled from her home in Napa to see the Oakland Athletics play, as her family had A’s season tickets. Over the years, she continued to go to A’s games with her family at the Oakland Coliseum.

“I’ve always been an A’s fan. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been an A’s fan,” Van Camp said recently.

Van Camp, a 2012 Napa High School graduate, is now working in the A’s organization.

She is part of “The CORE” Academy, an inaugural class that was launched by the A’s on June 5, according to www.mlb.com/news/oakland.

“The innovative sports business development academy aims to introduce recent college graduates to the sports business and develop well-rounded sports business professionals. The program’s name is based on its four pillars: Culture, Opportunity, Results, and Education,” according to www.mlb.com/news/oakland.

“Members of ‘The CORE’ will have the opportunity to learn sales fundamentals, while also developing diverse and practical skills across a number of functional areas, including communications, corporate partnerships, marketing, strategy, and community engagement.”

Van Camp, a 2017 California State University, San Marcos graduate who received her degree in business marketing, works out of the A’s new offices at Jack London Square just off downtown Oakland. She is an associate and works in the ticket sales department, which includes marketing and community engagement.

It’s her first full-time job out of college and she considers herself lucky to be working for a big-league team.

“That’s incredible. Not a lot of people get that opportunity,” she said in a telephone interview. “I think the A’s are in a super exciting position right now. I think the organization is headed in a really positive direction. And I think it’s a really good time to get started with the organization and kind of grow with them.”

“What differentiates our program is our focus on providing a platform to explore sports career opportunities and ultimately launch a career in sports. The exposure and educational components are just as important as the sales skill development. We want graduates of ‘The CORE’ academy to go on to successful sports business careers in whatever area they choose,” A’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Giles said in a report at www.mlb.com/news/oakland.

Van Camp interviewed with the A’s for the position after they contacted her. She and the other members of “The CORE” are learning daily about the baseball industry. Van Camp is not only at the team’s offices, but at the Coliseum for home games. She said being part of “The CORE” leads to getting placed into another full-time job in the organization.

“We’ve gotten introductions from every department within the Athletics,” she said.

“It’s so fun. I love baseball and I know I wanted to be in the sports industry before I even started college,” added Van Camp, 23, who played volleyball, basketball and softball at Napa High. “This is an absolute dream and the A’s are so welcoming and the organization is so great to us. The whole thing has been incredible.”

Van Camp, the daughter of Gary and Kelly Van Camp of Napa, is excited about the A’s season. The All-Star break is this week. Oakland continues its season on Friday, July 20 at home against the San Francisco Giants.

“This is a really young team and they’re having a lot of success right now,” said Van Camp. “As an A’s fan myself, I’m very excited about the team. And to be working for them, makes it even more exciting, because everyone in the office celebrates when the team wins.”

There are 18 members of “The CORE’s” first class. The other members:

* Adam Watts, Dayton, Ohio; Ohio University.

* Brian Wulf, Grayslake, Illinois; Loras College.

* Courtney Oliver, Burlingame, Calif.; San Diego State.

* Curtis Hinkle, Santa Rosa, Calif.; University of California, Santa Barbara.

* Jasmine Hamilton, Laguna Hills, Calif.; Long Beach State.

* Jory Zemanek, San Francisco; University of Alabama.

* Kaitlyn Welsh, Concord, Calif.; University of Pikeville.

* Kayla Taylor, Concord, Calif.; Chico State.

* Kerwin Ferrette, San Francisco; Xavier University.

* Kristin Chaney, Burlingame, Calif.; University of Hawaii.

* Laura Leap, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; UC Berkeley.

* Lisa Dano, Naperville, Illinois; Hiram College.

* Michael Edwards, Wake Forest, North Carolina; East Carolina University.

* Sabrina Blackwell, San Jose, Calif.; UC Berkeley.

* Sean MacDuffee, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Ohio University.

* Spencer Wilson, Milford, Ohio; Ohio University.

* Taylor Smith, Ramsey, New Jersey; Auburn University.

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Executive Sports Editor

Executive Sports Editor Marty James has been with the Napa Valley Register since 1979. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors, California Prep Sportswriters Association, and the California Golf Writers Association. He was inducted into the