Usher job provides great seat for baseball

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

Gary Troy, a former Naugatuck resident, center, is pictured with two volleyball players he used to coach, Jocelyn Snader, left, and Joelle Snader at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md. Troy is an usher for the Baltimore Orioles. –CONTRIBUTED

Gary Troy’s part-time job provides him one of the best seats in the house in Major League Baseball.

Troy, a former Naugatuck resident who was a coach and administrator for Naugatuck Babe Ruth, is an usher at Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles in Maryland.

This season, Troy joined a crew that does a variety of jobs. Sometimes he scans tickets at the front gate, other times he ushers people to their seats or gets “escalator duty.” Some days, he prepares the radio equipment for the security team.

“But getting paid 50 to 60 bucks to watch baseball games, I couldn’t think of a better job or a better seat to watch a game from,” Troy said.

Troy moved from Naugatuck to Maryland 17 years ago when he was transferred from his job at Freihofer’s to a managerial post. After retiring five years ago, he applied for the usher job on a whim.

“I was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was 60,” Troy said. “I’m cured and got over that, but it got me thinking about retirement. So now I fill my days ushering during the baseball season and coaching high school volleyball in the fall.”

The only tough part of the usher job, according to Troy, is finishing up a Saturday night game around 11 p.m. and then settling in for the 45-minute ride home, only to have to be back at the ball park at 11:30 a.m. for a 1 p.m. Sunday game.

“That’s a little tough and can’t imagine the players having to do that,” Troy said. “But you are not on all the time, as long as you do a minimum of 60 games a season and you are available for all the Saturday and Sunday games. They have some people there that have been doing it for over 20 years.”

Troy also gets plenty of steps in on the job.

“The employees’ parking lot is actually a one mile walk to the stadium. So you can take a shuttle bus or walk, and I usually walk to get my steps in. I usually get in about 9,000 steps in a game.”

There’s plenty of other perks for a baseball fan.

“You get to see all of the American League teams and some of the National League teams, so it really gives you a real different perspective from a regular fan that may only get to one or two games a season,” he said.

When he’s not ushering fans to their seats, Troy keeps himself busy as the head volleyball coach for Mount deSales Academy, a private Catholic school in Catonsville, Md. In his first season, he guided the team to a 23-2 record and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Conference championship. He was named the Maryland High School Volleyball Coach of the Year.

“When I was in Naugatuck I ran the Babe Ruth League with Ray Rossi and coached baseball at City Hill Middle School,” he said. “Then I came down here and, since all my grandchildren were playing volleyball, I switched sports.”

Troy got into the coaching volleyball with his son Matt, who is the head coach at John Hopkins University and led his team to the Division III national championship in 2019. Matt Troy lives in Westminster, Md., with his wife, Melissa, and their four daughters, Alexis, Kamryn, Emily and Brooke.

“At first we coached club teams and I got to coach my granddaughters, Kamryn and Emily,” Gary Troy said. “My oldest granddaughter, Alexis, just graduated high school and was the Carroll County Player of the Year and will be going to Duquesne University in the fall.”

“Then I got the opportunity to coach at Mount deSales Academy and this will be my third season,” he added. “At least now I’m not the slacker of the family now, when it comes to volleyball.”

Troy and his wife, Holly, also stay plenty busy keeping tabs on all their grandchildren, ten total. There’s Sadie and Alyx in Woodbury, and Kail, Wyatt, Auriana and Austin in Brandon, Fla.

“We try and visit the grandchildren a few times a year, so we have been traveling,” Troy said. “We were just up in Connecticut a few weeks ago and we went to Florida about a month ago.”