Home run replays. Player stats. The dance cam. If you’ve seen it on the Jumbotron at Worcester’s Polar Park, Jessica Sardilli ’23, MBA ’24, helped make it happen.
Sardilli, who majored in management with a track in marketing as an undergraduate, works part-time with the Worcester Red Sox productions department. As the primary in-game graphics operator, she’s responsible for organizing and displaying all the images that appear on the Jumbotron. This past season, Sardilli directed the in-game production for about a dozen games, an opportunity to call all the shots in the control room.
“I love putting up a ‘make some noise’ graphic and seeing everyone go wild,” says Sardilli. “It’s the best feeling ever.”
On a typical game day, Sardilli arrives at Polar Park three hours before first pitch. She checks the daily calendar, prepares for pregame ceremonies, and ensures all the game graphics are ready to go.
“On any given night, there’s more than 9,000 fans here with their eyes on the board,” says Sardilli. “My job is to make every single one of them happy. It can get stressful, but I absolutely love it. It’s rewarding to see smiles on people’s faces, to hear the crowd cheering, to hear the crowd laughing.”
“I’m very proud to be a woman in sports and I take that seriously.”
Sardilli started working with the WooSox in 2022 as a camera operator for the team’s television broadcast on NESN. During the off-season, Sardilli shoots event photography at the park.
“I’ve had so many new experiences working here,” she says. “I’ve met local chefs. I’ve worked on cancer walks, proms, and graduations. I’ve seen bar mitzvahs and so many amazing moments in people’s lives that have nothing to do with baseball.”
When Sardilli took Introduction to Digital Filmmaking with screen studies Professor Soren Sorensen as her First-Year Intensive (FYI) course, she unknowingly started on the path to Polar Park. Film has been a passion for Sardilli since high school, and the FYI course inspired her to take Social and Cultural Issue Documentary Production with Sorensen, which challenges students to design, produce, and edit a short documentary on a contemporary social or cultural issue.
Sardilli arrived at Clark about a year after the Red Sox Triple A franchise announced it would depart Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for a new stadium in Worcester. Seeing divided opinions about the team’s relocation, Sardilli knew she had a compelling angle for a documentary. She brought a camera to the stadium and started shooting. Her film documented how the team integrated itself into the Worcester community.
Sardilli’s father, a huge Boston Red Sox fan, introduced her to baseball early on — a favorite family photo shows an infant Sardilli sporting a Red Sox onesie. She’s been an athlete since she began playing T-ball at age 5 and travel softball for nine years, culminating with her years playing on Clark’s softball team.
“I’m very proud to be a woman in sports and I take that seriously,” says Sardilli. “During every WooSox game, we have a junior announcer introduce the batters. I love when it’s a girl. I like to think that they can look at me and believe this is possible.”
Sardilli says her leadership roles on campus prepared her for the energetic, and sometimes overwhelming, atmosphere in the control room.
“Balancing course loads has taught me how to keep a busy schedule and ensure I’m getting everything done,” says Sardilli. “Clark softball and a capella taught me a lot about leadership and teamwork, which really applies in this job. When I direct, I’m in a leadership position, and every day this job requires teamwork. I mastered those skills at Clark.”
Sardilli wants to pursue a career in sports, ideally in a front office or marketing role. She’s confident her hands-on experience at Polar Park has prepared her well for life after college.
“I pinch myself every day,” she says. “It’s a dream job and I don’t ever take it for granted.”