LA Angels affiliate Burlington Bees GM Kim Parker wins 2019 Rawlings Minor League Woman Executive of the Year Award

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 13: catcher Martin Maldonado
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 13: catcher Martin Maldonado /

The LA Angels had a lot of players up for awards in 2019 with Mike Trout winning his third AL MVP Award.  Well you can add another award to the trophy case as their Single-A Affiliate the Burlington Bees general manager Kim Parker was named 2019 Rawlings Minor League Woman Executive of the Year for her work wth the Bees.

The LA Angels Single-A Affiliate the Burlington Bees need a little bit of good news these days as their franchise is one of 42 minor league teams that are on the cut list released by MLB last month.  Burlington, Iowa where the Bees are located is one of the smallest markets of any MLB Minor League affiliate as the town has a population of 25,000 people. They got some recognition as their general manager of two years Kim Parker was given a very honor of being named the Minor League Woman Executive of the Year for her work with the Bees. Parker received the award Monday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego in a special luncheon held in her honor.

“I’ve come a long way since my start with the Bees when I was 15 years old.  My father had just gotten the GM job with the team. My parents had just gotten me a car as I was almost 16. My dad said he needed help at the stadium with 50/50 raffle and selling programs. I told him I’m good,” said Parker with =a laugh. “My dad’s response was ‘You know that car we just got you it’s going to just sit in driveway.’ I promptly said  ‘When do I start’ he told me ‘Tomorrow’ and the rest is now history.”

Parker has worked for the Bees since 2000 growing up with the team as her father Chuck Brockett was the team’s general manager since 1999 and he employed his daughter Kim at age 15 as the person who sold 50/50 raffle tickets and programs at the Bees games.  As Parker’s love for the game and the Bees grew she took on more and more responsibility as the years went on and she is now been awarded minor league baseball’s top honor for female executives by winning the Rawlings honor.

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Parker also won the Midwest League Female Executive of the Year in 2015 when she was still serving as the team’s assistant general manager under her father’s tutelage. Brockett takes a lot of pride in seeing his daughter be so successful as a GM.

“Kim was always very smart and worked really hard. She has worked very hard to get where she is now and has earned her position,” Brockett said. “It gives me a great sense of pride to see her doing the job well. I know the Bees organization is in good hands with Kim leading the way.”

“Working for my dad was very challenging at times as we are both very stubborn and sometimes butt heads. However, we always could come together and do what is best for the team,” said Parker of Brockett. “My dad taught me a ton. He wanted someone to learn so he had someone who he could talk to about things who knew what was going on. He started taking me to the league meetings and it really opened my eyes Up to how much bigger baseball was, than what I had been doing which was just selling group outings. People don’t realize how intricate and small of a market we are. We only have three to four full-time employees so we do almost everything. But I was still shocked when our assistant general manager left and my dad told me he would like me to take that role He said you’re ready for it, and you have earned it. You’re always willing to learn and I totally trust you to do the job. Since then everything fell into place.”

In 2018 Brockett told Parker in the beginning of 2018 that he was stepping down and he had recommended to the Board of Directors that she should get the job.  Parker was surprised, but her dad gave her a big vote of confidence.

“He said to me ‘There is no else who would be able to do this job. Kimberly, I would not  leave the organization unless I believed wholeheartedly that you would do a better job than I could,” said Parker. “It was scary because I doubt myself. It was a rough first year, but I made it through and this year has been much better,”

Parker received the prestigious award this season after helping lead Burlington to a 26.5% increase in attendance over 2018. There was also a 23.7% increase in revenue in concessions which was Parker’s “baby” as she worked her way up in the organization and the Bees saw a 16.2% increase in merchandise sales in 2019 this all according to an October 29th story in Baseball Digest

In addition to handling the day-to-day operations of the Bees, Parker also is in charge of getting corporate sponsors which the team has around 70 and 120 group outing contracts with local organizations in the Burlington area. If that’s not enough Parker also arranges 20 to 25 host families for the players each season.  She says that her job is to make the players feel a little more at home while they are in Burlington and she has built strong relationships with current Angel players Keynan Middleton, David Fletcher, as well as mentoring some of the Angels top prospects this past season in Jordyn Adams, Hector Yan, and Jose Soriano (all three are top 15 Angel prospects).

“Now that we have host families I have gotten to know the players here a little bit more. I get nervous like a mom when I watch them in the majors,” Parker said. “I watched Cam Bedrosian and Keynan Middleton pitch in Chicago I was sitting on the edge of my seat.  It’s a whole different experience when you know them because they had pitched here in Burlington. Since seeing the dream of pitching in the majors happen for them is amazing.”

Parker said her relationship with Keynan Middleton may have been the most special because of his sense of humor.

“When Keynan Middleton was here I scared him on one of the first days he was here and he responded with ‘It’s on now. I going to scare you every day your here from now on’. And he did that,” Parker said. “He even got my staff in on it to scare. One time he scared me so bad I almost peed my pants. I still stay in contact with him to this day. It’s stuff like that makes me love this, the relationships you make that makes me love this job.”

“I love being around baseball. I love being around the players and the fans. It’s great,” Parker said. “In the future my goal is to work in Major League Baseball and I would love to work for the Angels as they are a great organization to be a part of.”

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After working 16 to 18 hour days every season.  Who knows maybe in a few years you could see Parker in the Angels front office. She would definitely not be outworked by too many people.  Parker is definitely the right woman to keep the Burlington Bees moving upward as an organization.