October 29, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – One of the better ways to land free World Series tickets is to be fortunate enough to be hired by one of the teams competing in the games. That’s certainly what happened to former John A. Logan College student, Keith Rader.

Rader attended JALC his sophomore year with good friend, Eric Crain, and graduated in 2004 with an Associate of Fine Arts degree.

Now a decade later, he is an account executive in season and group sales with the Kansas City Royals baseball team.

“I think it’s pretty exciting. I always knew that I wanted to be around the game of baseball in some capacity,” said Rader as the Royals prepared to host the Giants in Game 6 of this year’s classic Tuesday. “Let me tell you, it’s pretty electric around here.”

Born in Sedalia, Mo., Rader moved around as a child and actually attended kindergarten and first grade at Logan Elementary School in Murphysboro. That is where he met soon-to-be lifelong friend, Eric Crain.

After the first grade, Rader and his family (parents Kent and Twyla, and sister, Maggie) settled in southwest Oklahoma, where he would later attend Navajo High School.

“Throughout the years, Eric and I stayed in touch, and he suggested I enroll at Logan before my sophomore year in college,” Rader said. “Actually, I lived with Eric and his family while attending school. I graduated in the spring semester of 2004, and went on to enroll at Arkansas State University. I earned my bachelor’s degree there in sports management and then later returned to Southern Illinois in 2011 and earned my master’s degree in sports studies in 2012.”

Before completing his master’s, Rader was hired as a customer service intern with the ballclub.

Now 30, Rader has been working with the Royals for about two and a half years. He has been an account executive for the last year.

Terry Crain, Dean of Student Services at Logan and father of Eric Crain, said Rader is a good example of a John A. Logan College success story.

“Keith did a great job as a student when he was here and is simply a wonderful ambassador for the college,” Crain said. “We wish him only the best in his future endeavors.”

“I can’t say enough about the ownership and management of the Royals,” Rader said. “It’s been first class all the way. The club took the entire front office on a charter flight to San Francisco last week, got us tickets to the games there and an expense account to pay for food each day. This is not your normal 9-to-5 job.”

Rader, who just got married a few weeks ago, said he expects to make his job with the Royals a career.

“I can’t even imagine leaving baseball,” he said. “In fact, I want to grow as an employee and see where the road takes me here.”

When not at the ballpark, Rader said he and his wife, Amy, both dabble in yoga. The couple resides in the downtown area of Kansas City, or about 20 minutes from Kauffman Stadium. Rader also reads “a lot” (non-fiction) and watches sports on television, especially baseball.