CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – “I knew how to do absolutely nothing at every single job I went into.”
That is not the opening line you would expect to a wildly successful journey, but Alyson Footer calls it, or more accurately writes it, as she sees it.
This 1989 Northmont High School Graduate has learned how to do more than a few things in what has been a quarter-century in major league baseball. Now she is the executive editor of national content at MLB.com.
Alyson describes it as “a fancy way of saying I manage a staff of people.”
She is now the boss of a staff of writers, but everything about that sentence was an impossibility when Alyson first joined the Houston Astros in 1997.
“When I was first starting out, you could be an assistant. You could be a very valuable member of a department, but you weren’t going to be the boss,” Alyson said.
Alyson’s foot was in the door as a public relations rep with the Astros, just about as high up the ladder as she initially thought she, or any woman, could get. But the door swung wide open in 2001.
“My boss said, “We’re starting this website, and we need a site reporter,” Alyson said. “I was like, ‘That sounds good. I’ll do that.'”
And just like every step along the way, Alyson learned to do it very well. Eight years on the beat, covering the Astros, then rejoining the club in 2009, heading the club’s social media department, all successfully run before going back to MLB.com as a national correspondent.
She has chronicled division titles, pennants and the World Series.
“The first division title that they won when I was covering them in ’97, that was really fun,” Alyson said.
She has also covered the Hall of Fame.
“Being in Cooperstown later and watching Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio get inducted into the hall of fame, and remembering all those great moments and being proud that I was there to cover them. When they’re showing the highlight reels, I’m thinking, ‘I was at almost all of these,’” Alyson said. “That’s something I’m real proud of.”
From Northmont to the majors, Alyson kept moving forward.
“I learned every single thing, and I made a lot of mistakes, and I just kept going,” she said with a laugh. “I made the show.”
Alyson doesn’t see herself as special, but her colleagues do. Mark Sheldon, the beat writer for the Reds on MLB.com said Alyson is “thorough and dedicated.”
“She’s successful because she’s earned the trust of the people she covers while being a true professional, and remains all business at the ballpark,” Sheldon said.
Apparently, Alyson does know how to do a few things.