he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Corky and Rachael Britton have been working at ONEOK Field since 2011. The duo will say a final goodbye to DrillVille after the championship series but not before leaving a lasting impression on players, players’ families and fans.
Corky and Rachael met on the Internet, and their very first conversation revolved around baseball. “The first thing he asked me was if I liked sports,” Rachael said. “And I said yes, and I told him my favorite was baseball. He followed up with asking who my favorite team was. When I said the Giants, he said we could talk.”
“I married into a Dodgers family the first time, and it just didn’t work,” Corky said.
Rachael was living in Tulsa, and Corky was living in California. Rachael was from California, and she visited to explore the relationship. Their first date was on Jan. 31, 2005, and Corky’s mom tagged along. “He wanted to make sure I was comfortable because I hadn’t dated in 32 years,” Rachael said. “By the end of the first date, we were finishing each others sentences.” In October 2005, Rachael moved to California but kept the house she had in Tulsa.
On July 7, 2007, the two were married in California. (along with 300,000 other couples in the United States because how cool is that date! The Brittons met a couple on July 7, 2017 at ONEOK Field who were married on the same day.)
A few years later the economy tanked in California, and the Brittons lost their business and house in California. Corky had also just retired from being a mailman, and the Brittons were both freelancing for the local newspaper. The renter of Rachael’s home in Tulsa left suddenly. “In the midst of wondering what in the world we were going to do, we remembered we had a house in Tulsa,” Rachael said.
Tulsa welcomed Corky and Rachael in July 2010. “The first thing we did was find the baseball team,” Rachael said. “We went to the last three games of the season.”
The Brittons fell in love with ONEOK Field and immediately started looking for ways to work there.
In September, Corky told a ticket salesman at a booth at a fair if they gave him a job he would buy Rachael a season ticket. He got a call in January 2011 telling him to come to the job fair. Corky interviewed with General Manager Mike Melega, and Melega said, “oh yeah, we need you.” But Corky never got a call back. After he called and was told all positions were full, he wrote a letter. “The letter got there Tuesday,” Corky said. “I got a call Wednesday saying they accidently overlooked me, and I’ve been hired ever since.”
During the first half of the 2011 season, Corky was roaming sections as an usher. Beginning in July, Corky took over sections 107 and 108 and has been taking care of those sections ever since.
Rachael had a season ticket during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In 2013, she worked in food at ONEOK Field. The next season she began working at the will call window handing out tickets to Driller players’ families. “Because I was a season ticket holder and now knew the food side, they thought I would be a good fit at the ticket window,” Rachael said. Over the years, Rachael has worked at the guest service window and 50/50 raffle sales. “For five years, Rachael and I have been solving problems and making sure everyone is happy together,” Corky said.
By being on the will call window, Rachael got to know the WAGS and families who sat in 109 which Corky also likes to call his own. “I would tell the wives and families if they needed anything to go see Corky,” Rachael said.
“We’ve had a blast taking care of and getting to know the families and wives while they’re at the games,” Corky said.
Through families, Corky and Rachael make relationships with the players. “We will stand after the games for 45 minutes sometimes helping people get autographs,” Corky said.
Corky always makes sure fans have the best experiences. Once this season, there were two guys from Switzerland, and they were at their first American baseball game. He told them they needed to get Matt’s autograph for sure. He was introducing them to everyone…players, fans and staff. “I live to talk to people and bring smiles to their faces,” Corky said. “It’s fun to know stories behind the stories. We know major league ballplayers on a first name basis because of all of this which is really cool.”
Corky and Rachael’s love for baseball shines, and for both, the love started at young ages. “I started playing when I was nine and played all the way until I threw my arm out my first year of junior college,” Corky said. “Baseball just became my love and engrained in me.” Corky coached high school baseball and has 15 years of coaching under his belt. “When he walks into a ballpark, his eyes start to sparkle,” Rachael said.
As for Rachael, she recalls when she was four, and her dad couldn’t be present at the Giants game. Her dad would tell her to listen to the Giants game and inform him of how the game went. “My mom would take me to the train station to meet him, and we would walk the mile home together with me telling him what happened during the Giants game,” Rachael said. “I learned math through batting averages and baseball.”
A normal day for Corky looks like this.
Corky arrives at ONEOK Field at 3:30. He then cleans 430 chairs in sections 107 and 108, using an ice cream bucket with water and a towel. Corky’s section is known as the cleanest in the ballpark. He will change clothes and begin his game duties. During the game, he greets people, takes fans to seats, hands out programs, answers questions and anything else the fans need before saying farewells as the game ends. During the game, Corky will pick up trash in the stands and cleans the trashcans even though those aren’t things he is required to do. “I saw the owners pick up trash once, so that is why I chose to do it,” Corky said. “I want to do my part to make the atmosphere as enjoyable as possible.”
“I leave all tired every day, but man do I have so much fun,” Corky said.
Corky and Rachael both shared numerous baseball stories and places they’ve got to visit because of the relationships they’ve made at ONEOK Field.
Personal story: A girlfriend who had been coming to ONEOK Field for three seasons said to me, "Make sure you make friends with Corky and Rachael. They'll do anything for you." I met Corky the second game at ONEOK Field. He introduced himself and asked whom I was with. Over the course of the season, we spoke every game and usually spoke more than three times. He always asked if Grainger and I needed anything throughout the game. And the few times we did need something he made it happen. Grainger is shy, and he was always patient with her. It may have took the entire season, but they are buds now! Rachael made sure Ashley and I were reimbursed after having to pay for our tickets for the home opener. (a miscommunication between the guys and the ticket office) He and Rachael are at the top of my list of great people we met along the way during the 2017 season.
Season ticket holders and staff have done nothing but rant and rave about the Brittons and share how much they will be missed. And the Brittons had all great things to say about their bosses and coworkers at ONEOK Field. “The people here have made my life easier and more enjoyable,” Corky said.
After the 2017 championship series concludes at ONEOK Field, Corky and Rachael will be moving to Arizona to be closer to their children and grandchildren…who also share and are learning their love of baseball. They both are already working to land jobs during spring training and other baseball events.
“[ONEOK Field] has been my playground for several years,” Corky said. “We’re grateful for all the memories we’ve made, stories we’ve shared and great people we’ve met who will be forever friends.”
Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty