Baseball or business, it's all in how you play the game

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WALLA WALLA -- There's more in common between baseball and business than one might think, operators of the Walla Walla Sweets and Seattle Mariners told a full house at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

Whether in a big city or a rural pocket of America, through a small business or a major sports team, success often comes to those who shoot for the big leagues.

"The reason the 'big leagues' means so much in baseball is that it represents the best," Zachary Fraser, general manager of the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team, said at the Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce's quarterly luncheon.

From athletes to hot dogs, the big leagues are about providing the best experience possible, he said. Businesses can take the same mentality and apply it to their services.

"Look at it in terms of, 'what are doing to perform at a big league level?'" he said.

Wireless communication pioneer and part-owner of the Mariners and Sweets John Stanton joined Fraser and Kevin Mather, a Mariners executive vice president, emphasized that rural communities often are full of people willing to get behind a movement toward something big

"There's more passion in a small town," Mather said. "It's not the Yankees. It's our team. Our town."

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