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LUCKY MINDY

One thing is for sure: Mindy Rich is most fortunate. According to her, things have never been better. It figures, what with Bob and the Bisons in her life. By no means, though, is this baseball executive just a flower in her husband's lapel. She works.

What kind of person are you?

I'm happy, that's for sure. I'm optimistic. I'm lucky, I think. My life is great. There's no question I've been blessed in every aspect of my life. You know why this is going to be hard for you? My life very much revolves around my work. My husband and I are the consummate working couple. Our family business is our life.

Were you always a baseball fan?

I grew up in Cincinnati, and I always say it's in your birth contract to be a baseball fan when you live in Cincinnati. I've always loved baseball.

So this must be like a fantasy.

I never saw myself working in baseball. There's negatives to that: I will never be just a basic fan and enjoy the game in the same way that I used to.

Working in baseball and owning a team are two different things.

I'm a working owner. I don't define myself as being in a family that owns a baseball team. I don't wake up and say, "I'm the owner of the team, and this is what I'm going to do today."

Were you one of those kids with a lemonade stand?

We used to sell comic books to go with the lemonade -- comic books on one side of the table, lemonade on the other. I always thought of myself as working. In college, I worked in restaurants as a hostess or a waitress. I never not liked a job.

We've established that you are very happy and that you like your job.

Am I making you sick? Are you looking at me like this person is not for real?

I believe you. How long did it take before you carried your weight?

I don't know if I do now. I came here with a resume of experience. More people wonder why I am even working. Of course, I am the boss's wife, so you feel you have to gain their respect. I really didn't try to be anything different than what I am.

You are so visible in the community, yet people don't know you. Is this intentional?

I've kind of come out of the closet by accident, I think. This wasn't a plan. If anything, it makes me feel uncomfortable, because people build expectations. When you're invisible, nobody knows.

Do you ever get the feeling you're playing second fiddle?

At Bisons functions, when no one even realized I worked for the company, I was just Bob's wife. When someone wanted to know what's going on with Bison baseball, they'd look past you as if you had no idea, no knowledge of what's going on. I felt like a chopped liver. I've been working with Bisons baseball ever since I married Bob, but no one knew.

People perceive you as living in the fast lane. What do you do when you get home from a long day of work?

Read the paper, watch TV, read a book, watch baseball -- when there's not a function. We're boring, I know.

Don't you get functioned out?

I don't think about it. Quite honestly, if I'm with my husband, that's enough.

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