PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He witnesses history and, in fact, was a part of it.
Peoria native CJ Elger has returned to his Tampa home after helping the Tampa Bay Rays make it to the World Series. It was a World Series played in a mostly-empty stadium in Texas due to COVID-19.
But that didn’t bother Elger.
“It’s been a whirlwind. In a week or two I’ll have a chance to look back on how cool it was,” Elger said. “When you are there, you see there’s 11,000 fans. It’s different for sure. But there’s definitely as atmosphere, I don’t know how to describe it but it’s different from a regular game, for sure.”
Elger, 29, is a data engineer for the Rays. The Peoria Richwoods grad says his job is to “make Tampa Bay’s smart people even smarter” by providing statistical data on the Rays.
But he also provides information on players around Major League baseball so the Rays are prepared for possible trades, free agency, and moves off the waiver wire.
“My job is to make sure we get all that data correct, attributed to the correct players, and make sure we get it to the right spots in our system,” says Elger, who’s been with the Rays since the 2017.
The Dodgers beat the Rays in six games to capture the 2020 World Series title in six games.
Elger played football and baseball at Richwoods and says he always wanted a job in sports.
“I just didn’t know what that looked like,” Elger said.
It appears he found out what it looks like. And what it’s like to make it to his sport’s biggest stage, the World Series.